Lesson 7 - The Day of God

"I will come again."
John 14:3.

 

The second coming of Jesus Christ is the major theme of Bible prophecy, and the blessed hope of believers.

The day of His coming has been called "the day of Christ" in 2 Thessalonians 2:2, "the day of the Lord" in 2 Peter 3:10, and "the day of God" in 2 Peter 3:12.  It is also "the day of our Lord Jesus Christ" in 1 Corinthians 1:8.  Since our Lord Jesus Christ is God it is not inappropriate to call the day of His coming "the day of God."  This lesson is about the coming of Christ.

Jesus Christ will come again.  His coming will be personal.  It is "the Lord Himself" who will descend from heaven.  1 Thessalonians 4:16.  When He comes "we shall see Him as He is."  1 John 3:2.  His coming will be glorious.  "For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels...."  Matthew 16:27.  Today we should be looking for the "glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ."  Titus 2:13.  His coming will also be unexpected.  Jesus warned, "Therefore you also be ready for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect."  Matthew 24:44. 

Though we know the fact of His coming, no one knows the time of His coming except God the Father.  Jesus made this clear, when He said, "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."  Mark 13:32.  Before Jesus ascended to heaven He told His disciples, "It is not for you to know the times or seasons...."  Acts 1:7.

Jesus is coming again---personally, gloriously, and unexpectedly.  But why bother?  Isn't it enough that we just die and go to heaven?  What is the purpose of His coming?  What will happen when He comes?

 

The Revelation of His Grace

Ephesians 2:8, 9 are among the most loved verses in the entire Bible.  "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast."  We have learned that we are saved by grace or not at all.  The test of the gospel is grace. 

Now look at the previous verse, Ephesians 2:7, which says, "That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus."  In the ages to come, that is, throughout eternity God is going to display the exceeding riches of His grace.

Believer, when Jesus comes again, it will be to receive you, not only to the glories of heaven, but to Himself.  "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself...."  John 14:3.  You are a trophy of His grace.  He wants to put you on display, "...to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy."  Jude 24.  Jesus Christ "by the grace of God" tasted "death for everyone."  As a result, He is going to bring many sons to glory.  Hebrews 2:9, 10.  It is all of grace.  Yes, all of grace!

 

The Reward of His People

A basic Bible truth is that salvation is a gift, and rewards are earned.

The day of God is payday.  The prophet Isaiah prophesied, "Behold, the Lord God shall come with a strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work (or recompense) before Him."  Isaiah 40:10.  After Jesus said that He would build His church He added, "For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with angels, and then He will reward each according to his works."  Matthew 16:27.  Again, in Revelation 22:10 we read, "And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give everyone according to his work."  Works are rewarded.

When Jesus comes again, it will not be to judge the sins of believers.  Their sins were judged at the cross, where Jesus died for them.  Hebrews 9:28 says, "...Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many.  To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation."  But He will judge the works of believers.  Read 1 Corinthians 3:10-15.  Works that survive the fire of God's judgment will result in reward.  Works are important in the believer's life.  Titus 3:8.

 

The Retribution of the Ungodly

2 Thessalonians 1:3-8 is one of the longest sentences in the entire Bible.  It contains one of the strongest and most fearful warnings in the Scriptures.  Those who do not know God, that is, those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ will be severely judged when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven.  He will come "in flaming fire taking vengeance" on them.  2 Thessalonians 1:9 continues, "These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power."

Other verses related to this theme are Mark 9:44, 46, 48; John 3:36; Philippians 3:19; Hebrews 10:26-31; Revelation 20:11-15.

 

The Realization of His Promises

God always keeps His word.  Throughout the Old Testament the Lord made many promises to many people.  Much Bible teaching is based upon covenants that God made with Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, the nation of Israel, and David.  Some promises made were fulfilled in the first coming of Christ.  Others will be fulfilled when Jesus comes again.

The Old Testament prophets "testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow."  1 Peter 1:11.  They didn't understand that Jesus would come twice.  Looking back we understand, and can distinguish between His first coming in humility and His second coming in glory.

Most Old Testament promises were fulfilled literally.  However, most of these prophecies were not recognized until their fulfillment.  It is not unreasonable to believe that some prophecies related to His second coming will not be realized until He comes again.  Jesus told His disciples that they would be put out of the synagogues, and some would be killed.  John 16:4 is an important principle in understanding Bible prophecy.  "But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them."

The KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS, riding on that white horse in Revelation 20, is called "Faithful and True."  You can trust Him to honor all of His promises in His time.

 

The Restoration of All Things

When Jesus returns He will make all things right.  Peter's sermon in Acts 3 is appropriate.  "Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began."  Acts 3:19-21.

Peter has more to say about this.  After the dissolution of all things, he has a good word: "Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells."  2 Peter 3:10-13. 

In recent years a new school of prophetic interpretation has arisen.  Those who belong to this school have an uncomplicated view of Bible prophecy.  They call themselves "panmillennialists."  What do panmillennialists believe?  They believe that everything will pan out in the end.  They have read the final chapters of the Book, and believe in the restoration of all things.

The day of God is drawing near.  Look for His coming.  Live for His glory.  Love His appearing.

 
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