Knowing the Day of the Lord
2 Peter 3:10-18
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. [2 Peter 3:10]
Just prior to this Peter wrote, “But beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as a day.” [2 Pet 3:8] Peter then went on to describe that the Lord is not slack concerning the promise of His Return!
His Return is our blessed hope. We live by faith in this life with that hope firmly in our hearts. The day, however, “will come as a thief in the night.”
Remember Jesus’ parable of the 10 virgins [Matt 25:1-13]? Five were ready [for their Bridegroom], five were not. But notice what their readiness was. Their lamps were filled with oil. Oil throughout Scripture is symbolic of the Holy Spirit. The filling of oil is the filling of the Holy Spirit that is the Deposit that guarantees a believer’s heavenly body when Christ comes again.
So here’s the chronology of “The Day.” Firstly, there’s the Rapture of the church described in 1 Thes 4:16-17 and 1 Cor 15:51-54. “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with Him in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.” [1 Thes 4:16-17; emphasis added]
Secondly, after the Rapture, is a seven year Tribulation. This will be a seven year period when God will pour out His judgment upon the earth to purge sin. This ushers in Jesus’ Return and His Millennial rule upon the earth.
Thirdly, at the end of the Millennium, God will create a new heaven and new earth [i.e., The New Jerusalem]. This will begin the Eternal State, which is referred to in 2 Peter 3:13, which we will cover today.
What is interesting is that all this happens in a Day: “The Day of the Lord,” i.e., “with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” [2 Peter 3:8]
Even more interesting is that when you do a general accounting, the time from the Rapture until the New Jerusalem is a thousand years. Now, we do need to be careful with dissecting dates and numbers. But know this; the time is at hand for the Rapture. The signs are there. It truly can happen at any moment!
The real question is, are we ready?