- Posts: 53
- Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:39 pm
When He (Christ) takes the Church out of the world, which is called the â€œDay of Christ.â€ â€œBeing confident of this very thing, that He who hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the Day of Jesus Christâ€ (Philippians 1:6) â€“ this is the great hope (Church Raptured) that is before the Church today.
As we have already seen, the Day of the Lord begins when Christ takes the Church out of the world. And though it begins in darkness, it is certainly light for those who are taken out â€“ that are, the children of God. It is the end of the gospel pathway down here for them. The â€œDay of Christâ€ ends at the Rapture, and the Day of the Lord begins at that point.
In the prophecy of Hosea, there are some wonderful verses that speak of this period but are not identified as such. Note the picture thatâ€™s given here:
For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim. (Hosea 3:4)
Thatâ€™s the period weâ€™re living in today (The church Age).
It has been true now for my years that Israel has not had a place of sacrifice. Then God says, afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David, their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days. (Hosea 3:5)
So when Christ comes to this earth to establish His kingdom, this verse will be fulfilled.
The Day of the Lord, I trust you can see, is a technical term; it is also a theological term that embraces many momentous acts of God. You and I today are living in the day of salvation (gospel pathway), but that doesnâ€™t mean a 24-hour day. It doesnâ€™t really have reference to time but to a particular period (Church Age). And that day of salvation for us ends when he takes the Church out. Then the Day of the Lord begins. What a picture is presented to us here:
The Day of the Lord, we see, begins with the Rapture which happens â€œin the twinkling of an eyeâ€ (1 Corinthians 15:52). Then will be the Great Tribulation. And the Day of the Lord extends through the seven years of the Great Tribulation Period (Revelation 6-18) and the return of Christ to the earth (Revelation 19) when He returns to establish His kingdom. Then in Revelation 20, Satan in bound while Christ reigns one thousand years on the earth. Satan is then released for a little while.
Well, God has let him loose today, as well, that is for sure. And during that future day when Satan is loose for a brief period, he will lead a rebellion that God will put down.
The Great White Throne Judgment, the place of Godâ€™s final judgment, is brought before us in Revelation 20:11-15. The Tribulation saints, at this point, have been resurrected and are with the Lord Jesus during His millennial reign. Prior to the Great white Throne, we see that the lost dead are resurrected and â€œsmall and greatâ€ stand before God.
So we see there are many people who say, â€œIâ€™ll take my chances before God.â€ I donâ€™t agree with you. I think God is merciful, and Iâ€™ll take my chances with Him. Iâ€™m a good man. â€œI pay my honest debts.â€ Well those men are going to be there at the Great White Throne Judgment, and their going to have an opportunity to tell the Lord that he paid his honest debts.
Itâ€™s not going to be a pretty sight to stand before the One who has nail-pierced hands and hear Him say, â€œBut I loved you so much I died for you. You, a sinner â€“ lost, without hope. I bore your sins in My own body to pay the penalty for your sin. Why did you reject Me?â€ Paying your honest debts is going to look mighty small in that day. If youâ€™ve come to Christ and accepted Him as your Savior of course you pay your honest debts! But just paying your honest debts wonâ€™t get you into heaven â€“ thatâ€™s for sure.
All the lost appear there before the Great White Throne Judgment and the curtain closes with these fateful words:
And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:15)
Then, after that final judgment, we find that eternity begins, and the new heavens and the new earth come into view (Revelation 21, 22).
Let me repeat; The Day of the Lord begins with the Rapture of the Church and embraces everything from the Great Tribulation to the creation of the new heavens and the new earth. This is the tremendous picture that is presented to us in the Word of God.
We see, God makes it very clear that no Scripture, no prophecy, is to be interpreted by itself. Listen to what He says, Knowing this first that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. (2 Peter 1:20)
In other words, Peter is saying this: You are not to lift out one little prophecy (the way many of the cults do today) and build a doctrine on it. You are not to interpret it apart from other references to the same subject because no prophecy is of any private interpretation. You donâ€™t interpret it by itself. It has to fit into Godâ€™s program of prophecy, you see. Therefore, the great Day of the Lord is one of the great terms in the Word of God.
And when the Bible mentions it, you know it is speaking of this entire period, including all of it. We can put the boundaries on it â€“ beginning at the Rapture of the Church and what takes place on the earth, and then ending with the beginning of eternity. Therefore, you and I need today to interpret the present in terms of the future.
Watch and Wait:
We should see that weâ€™re living in a day when the attitude toward the future is becoming different. There has never been a time when so much attention was given to it. People years ago paid very little attention to the future, but now it is important to us. We find that the serious thinkers of the world are pondering and speculating in terms of the future. Should not Godâ€™s people also think in those terms? Our Lord urges us to do so.
The fact of the matter is, one of the great injunctions that He has given us is to stay alert and watch. I want you to notice what He had to say in the Olivet Discourse as He was speaking of His coming to the earth to establish His kingdom:
Watch, therefore; for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this that if the householder of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. (Matthew 24:42, 43)
Is the Lord Jesus coming as a thief for the Church? â€œNo.â€ It is not the thief weâ€™re looking for. Weâ€™re â€œlooking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior, Jesus Christâ€ (Titus 2:13). Youâ€™ll notice that this is the very thing Paul deals with when writing to the Thessalonian believers:
For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they (Israel) shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child, and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. (1Thessalonians 5:2-4)
So we see our Lord will not come for His Church as a thief. But when He comes to the earth to establish His kingdom, He will come as a thief, breaking into this world, interfering with menâ€™s little plans and programs.
The world does not want Christ to come; theyâ€™re in rebellion against Him. But Heâ€™s going to break through one of these days.
And before He does, Heâ€™s going to take His own out of the world. And they are watching and waiting, â€œlooking for that blessed hope, and glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior, Jesus Christâ€ (Titus 2:13). The minute that Christ takes His Church out of the world, the Day of Christ â€“ the period of His grace â€“ ends. No longer will He be calling the Church out of the world, because the Church shall be with Him.
Then there takes place the time of His wrath. The great Day of the Lord is darkness, not light, and the Great Tribulation breaks on the earth with a world dictator who will establish an ecumenical movement and a world political movement. Nothing can deter it except the return of Christ. He will break through like a thief, intruding into this world, establishing His kingdom on this earth. It will be a period in which He will reign on earth for a thousand years. It ends by the new heavens and the new earth being established and with those who are His own living in the New Jerusalem.
This is Godâ€™s program as Scripture tell us. The Word of God tells us that we know not what a day will bring forth, but every child of God knows that we have a wonderful Shepherd and that we can never be taken out of our Shepherdâ€™s hands â€“ either in time or in eternity. It is reassuring to know that our Shepherd has a program for the future. This gives hope, purpose, and direction to life. I do not know about you, but for me it adds a great deal of color to the drabness of living down here on this earth. It is an incentive to day to live for God.
What about the future for you? Suppose Christ does not come this year. Unless you trust Him as your Savior, there is nothing ahead of you but the Day of Judgment that will take place on earth.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (John 3:16, 17)
So we see, today is the day of salvation:
Now Iâ€™m going to let the apostle Peter conclude this message on the Day of the Lord with the information that God gave him on this great subject:
Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the Word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water, by which the world then was, being overflowed with water, perished. But the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same Word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the Day of Judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand year as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
But the Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat; the earth also, and the works that are in it, shall be burned up. Seeing, then, that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy living and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the Day of God, in which the heavens, being on fire, shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, in which dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless, and account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvationâ€¦. (Ref. 2 Peter 3:3-15).