The Day of the Lord Jesus Christ

The Day of the Lord Jesus Christ I. Probably the most common scheme of eschatology (study of end-time events) in professing Christendom today is premillennialism. This doctrine basically affirms the footnotes of the Scofield Reference Bible wherein Dr. C.I. Scofield promoted a prophetic outline which looks forward to a 1000-year reign of Christ upon David's throne on earth. It is basically thus: A. The Second Coming of Christ is in two stages: 1. The Rapture: Christ will return secretly at the conclusion of this present age (the church age) and the church will be raptured (seized, caught up) out of the world. The church will be with Christ in heaven for seven years. During this time, believers will be judged according to their works and rewarded. Also during this time the world will be going through the tribulation period under the reign of the antichrist. There will be a remnant of converted Jews who will be Christ's witnesses during this period. 2. The Revelation: Christ will return visibly with His saints at the conclusion of the tribulation period. The righteous who died during this tribulation period will then be resurrected. The antichrist government will be overthrown and the beast and the false prophet will be cast into the lake of fire. Christ will bind Satan and will establish His kingdom and reign on the earth for 1000 years. At the end of the 1000 years, Satan will be loosed for a little season and will gather the nations against the camp of the saints. Satan will then be hurled into the lake of fire at which time will be the final judgment. The wicked dead will be raised. Earth and heaven will pass away. The wicked will be cast into the lake of fire. The new heaven and the new earth will be ushered in. B. The Rapture is the “day of Christ” and is related to the resurrection, reward and blessing of the saints at Christ's coming. C. The Revelation is the “day of the Lord” and is related to judgment. II. The day of Christ IS the day of the Lord. 1CO 1:7-8. A. Jesus is both Lord AND Christ. ACT 2:36. B. Dr. Scofield tried to overcome a hitch in his doctrine presented by 2TH 2:2, where Paul had just spoken (2TH 1:7-10) of the coming fiery judgment of God against rebels: 1. “The theme of Second Thessalonians is, unfortunately, obscured by a mistranslation in the A.V. of 2.2, where “day of Christ is at hand” (1 Co.1:8, note) should be, “day of the LORD is now present...” (Scofield Reference Bible, intro. to 2 Thes., p.1271) 2. Otherwise stated: “Yea, hath God said...?” (GEN 3:1). See also JOB 40:8. III. Jesus will return as he was seen departing (ACT 1:11), bodily and visibly: no secret approach. A. He was not seen departing in two stages. The theory of Christ returning in two stages is really setting forth a second and third coming of Christ. A third coming??? B. Why even call Christ's return the Second Coming? Why not say that His first advent was just the first stage of a three-stage coming? IV. The coming of Christ for His saints will be visible to all and not secret. MAT 24:26-27, 30-31. A. This trumpet has to be the same as the trumpet sounded at the rapture because that one is “the last trump” (1CO 15:52). B. The trumpet of MAT 24:31 that heralds the gathering of the elect is obviously the same as the one of 1TH 4:16. The Day of the Lord Jesus Christ 2-2-14 Page 1 of 3 C. The trumpet of the Lord is not secret, but VERY discernible. HEB 12:18-21. D. If God had meant to convey the idea that His coming for the saints at the rapture would be noiseless and secret, He certainly elected a poor choice of terms to describe it. 1TH 4:16. V. Christ will resurrect the saints at the LAST day. JOH 6:39-40, 44, 54; 11:24. A. We are currently living in the last days (HEB 1:2; 9:26; 1CO 10:11; 1JO 2:18). The only day yet to be noted is THE LAST DAY, the great day of the Lord Jesus Christ. B. There is no interval of 1007 years between the rapture of the saints and the resurrection of the wicked unto judgment. The wicked will be judged in the LAST day. JOH 12:48. 1. MAT 25:31-46 places the gathering together and rewarding of the elect at the same time as the gathering and judgment of the wicked. 2. 2TH 1:6-10; 2:1 places both the rapture and reward of the saints AND the judgment of the wicked at the REVELATION or appearing of Christ. 3. REV 11:17-18 likewise places together the reward of the righteous and the judgment of the wicked. 4. When Christ returns, destruction falls upon the wicked THE SAME DAY that the righteous are raptured out, not 7 or 1007 years later. LUK 17:26-30. 5. The coming of Christ will be LIKE it was in the days of Noah and Lot, where there were no survivors of the intended destruction following the removal of the righteous. How does this square with the idea that there will still be opposition to contend with after the rapture of the saints? 6. The righteous and the wicked grow TOGETHER until the time of the harvest, which is THE END OF THE WORLD. MAT 13:24-30, 37-43, 47-48. 7. Even Job figured out that the righteous dead are not resurrected 1007 years before the heavens are destroyed. JOB 14:12-15. 