1 Thessalonians 5:2-4 “For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 3For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 4But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.”
The day of the Lord will be EPIC!
The term, epic, is often misplaced when referencing events such as a good movie or a fun day at the park. The term itself is more connected to a heroic story or something that is heroic or grand. We use all kinds of words that overstate the situation, such as awesome, great, or even the term good are used in ways that exaggerate a position or person that has not been justified.
The day of the Lord will be a day that will be marked by a complete shift in all that the world thought was true. The event will be an epic moment that all of Christendom has awaited for millennia.
What events characterize such a prolific moment?
Zephaniah 1:14 “The great day of the LORD is near; It is near and hastens quickly. The noise of the day of the LORD is bitter; There the mighty men shall cry out.”
This epic day, is a day that is immanent, in other words, there is no prophecy that must occur before it will happen. The day will unfold differently for two groups of people. For those who follow Jesus and those who don’t. The events that will subsequently transpire will be dramatically different for these two groups, one jubilation and rejoicing, the other agony and despair.
To those who have chosen their own sense of righteousness, those who have chosen other god’s, those who have relied on intellect or knowledge and those who have rejected Jesus as Lord and Savior, that day will be great terror. The prophecy of Zephaniah is one that paints a sordid picture of immense suffering.
Zephaniah 1:15-16 “That day is a day of wrath,
A day of trouble and distress,
A day of devastation and desolation,
A day of darkness and gloominess,
A day of clouds and thick darkness,
16A day of trumpet and alarm
Against the fortified cities
And against the high towers.”
The images that are used are descriptive enough, no words need to be added. The fortified cities represent those who have attempted to secure safety for themselves. The high towers are places of refuge and strength. There will be no fleeing from this day of great wrath, the sin and rebellion of mankind will be realized and there will be no place to hide.
Zephaniah 1:17 “I will bring distress upon men,
And they shall walk like blind men,
Because they have sinned against the Lord;
Their blood shall be poured out like dust,
And their flesh like refuse.”
Blindness has always been illustrative of spiritual darkness. Those who will be suffering the wrath of God will not even understand what is going on. The blind will simply perish in their blindness—-without excuse. The love of God that was poured out for the sins of the world, they rejected. They had opportunity to see and chose the lesser.
Zephaniah 1:18 “Neither their silver nor their gold
Shall be able to deliver them
In the day of the Lord’s wrath;
But the whole land shall be devoured
By the fire of His jealousy,
For He will make speedy riddance
Of all those who dwell in the land.”
All of the wealth of the world, the retirement accounts and pensions, all that people thought would bring security will amount to nothing. The silver and gold, will be worthless, what was suppose to bring comfort will only be a false hope.
Zephaniah 1:10-11 “And there shall be on that day,” says the Lord,
“The sound of a mournful cry from the Fish Gate,
A wailing from the Second Quarter,
And a loud crashing from the hills.
11Wail, you inhabitants of Maktesh!
For all the merchant people are cut down;
All those who handle money are cut off.”
“The spiritual meaning of the Fish Gate follows after the Sheep Gate, where redemption in the blood of the Lord Jesus begins with fishing for men; in other words, preaching of the Gospel about the Lord Jesus. Jesus Christ said that He will make from His disciples fishers of men. The Fish Gate means the preaching of the Gospel and fishing for men to bring into the kingdom of God.”
The cry from the fish gate is not only of the loss of commerce and wealth but the result of rejecting the gospel, those who must endure this day of terror will experience the fullness of God’s wrath.
Zephaniah 1:8-9 “ And it shall be,
In the day of the Lord’s sacrifice,
That I will punish the princes and the king’s children,
And all such as are clothed with foreign apparel.
9In the same day I will punish
All those who leap over the threshold,
Who fill their masters’ houses with violence and deceit.
All of the world, at least those “of the world”, will endure the misery of this day, every level of society, rich and poor, powerful and the weak. Thieves, looters, rioters, those inclined to violence, will receive their just reward.
That leaves us with the sheep. Those who have placed their hope in the Lord. Those who love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind and strength.
Zephaniah 1:7 “Be silent in the presence of the Lord God;
For the day of the Lord is at hand,
For the Lord has prepared a sacrifice;
He has invited His guests.”
Every mouth will be stopped before the Lord. All excuses will be rendered obsolete. We who have accepted His invitation to dine at His table, to celebrate with the Lamb of God, have kept our lamps burning, in anticipation for the return of the bridegroom.
1 Thessalonians 5:4-10 “But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. 7For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. 9For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.
So, if you are a member of the Kingdom of God, this day will not overtake you unexpectedly. Like the virgins keeping their candles lit in the window, awaiting the return of the bridegroom who was preparing her house, we await the Lord’s return with eager expectation. Jesus said that He goes to prepare a place for you, and that He will return and receive you unto Himself.
In Matthew 25, Jesus likewise illustrates the faithful servants for whom He returns, who used their talents wisely and were faithful until His return.
Matthew 25:29-30 “For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
What we have been given, is the promise of the Holy Spirit. All that the world has, pride, power, position, will be removed.
All there that there is in life is found in Jesus. No amount of striving to preserve our planet, our culture, or our bodies will last, they will all come to nothing. Keep your eyes on that which is eternal. Look to the heavens and see that your salvation draws near. The signs are everywhere. The hour is upon us.