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The Day of the Lord
1 Thess. 5:1-3


We have just taken the topic about the future coming of the Lord to take us up and meet Him in the air. That event is called the Rapture. Paul continues to tell them about what will happen in the future, specifically the time after the rapture which is called “the Day of the Lord”.

Illustration 1: Signs in The Sky
In Bombay, India, 100 girls from a missionary home were holding a Christian service on the street one evening when they all saw in the sky an immense semicircle of letters of fire, which read: “JESUS IS COMING SOON.”
Then, in Sweden, 300 people were returning from an all-night prayer meeting. Suddenly they saw a hand pointing to words which were written in large letters in the heavens: “SEE, I COME QUICKLY.”
In York, Pennsylvania, Dr. H. E. Kline called out on a case at 2 a.m., noticed an abnormally brilliant star. Some distance from it he saw a distinct cross with a silvery sheen on one side and a crimson glow on the other. Above was a diadem, a crown of stars. Dr. Kline called his family and they watched this amazing sight until it disappeared at 4 a.m.
—Charles E. Taylor in Jesus is Coming Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations: Signs of the Times.

I. Times and the Season (1 Thess. 5:1)
A. Times and seasons refer to human events and history.
1. The word times speaks of chronological time, whether clock time or calendar time.
2. The word seasons speaks of time in terms of events or characteristics of the time period.
B. The times and the seasons being mentioned here is relating to the final coming of Christ.
C. The Lord has revealed to us a lot of details concerning His return, but He has not revealed the day or even the year. Some have been so foolish as to predict the time of the Lord’s return only to see the day come and go without the Lord’s return. Groups such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses and other cults have committed the same mistake.
D. “You have no need that I should write to you”. Paul previously taught the Thessalonians about the Day of the Lord when he established the church a year prior to writing this epistle so they did not need instruction on that doctrine. They did need instruction, however, on the Rapture.

Illustration 2: Biblical Prophecy
Biblical prophecy provides some of the greatest encouragement and hope available to us today. Just as the Old Testament is saturated with prophecies concerning Christ’s first advent, so both testaments are filled with references to the second coming of Christ. One scholar has estimated that there are 1,845 references to Christ’s second coming in the Old Testament, where 17 books give it prominence. In the 260 chapters of the New Testament, there are 318 references to the second advent of Christ—an amazing 1 out of every 30 verses. Twenty-three of the 27 New Testament
books refer to this great event. For every prophecy in the Bible concerning Christ’s first advent, there are 8 which look forward to His second!
Today in the Word, April, 1989, p. 27

II. The Day of the Lord (1Thess. 5:2-3)
A. The word “perfectly” here speaks that the Thessalonians have been taught seriously by Paul.
B. “The Day of the Lord.”:
1. In the Bible, the word day can refer to a twenty-four-hour period, or to a longer time during which God accomplishes some special purpose.
2. In Gen. 2:3 the word means twenty-four hours, but in Gen. 2:4 it describes the entire week of Creation.
3. The Day of the Lord is that time when God will judge the world and punish the nations. At the same time, God will prepare Israel for the return of Jesus Christ to the earth to establish His kingdom. (Amos 5:18, Joel 2:1; Zeph. 1:14-18; and Isa 2:12-21 for a description of this great period).
4. Another term for this period is “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7). Many prophetic students also call it the Tribulation and point to Rev. 6-19 as the Scripture that most vividly describes this event.
5. The Day of the Lord refers to both the Tribulation period of seven years and the Millennium (1000 years), thus; the Day of the Lord covers 1007 years. This is the time when the Lord will sovereignly and directly intervene into the affairs of man.
6. This will be the darkest and most fearful time the world has ever known. In his classic book, “Things to Come,” J. Dwight Pentecost outlines the horror of the Day of the Lord:
“From these Scriptures it is inescapable that the nature or character of this period is that of:
a. wrath. (Zep. 1:15, 18; 1 Thess. 1:10; 5:9; Rev. 6:16-17; 11:18; 14:10,19; 15:1, 7; 16:1,19)
b. judgment. (Rev. 14:7; 15:4; 16:5, 7; 19:2)
c. indignation. (Isa. 26:20-21; 34:1-3)
d. trial. (Rev. 3:10)
e. trouble. (Jer. 30:7; Zep. 1:14-15; Dan. 12:1)
f. destruction. (Joel 1:15; 1 Thess. 5:3), darkness. (Joel 2:2; Amos 5:18; Zep. 1:14-18)
g. desolation. (Dan. 9:27; Zep. 1:14-15)
h. overturning. (Isa. 24:1-4, 19-21)
i. punishment. (Isa. 24:20-21). No passage can be found to alleviate to any degree whatsoever the severity of this time that shall come upon the earth.”
C. “Thief in the night.” Our Lord used this image in His own teaching (Matt 24:42-43; Luke 12:35-40). It describes the suddenness and the surprise involved in the coming of the Day of the Lord. Unbelievers left on earth after the Rapture are compared to the unsuspecting victims of a thief. Just at the moment when they least expect it, judgment will fall upon them. When Christ comes to pour out his Judgment, His coming will be Unannounced, Unpopular, Unexpected, and Unwelcome. In Rev 3:3; 16:15, He used this image to warn believers not to be caught napping. Since we do
not know when the Lord will return for His people, we must live in a constant attitude of watching and waiting, while we are busy working and witnessing.

Illustration 3: Second Coming Truth to Wake Up Church
The devil does not want us to see the truth concerning the return of the Lord, for nothing would wake up the Church so much.
The moment a person takes hold of the truth that Jesus Christ is coming back again to receive his friends to himself, this world loses it hold upon him.
Gas stocks, stocks in banks and in railroads are of much less consequence. The heart is free to look for the blessed appearing of our Lord, who at his coming will take us into his blessed kingdom. D.L. Moody

III. The deception (1 Thess. 5:3)
A. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. (1 Thess. 5:3) Here is something the world longs to have! Peace and safety! This world searches and yearns for peace. There are peace talks and peace accords, but no real peace. Nations are at war and people are dying daily. The Bible declares, But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked. (Isa. 57:20-21). Man-made peace is a false peace. While wicked man is basking in his false peace, the Bible says, sudden destruction cometh upon them. There will be no peace on this earth until Jesus comes back and sets up His Kingdom.

IV. Conclusion:
Truly the Lord Jesus Christ is coming any moment, and it’s a great comfort for all of us. The Day of the Lord is that time when God will judge the world and punish the nations. At the same time, God will prepare Israel for the return of Jesus Christ to the earth to establish His kingdom. Christ will come like a thief in the night. Unsaved left on earth after the rapture are compared to unsuspecting victims of a thief. Christ is coming. Are you ready to meet Him?

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