|Readers Question / Comment - When period does the 'day of the Lord' refer to?|
I am a bit confused about the day of the Lord. Is the "day of the Lord" in the 1st and 2nd Thessalonians refer to the great tribulation? or when Jesus returns with the saints to execute vengeance? With regards to its timing, the day of the Lord shall not come except there's a falling away FIRST and the son of perdition IS REVEALED. If we are not appointed to experience the day of the Lord (1st Thessalonians 5 and 2nd Thessalonians 2) or If the great tribulation also refers to the day of the Lord, then we will first experience the revelation of the son of perdition before the rapture because 'it shall not come except there's a falling away FIRST and the son of perdition is REVEALED'. Sorry if the question is also confusing. I hope you get what I mean. Can you help me with this? Thank you so much.
Joel 3:12-14 Let the nations be aroused And come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat, For there I will sit to judge All the surrounding nations. (13) Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, tread, for the wine press is full; The vats overflow, for their wickedness is great. (14) Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.
Right... Still with me? : ) With that as a background onto your questions.
What is the day of the Lord a reference to in 1 Thes 5?
1 Thessalonians 5:1-5 Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. (2) For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. (3) While they are saying, "Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. (4) But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; (5) for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness;
This is a reference to the 'broad' day of the Lord including all the birth pangs - the entire 7 year period. It doesn't make sense being anything else. At no point during the final 7 year period will people be saying 'peace and safety' - and again it is talking about coming upon people like labour pains - this is a reference to the whole 7 years period - Daniel's 70th week. Leading up to this last 7 year period the Antichrist will be assuming control and will make a peace treaty for 7 years with Israel. Finally, it will seem like the previously completely elusive Middle East peace has been achieved. People will be saying peace and safely! And then the day of the Lord with judgement from on high will begin for that final 7 year period.
What is the day of the Lord in 2nd Thes 2 referring to?
2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, (2) that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.
It is the same period as mentioned above in 1 Thes 5. Two things come
before it - the departure or apostasy from the faith (some believe
this is actually 'the departure' and is a reference to the rapture -
although most would go with it meaning the apostasy, a specific
departure from the faith) and the Antichrist, the man of sin, will be
revealed. So when is the man of sin revealed? Some say at the mid
point of the tribulation when he puts himself in the temple and
declares himself to be God. But as Showers points out, there are
problems with this because God puts lots of things in scripture that
will identify this coming leader well before that point. Namely, he
will rise as the 11th ruler in a 10 division conference (Dan 7:7-8,
23-24), he will overthrow 3 of the original 10 kings (Dan 7"8, 20,24),
he will become the dominant leader of the revised Roman Empire (Dan
7:20, 24, 26, Rev 17:12-13, 16-17). And finally he will confirm a 7
year covenant with Israel (Dan 9:27). So it is fair to assume that
people will be able to know who the Antichrist is by the signing of
the 7 year covenant.
One last thing to bear in mind in regards to your question is that the
references to the 'day of the Lord' are not talking about the rapture.
It is talking, in this context, of that period of God's judgement upon
the earth (and then His blessing in the Kingdom). So 2 Thes 2 is not
saying that the revelation of the Antichrist and the Apostasy have to
happen before the rapture, only that they happen before the day of the
Lord. And, as 1 Thes 5 tells us, we are not in the day of the Lord (1
Thes 5:4-5) nor will we see God's wrath (1 The 1:10, 5:9).