God's Wrath In The Day Of The Lord
“The day of the Lord is coming –
a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger.”
When the Bible talks about end times it often associates that period with a Cosmic Sign in the heavens where the sun and the moon are darkened, the stars fall and heavenly bodies are shaken. If we look at this Cosmic Sign, as mentioned in Matt. 24 and Acts 2, we can gather the following information:
Matt. 24:21 tells us that there will be.……….....Great Tribulation.
then AFTER the Great Tribulation
Matt. 24: 29 says that there will be………….....…A Cosmic Sign in the heavens.
Acts 2:20 also mentions this Cosmic Sign and
says that AFTER that sign it will be…..............The Day Of The Lord.
From this sequence of events we can see that the Great Tribulation is BEFORE the Cosmic Sign in the heavens and the Day Of The Lord is AFTER that sign. This of course means that the Great Tribulation and the Day Of The Lord are two separate time periods, separated by the Cosmic Sign.
The Great Tribulation and the Day Of The Lord are often thought of as being the same event but we can clearly see that they are not. Looking closer at Matt. 24, we see this flow of events -
1) The Antichrist will appear, v.15, and bring about the Great Tribulation, v.21.
2) Then the Cosmic Sign appears and Jesus returns to rescue His people, vs.29-31.
3) Then the Day Of The Lord begins as the nations mourn over Jesus' return in power, v.30.
The reason the nations mourn is because they know that God is about to pour out His wrath on them during the time known as the Day Of The Lord. Isa. 13:9 says, “See, the day of the Lord is coming – a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger – to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it”. Sinners will suffer greatly during the Day Of The Lord but Christians won't face God's wrath at all because Jesus will have already sent His angels to gather them to safety, as Matt. 24:30-31 tell us.
The book of Revelation parallels Matt. 24. Just like Matt. 24, Rev. 6:12-17 also say that after the Cosmic Sign appears all the world will be in great fear knowing that the Great Day Of Wrath has come. Then, again like Matt. 24, Rev. 7:9-14 show that Christians are rescued out of the Great Tribulation just before God begins to pour out His wrath during the earth shattering Trumpet and Bowl judgements, which start in Rev. 8. So, when we compare scripture with scripture, we see from Matt. 24, Acts 2 and Rev. 6-8 that the Day Of The Lord is a period of God's wrath against sinners and it occurs after the Cosmic Sign and after Christians are removed from the earth.
On the other hand, the Great Tribulation occurs before the Cosmic Sign and is a period of the Devil's wrath against Jews and Christians. Rev. 12:7-17 and Rev. 13:1-10 tell us that during the end times the Devil is filled with fury, after being cast down to the earth, and he gives his power to the Antichrist. The Antichrist will then have authority over the whole world and have the power to make war against Christians, severely persecuting them until Jesus returns.
So, the Day Of The Lord is a period of God's wrath against sinners while the Great Tribulation is a period of the Devil's wrath against Jews and Christians. Persecution during the Great Tribulation will be like never before (Matt. 24:21) and it will only end when Jesus returns to rapture His people. So, if we are to face this terrible time then we need to have a close walk with Jesus because He said, “At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other … the love of most will grow cold … but he who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Matt. 24:10-13). Only with Jesus as our strength and shield will we be able to stand firm to the end and be saved so we need to make sure that we have a close walk with the Lord otherwise we may be among those who turn away from the faith and are lost. Amen.
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