2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” Note: all scripture includes both the Old and New Testaments. Furthermore, when the Apostle Paul wrote this epistle, he was actually referring to the Old Testament.
Malachi chapter 3 tells us that the Lord is coming to execute judgment. This is going to be painful because of the sinful way people have been behaving. The Lord wants us to do good and not to hurt each other.
Today, God hides himself (Deuteronomy 31:18) and he is permitting evil to run its course. While he waits, evil abounds. God is observing both the good and the bad to see what we do with our lives, even though it appears that he is doing nothing. Malachi tells us that before he “draws near to Judgment” to correct our wayward world, he will “sit as a refiner and purifier of silver”, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the LORD in righteousness. This refers to the Church class whom the Lord is calling to help with judging the world. Think of the Church as being selected as a jury in our court systems.
The world has a saying “don’t judge me unless you have walked in my shoes.” And the Lord is honoring that! Christians are those who are walking in the shoes of the world while they are being refined and taught good judgment. Those who run the race for the prize of the high calling in Christ are actually looking to be jury members in God’s grand judgment day. Not for the purpose of condemning the world, as some think, but for the purpose of turning the world back to learn the ways of righteousness. “…I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people…for I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more…”Jeremiah 31:33, 34.
After the Church is selected, the permission of evil will end. Then Malachi 3:5 will come to pass, “Then I will draw near to you for judgment; I will be swift to bear witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired workers in their wages, the widow and the orphan, against those who thrust aside the alien, and do not fear me, says the LORD of hosts.”
Malachi 3:17-18 explains, they (the Church) shall be mine, says the LORD of hosts, my special possession on the day when I act, and I will spare them as parents spare their children who serve them. Then once more you shall see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.