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Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People

Are You Ready for the Day of the Lord? Part 2

On the heels of these tremendous events and their culmination in the immense battle at Jerusalem, (as we studied in Part 1) a new era in history begins! And the Scriptures reveal that the Day of the Lord will then continue throughout the 1,000 years that follow.

The Millennium

The wonderful truth that Jesus Christ is going to establish His throne–His Kingdom–upon the earth and rule with His saints for 1,000 years (a millennium) as well documented in Scripture (revelation 11:15; 20:4). When Jesus returns as King of Kings, He will land exactly where He left from–the Mount of Olives, just east of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem (see Acts 1:9-12); Zechariah 14:4).

From that time forward, He will begin the healing process for the nations and teach people to obey God's laws–so much so that the knowledge of the true God will cover the earth as water now covers the seabeds! This wonderful time of peace and rebuilding is pictured for us in the book of Isaiah: "They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea" (Isaiah 11:9).

From the earliest days of Christianity, some Bible scholars have traditionally believed that God has allotted a time period of 7,000 years to deal with mankind. In this "7,000-year plan." Each day of the week is understood to represent 1,000 years, with the "seventh-day Sabbath" as the final millennium–the time when Jesus Christ will rule the earth and give it rest from the influence of Satan the devil.

The Day of the Lord sometimes refers to this 1,000-year period, as it is the "day" when the Lord will rule the earth. The apostle Peter seems to have been referring to this particular understanding in 2 Peter 3: "But beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise . . . But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night" (verse 8-10); see also Psalm 90:4).

The Bible also confirms the identification of the Millennium as a 1,000-year-long Sabbath day in the book of Hebrews. The author uses the keeping of the Sabbath as an illustration of the "rest" or reward that Christians are striving to enter.

"For there is a place where it is said, concerning the seventh day, ‘And God rested on the seventh day from all his works' . . .for if Y'hoshua [Joshua] had given them rest, God would not have spoken later of another ‘day.' So there remains a Shabbat-keeping [Sabbath keeping] for God's people. For the one who has entered God's rest has also rested from his own works, as God did from his. Therefore, let us do our best to enter that rest" (Hebrews 4:4, 8-11, Complete Jewish Bible).

So the Millennium itself, in some cases, is represented as a "day"–indeed, the Day of the Lord. Isaiah 19 and numerous other references in the prophetic books of the Bible describe the time when Jesus Christ will be ruling over the nations and teaching them His ways. The phrase "in that day" often occurs in these passages and should in this context be understood as meaning the Millennium–the day when the Lord rules the earth and all its nations!

But the Kingdom of God will not end after the 1,000 years are finished. In fact, God's Kingdom will have no end (Isaiah 9:7). Finally, then, the Day of the Lord meaning the time when the Lord will rule, can also be applied to what comes after the Millennium.

Eternity beyond

In the broadest sense, the Day of the Lord begins shortly before the Millennium starts and continues through the endless eons of time afterward–for all eternity. Daniel was told in no uncertain terms just what could happen: "But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever" (Daniel 7:18).

Adding a dual meaning to a passage we examined earlier in 2 Peter, the apostle seems to also include events beyond the Millennium–when the earth's surface and atmosphere are burned away–as part of the Day of the Lord (2 Peter 3:10).

Revelation 21 gives us a glimpse of the new heaven and earth that will replace what we know today: "now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven, saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God'" (verses 1-3).

So God the Father and Jesus Christ will dwell for all eternity with those who have been born into Their family! God proclaims, "He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be my son" (Revelation 21:7).

So, incredible as it may sound, each one of us has an awesome invitation from Almighty God, the great Creator of the universe, to spend His Day–all eternity–ruling with Him over the vast universe. What a day that will be! Are you ready for the Day of the Lord?

To more fully understand the Day of the Lord and how it fits in the overall picture of Bible prophecy, download or request your free copy of our study guide The Book of Revelation Unveiled.

- Rex Sexton

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