In July, Norma Jean and I are going to Israel with Barry Britnell and the Florida College Hutchinson Bell group.
In the past several months we have been reading, planning, and preparing, for the day we leave. To help us, Barry has been sending emails with suggestions to help us get ready. And in each email, he’s counting down the days.
We all live in expectation of certain future days. Kids count the days until school’s out. Or they leave for camp. Or that special birthday. Adults often begin counting the days to retirement. And we all anticipate those special holidays and family get-togethers.
The Bible speaks of such a special day. It’s called “the day of the Lord.”
In the Old Testament the “the day of the Lord” often refers to a time of judgment on the heathen nations or the nations of Israel and Judah. The sins of the people required divine retribution. It would be a day of the Lord’s anger against the ungodly.
In the New Testament, both Paul and Peter speak of “the day of the Lord.”
“Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.” (1 Thess. 5:1-3).
“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness. (2 Pet 3:10-12)
Here are some key points to remember about “the day of the Lord.”
(1) It is coming. The Bible is clear. God has already ordained “the day of the Lord.”
(2) No one knows when it will happen. This day has been the day of much speculation through the years by various groups and individuals. A few of the dates include 500, 1000, 1874, 1901, 1914, and the year 2000. Obviously, all were wrong.
(3) It will catch people by surprise. Just like a thief that doesn’t announce his coming, will be “the day of the Lord.” It will catch folks off guard. Unprepared. And vulnerable.
(4) It will bring an end to this world. There will be no reign of Christ on earth. The earth will be finished. Destroyed. Burned up.
(5) Christians need to be ready for “‘the day of the Lord.” We are called, “children of light” and “children of the day.”
We are admonished to be “awake” and “sober.” We of all people should know better than to live in ignorance and darkness. We’ve been enlightened. Informed. And alerted.
Thus, our conduct ought to reflect serious planning and preparedness. Faith, hope, and love should characterize our lives. Our behavior should be void of the intoxicants of the world that dull our senses, impair our preparation, and blemish our purity.
Preachers and pastors, let’s remind and warn people that “the day of the Lord” is coming. Let’s help folks be prepared to meet the Lord in judgment.
When we’re helping each other get ready for “the day of the Lord,” that will give us strength, support, and a spiritual focus.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman