THE DAY OF THE LORD

Scripture Reading: I Thessalonians 5:1-11

“For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.” (I Thessalonians 5:2)

The “day of the Lord” refers to the events that will occur when Jesus Christ returns to earth. Jesus Himself will return bodily to this earth. The angel told the disciples at the ascension of Jesus, “This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11). Everyone will see Him when He appears — “Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him” (Revelation 1:7). His coming will be sudden and unexpected — “like a thief in the night.” It will be a glorious and triumphal return (Revelation 19:11-16).

Why is Christ coming again? What will He accomplish? First, Christ comes again to introduce the future age. He comes to bring about the new heavens and new earth (Revelation 21:1-8). All of history is moving toward this event, the establishment of the eternal state in which we shall dwell.

Second, He comes to resurrect the dead — “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live…Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are int he tombs will hear His voice, and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment” (John 5:25,28,29).

Third, Jesus comes again to judge the world — “Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Matthew 24:30,31). The day of the Lord is the day for final judgment — “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ” (II Corinthians 5:10).

The day of the Lord will be a terrifying day for unbelievers, for they shall face the judgment of God. For believers, we have nothing to fear, for our Savior has already borne the judgment on our behalf. We will be glorified with Christ and given our eternal homes in the new heavens and new earth.

Lord Jesus, You are the righteous judge who is coming again to bring judgment upon all sin and evil. Thank You that You bore the wrath of God in my place. I will be able to stand in the judgment as one who has been made righteous through Your perfect righteousness imputed to me.

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