8. Premillennialism looks for THREE bodily resurrections: the righteous (living and dead) at the rapture; tribulation martyrs at the revelation; and the wicked dead at the end of the 1000 years. Scripture knows of only one bodily resurrection which includes righteous and wicked. JOH 5:28-29; ACT 24:15. C. The APPEARING of Christ is the hope of the church (TIT 2:13). If the real hope of the church is a secret rapture that occurs seven years before that, what does this verse mean? 1. It is at the APPEARING of Christ that the church is raptured and the saints given glorified bodies, not seven years prior. COL 3:4; 1JO 3:2. 2. It is at the APPEARING of Christ that the saints shall receive their reward, not seven years prior. 2TI 4:8; 1PE 5:4. 3. If the true hope of the church is a secret rapture seven years before the REVELATION or APPEARING of Christ, why does Scripture exhort Christians to stedfast obedience unto the end at the REVELATION/APPEARING? 1PE 1:7, 13; 1TI 6:14-15. VI. Premillennialism correctly acknowledges that the bodily resurrection of the saints takes place at the rapture--the dead saints rising just prior to the surviving saints. 1TH 4:16-17. A. However, instead of Christ returning to set up a kingdom seven years after the rapture, Scripture affirms that He will DELIVER UP His kingdom AT the rapture which is THE END! 1CO 15:23-24. B. Premillennialism (at least the pre-tribulation rapture strain of it) maintains that many people will DIE during the tribulation period which follows the rapture. However, Scripture affirms that death will be destroyed AT THE RAPTURE! 1CO 15:25-26, 52-55. The Day of the Lord Jesus Christ 2-2-14 Page 2 of 3 VII. Support for the “secret rapture” theory is attempted from noting that Christ's coming will be as a thief in the night. MAT 24:35-44; REV 3:3. A. But the symbolism of the “thief” passages is not that the MANNER of Christ's coming will be unknown, but rather the TIME is unknown. 1. (MAT 24:36) “But of that DAY AND HOUR knoweth no man....” 2. (MAT 24:42) “....for ye know not what HOUR....” 3. (MAT 24:43) “....had known in what WATCH the thief would come...” 4. (MAT 24:44) “....for in such an HOUR as ye think not....” 5. (MAT 24:50) “....shall come in a DAY when he looketh not....” 6. (REV 3:3) “....thou shalt not know what HOUR I will come....” B. Note also that the passing away of heaven and earth is THAT DAY that is unknown and THAT DAY is connected with the coming of Christ (MAT 24:35-37). 1. Believers are exhorted to be looking for the day of the coming of Christ--the day of the passing away of heaven and earth which obviously coincides with it. 2. The passing away of heaven and earth is not 1007 years after the anticipated rapture at Christ's coming. C. THAT DAY should not overtake Christians as a thief. 1TH 5:1-5. 1. This passage is contextually linked by the conjunctive “But” (v. 1) to the description of the rapture (1TH 4:15-18). a. In 1TH 5:2 it is called “the day of the Lord.” b. What of the idea that the day of Christ/Rapture is not the day of the Lord?! 2. Paul is writing to the church, which, according to Dr. Scofield, is to be raptured long BEFORE the “day of the Lord.” a. Yet Paul is telling them that that day will NOT overtake them as a thief--- NOT because they will be raptured years before it occurs but because they should be watchful and ready for it. b. This creates serious problems for the 2-stage theory of Christ's coming. 3. Also note that the day Christians are to watch for is the day that will bring destruction to the wicked. This connects the rapture and revelation in one. D. 2PE 3:4-14 teaches that the heavens and the earth will be destroyed in the “day of the Lord” which “will come as a thief in the night.” 1. Why would Peter be exhorting believers in his day to be “looking for and hasting unto...” (v. 12) that day if their real hope was in a secret rapture 1007 years earlier? 2. If the rapture commences the 7-year tribulation period which culminates with the coming of Christ at the revelation, would not men be able to determine the TIME of that event. How then could that day come as “a thief in the night?” 3. Likewise with the destruction of heaven and earth. Men could simply count off 1007 years from the rapture and know the time of that event. 4. Dr. Scofield and company apparently have discovered something that other men, perfected saints, angels and the Son of man Himself do not know. REV 6:9-10; MAR 13:32; LUK 21:35. 5. If one puts together the rapture, revelation, judgment of the wicked and the destruction of the heavens and earth at the same time (as Scripture does)--at the Second Coming, all these things reconcile. There is only one day that should be of concern to Christians, the time of which is not known: “...the day of the Lord Jesus Christ” (1CO 1:8)! 6. We did not see the introduction of the first heavens and earth but we will see the introduction of the new heavens and earth. The Day of the Lord Jesus Christ 2-2-14 Page 3 of 3
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