Malachi speaks of the coming Messiah as a “refiner’s fire.” Malachi is prophesying in 450 B.C. of Jesus coming to the “Temple” as One who will purify. He was speaking at a time of deep moral decline in the nation of Israel. He spoke of this One to come as a purifier, not unlike the refining process of silver and gold. (See Malachi 3:1-3).
Malachi’s prophetic word has never been more appropriate and timelier than today. Never in our nation have more people attended church with less cultural impact. Even as our crowds grow bigger, our influence grows smaller.
Jesus is passionate about His bride, the Church. We read in Second Corinthians, “I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.” In these days of high-level strategies for getting more people into the church, the lack of impact we are having as “Christians” must be considered.
Jesus loves His Church. He is building His Church with gold, silver and precious stones; not with wood, hay, and stubble. (See 1 Cor. 3:12). He is moving across the nation with a new kind of people who are wholehearted disciples. This is truly an exciting time. I believe that His refining fire is burning across the nation with a flame that will burn away the dross of man-made Christianity and powerfully light fires of revival that will bring forth a new kind of disciple.
Like the smelter who can see himself reflected back in the purified silver, Jesus is the refining fire Who longs to see Himself reflected through the local church. He is coming to His Church that we might experience Him and know Him and passionately love Him with all of our heart. He’s coming for a wholehearted church!
Experiencing a refiner’s fire,
Steve Holt M.A., D.D.
My newest book, WorshipperWarrior, can be found at www.steveholtonline.org