Avoiding the Day of the Lord

by Rolaant L. McKenzie

"For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 (NASB)

There is much going on in the world today that steals comfort and takes it far away. Here in the United States especially, there is the abiding fear of terrorism, war, and economic depression. In many other parts of the world there is unending conflict, famine, and disease.

Sometimes even those who are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ get disheartened and depressed when they consider all the trouble in the world and its effect on their own lives.

God’s grace in saving sinners, guaranteeing them a place in heaven, is truly great grace, but this salvation includes a lot more than we sometimes realize. It provides the comfort of Jesus’ return to deliver us from God’s wrath that is to fall on the earth.

In the Bible, particularly in the Old Testament, the Day of the Lord is described as a time of unprecedented judgment on the earth. It is a time when God enters into the events of human affairs and judges those who do evil and refuse to turn to Him in repentance.

The following are a few examples of how the Scriptures describe the Day of the Lord:

"Enter the rock and hide in the dust from the terror of the LORD and from the splendor of His majesty. The proud look of man will be abased and the loftiness of man will be humbled, and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day. For the LORD of hosts will have a day of reckoning against everyone who is proud and lofty and against everyone who is lifted up, that he may be abased. ... Men will go into caves of the rocks and into holes of the ground before the terror of the LORD and the splendor of His majesty, when He arises to make the earth tremble." (Isaiah 2:10-12, 19)

"Wail, for the day of the LORD is near! It will come as destruction from the Almighty. Therefore all hands will fall limp, and every man's heart will melt. They will be terrified, pains and anguish will take hold of them; they will writhe like a woman in labor, they will look at one another in astonishment, their faces aflame. Behold, the day of the LORD is coming, cruel, with fury and burning anger, to make the land a desolation; and He will exterminate its sinners from it. For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not flash forth their light; the sun will be dark when it rises and the moon will not shed its light. Thus I will punish the world for its evil and the wicked for their iniquity; I will also put an end to the arrogance of the proud and abase the haughtiness of the ruthless. I will make mortal man scarcer than pure gold and mankind than the gold of Ophir. Therefore I will make the heavens tremble, and the earth will be shaken from its place at the fury of the LORD of hosts in the day of His burning anger." (Isaiah 13:6-13)

"Alas for the day! For the day of the LORD is near, and it will come as destruction from the Almighty." (Joel 1:15)

"Alas, you who are longing for the day of the LORD, for what purpose will the day of the LORD be to you? It will be darkness and not light; as when a man flees from a lion and a bear meets him, or goes home, leans his hand against the wall and a snake bites him. Will not the day of the LORD be darkness instead of light, even gloom with no brightness in it?" (Amos 5:18-20)

"Near is the great day of the LORD, near and coming very quickly; listen, the day of the LORD! In it the warrior cries out bitterly. A day of wrath is that day, a day of trouble and distress, a day of destruction and desolation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of trumpet and battle cry against the fortified cities and the high corner towers. I will bring distress on men so that they will walk like the blind, because they have sinned against the LORD; and their blood will be poured out like dust and their flesh like dung. Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to deliver them on the day of the LORD'S wrath; and all the earth will be devoured in the fire of His jealousy, for He will make a complete end, indeed a terrifying one, of all the inhabitants of the earth." (Zephaniah 1:14-18)

Truly the Day of the Lord in the Bible is depicted as an awesome and terrible day of judgment, a holocaust of terror that will encompass the world.

According to the Apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5, it is upon those in the world crying "Peace and safety!" that the sudden destruction of the day of the Lord will fall as a thief in the night. They are characterized as walking in spiritual darkness, drunkenness and sleepiness. These are people who care nothing about God and walk in the imagination of their hearts, deluding themselves by thinking all is well, that they have achieved peace without God. In essence, they show by their way of life that they are unbelievers.

In contrast, believers in Jesus are described as not walking in spiritual darkness, but in the light. The day of the Lord does not catch them as a thief in the night. They are encouraged by Paul not to be sleepy and drunken like unbelievers, but alert and sober. And what reason does he give for this? Because God has not destined believers for His wrath, but for salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ.

The return of Jesus for His Church is a comfort to believers because His coming delivers them from God's wrath. And God's wrath in the context of 1 Thessalonians, is not hell, but the day of the Lord.

Given the events of today and what the Bible indicates is soon coming, how can you avoid experiencing this day of the Lord?

There is only one way. Turn to the Lord Jesus Christ today. Confess your sins to Him and repent of them, trust in Him alone for salvation and not in any of your own works, Jesus will forgive you of all your sins (no matter what you have done), and He will save you not only from the day of God's wrath that will soon come upon the earth, but hell as well. To read more on how you can have a personal relationship with God and look forward to a life with Him in heaven, please click here.

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