The Day of the Lord

Richard Thetford

Peter, the apostle, writes some words which each one of us should take to heart. In 2 Peter 3:9-11 he writes: “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 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. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness.” In these verses Peter encourages each and every one of us to repent and live our lives here on this earth in holy conduct and godliness. Why? Because there will come a time that no man knows, when the Lord will return. When the Lord does return, we better be ready or we’ll burn in eternity. Let’s look at some key points concerning “the day of the Lord.”

How Do We Know “the day” Will Come?

Every Bible student knows that “the day of the Lord” will come simply because God said so. In 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 the apostle Paul wrote: “But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them.” Peter said that the day of the Lord would come in 2 Peter 3:10 and Jesus Himself told us: “But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matt 24:43-44). We learn from these scriptures that the day of the Lord will come but no man knows when it will come.

What Will Happen When “the day” Comes?

It should be plain by Peter’s explanation of the event that this means that the end of the world is taking place. When the earth is melted with fervent heat all will be destroyed. But what will happen to those that are righteous in the sight of God? The inspired writer Paul said: “deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus” (1 Cor 5:5). Those that are in sin should be made aware of their sin, that it is lawlessness to God (1 John 3:4). Being aware of sin (Rom 3:23), man must make themselves right before God so when the day of the Lord happens we can be saved. Truly there will be some that will rejoice when the Lord returns. In Paul’s letter to the Philippians he said: “holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain” (Phil 2:16). If we will strive to be obedient to the Word of the Lord while we live, then we can rejoice when Christ returns because we know that we have obeyed His Will (Matt 7:21).

How Should We Be Found When “the day” Comes?

If we are living as we should be living in holy conduct and godliness then we should be found looking forward to Christ’s second coming. “looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Pet 3:12-13). If we are walking in the light we have nothing to fear. However if we should be walking in darkness, which has NO fellowship with the light, then we better be concerned. If we are in darkness the day of the Lord will come upon us as a thief. Paul said: “But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief” (1 Thes 5:4). True disciples, lovers of Christ, will be ready for Jesus! Each Christian should possess a genuine desire to be found in favor with God when His Son returns. When we are walking in the light, favorably toward God then we will glory when the day of the Lord comes upon us.

How Can We Be Found Obedient When “the day” Comes?

For us to be ready to meet the Lord on His return we must prepare right now! We must get rid of sin in our life and be determined to follow the ways of the Lord. In Romans 12:1-2 it says: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” We must understand that heaven is the MOST important goal to obtain in our life. Understanding this, then how should we act? What must we do? We must transform ourselves, having our mind set on things above, not on things of the earth (Col 3:2). We must constantly live in such a way that we approve of only those things that are good and acceptable to God. Paul said that we “Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil” (1 Thes 5:21-22). The Christian must live their life in such a way as to show others that they are determined to live for Christ and not for man. The alien sinner, those not IN CHRIST, must get In Christ to be saved. The way to get IN Christ is through baptism (Gal 3:27). If you are not IN Christ why not do so today? “Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins” so you can be saved when “the day of the Lord” comes!