1 Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you,
2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
3 While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 (NIV)
What is the day of the Lord?
The phrase “day of the Lord” usually identifies events that take place at the end of history. One key to understanding these phrases is to note that they always identify a span of time during which God personally intervenes in history, directly or indirectly, to accomplish some specific aspect of His plan.
Most people associate the day of the Lord with a period of time or a special day that will occur when God’s will and purpose for His world and for mankind will be fulfilled. Some scholars believe that the day of the Lord will be a longer period of time than a single day—a period of time when Christ will reign throughout the world before He cleanses heaven and earth in preparation for the eternal state of all mankind. Other scholars believe the day of the Lord will be an instantaneous event when Christ returns to earth to redeem His faithful believers and send unbelievers to eternal damnation.
The phrase “the day of the Lord” is used often in the Old Testament (e.g. Isaiah 2:12; 13:6, 9; Ezekiel 13:5, 30:3; Joel 1:15, 2:1,11,31; 3:14; Amos 5:18,20; Obadiah 15; Zephaniah 1:7,14; Zechariah 14:1; Malachi. 4:5) and several times in the New Testament (e.g. Acts 2:20; 1 Corinthians 5:5; 2 Corinthians 1:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:2; 2 Peter 3:10). It is also alluded to in other passages (Revelation 6:17; 16:14). It is also alluded to in other passages (Revelation 6:17; 16:14).
The Old Testament passages dealing with the day of the Lord often convey a sense of imminence, nearness, and expectation: “Wail, for the day of the Lord is near!” (Isaiah 13:6); “For the day is near, even the day of the Lord is near” (Ezekiel 30:3); “Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming. It is close at hand” (Joel 2:1); “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision” (Joel 3:14); “Be silent before the Lord God! For the day of the Lord is near” (Zephaniah 1:7). This is because the Old Testament passages referring to the day of the Lord often speak of both a near and a far fulfillment, as does much of Old Testament prophecy. Some Old Testament passages that refer to the day of the Lord describe historical judgments that have already been fulfilled in some sense (Isaiah 13:6-22; Ezekiel 30:2-19; Joel 1:15, 3:14; Amos 5:18-20; Zephaniah 1:14-18), while others refers to divine judgments that will take place toward the end of the age (Joel 2:30-32; Zechariah 14:1; Malachi 4:1, 5).
The New Testament calls it a day of “wrath,” a day of “visitation,” and the “great day of God Almighty” (Revelation 16:14) and refers to a still future fulfillment when God’s wrath is poured out on unbelieving Israel (Isaiah 22; Jeremiah 30:1-17; Joel 1-2; Amos 5; Zephaniah 1) and on the unbelieving world (Ezekiel 38–39; Zechariah 14). The Scriptures indicate that “the day of the Lord” will come quickly, like a thief in the night (Zephaniah 1:14-15; 2 Thessalonians 2:2), and therefore Christians must be watchful and ready for the coming of Christ at any moment.
Besides being a time of judgment, it will also be a time of salvation as God will deliver the remnant of Israel, fulfilling His promise that “all of Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:26), forgiving their sins and restoring His chosen people to the land He promised to Abraham (Isaiah 10:27; Jeremiah 30:19-31, 40; Micah 4; Zechariah 13). The final outcome of the day of the Lord will be that “the arrogance of man will be brought low and the pride of men humbled; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day” (Isaiah 2:17). The ultimate or final fulfillment of the prophecies concerning the day of the Lord will come at the end of history when God, with wondrous power, will punish evil and fulfill all His promises.
Special thanks for the above and other great questions answered see GotQuestions.org
Each of the above scriptures has a link for you to click on and read, but I’m also going to include some of the above scripture’s here so that you can see that The Day of the Lord is not a time that any person would want to experience. The prophet Joel’s message primarily covers the Day of the Lord, but notice that God encourages us that He is gracious, loving and to turn to Him, to repent and live for Him. Even in the terrible warnings of what is to come God’s grace and love still towers above it.
6Wail, for the day of the Lord is near;
it will come like destruction from the Almighty.[a]
7 Because of this, all hands will go limp,
every heart will melt with fear.
8 Terror will seize them, pain and anguish will grip them;
they will writhe like a woman in labor.
They will look aghast at each other, their faces aflame.
9 See, the day of the Lord is coming
—a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger—
to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it.
10 The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light.
The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light.
11 I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins.
I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty
and will humble the pride of the ruthless.
12 I will make people scarcer than pure gold,
13 Therefore I will make the heavens tremble; and the earth will shake from its place at the wrath of the Lord Almighty,
in the day of his burning anger.
The End Has Come – Ezekiel 7
“10‘See, the day! See, it comes!
Doom has burst forth,
11 Violence has arisen,[b] a rod to punish the wicked.
None of the people will be left,
none of their wealth, nothing of value.
12 The time has come! The day has arrived! for my wrath is on the whole crowd.
13 …. Because of their sins, not one of them will preserve their life.
17 Every hand will go limp; every leg will be wet with urine.
18 They will be clothed with terror.
Every face will be covered with shame,
19 “‘They will throw their silver into the streets… Their silver and gold will not be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord’s wrath.
Ch 1 – Wake up, you drunkards, and weep!
Wail, all you drinkers
Mourn like a virgin in sackcloth
grieving for the betrothed of her youth.
Alas for that day! For the day of the Lord is near;
it will come like destruction from the Almighty.[c]
16 Has not the food been cut off & joy and gladness
Despair, you farmers, wail, grieve because the harvest of the fields are destroyed.
Ch 2 – Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming.
It is close at hand— 2 a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness.
the sun and moon are darkened, and the stars no longer shine.
11 The Lord thunders at the head of his army; his forces are beyond number, and mighty is the army that obeys his command.
The day of the Lord is great; it is dreadful. Who can endure it?
Notice that even in these terrible warnings from God, He gives us a chance to respond to His love and grace.
“Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart,
with fasting and weeping and mourning.”
13 Rend your heart and not your garments.
Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love…
32 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved;
Please acknowledge God’s grace and compassion now and His abounding love in Jesus Christ. Call on the name of the Lord and be saved before it’s too late.
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