The church of Jesus Christ is a community of redeemed sinners bound to their Lord and to one another in the bond of love known as the covenant of grace. God gives Himself to them with the Holy Spirit to be their God and takes them as His people.
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” John 14:26
The covenant promise to the Jews was spelled out in Leviticus. “And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be my people.” Leviticus 26:12
Likewise, Christians belong to their covenant Lord: “None of us lives to himself and none of us dies to himself…whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s” (Romans 14:7–8). This also means that Christians are bound to one another and must think of themselves as part of a community.
Paul expresses this truth using the language of the body in Ephesians 4:25: “We are members of one another.” We are therefore to take our covenant brothers and sisters into account in all aspects of our Christian living. The covenant community is no place for rugged individualists. We must constantly be asking, “How will this affect other believers?”
If we love our covenant brothers and sisters, we will seek what is best for them, especially their growth in grace. This can be done in a positive way by exhortation and mutual encouragement. The writer to the Hebrews, after speaking of the blessings of the new covenant that are provided by the blood of Jesus, has this stirring call for God’s people:
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:24–25)
What Day is drawing near? The Day of the Lord
“For the day of the Lord is near upon all the nations. As you have done, it shall be done to you; your deeds shall return on your own head.” Obadiah 1:15
Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord! Why would you have the day of the Lord?Is not the day of the Lord darkness, and not light, and gloom with no brightness in it?” Amos 5:19-20
“Alas for the day! For the day of the Lord is near, and as destruction from the Almighty it comes.” Joel 1:15
“The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.”Joel 2:31
“The great day of the Lord is near, near and hastening fast; the sound of the day of the Lord is bitter; the mighty man cries aloud there. A day of wrath is that day, a day of distress and anguish, a day of ruin and devastation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of trumpet blast and battle cry against the fortified cities and against the lofty battlements.”Zephaniah 1:14
Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them on the day of the wrath of the Lord.” Zephaniah 1:18
“For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings.” Malachi 4:1
“And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, beforethe day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Acts 2: 19-21
“Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labour pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.” 1 Thessalonian 5:1-3
“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.” 2 Peter 3:10
All of the above Scriptures reveal that the awesome Day of the Lord is a time of intense judgement for unbelievers. However, Paul also tells us the good news about the awesome Day of the Lord: “Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me onthat day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:8
An important message for Christians on the words of warning Jesus spoke to the His disciples about how some Christians will be so enamoured with the things of this world that like Lot’s wife, they will not want to leave, look back and miss being taken up to heaven at The Rapture. Two angels lead Lot’s family out of Sodom and likewise God’s angels take the Saints to heaven to protect them from the Wrath of God that is poured out on an unrepentant world at the Trumpet and Bowl judgements.
“But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.” Genesis 19:26
“Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all— so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, let the one who is on the housetop, with his goods in the house, not come down to take them away, and likewise let the one who is in the field not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it.” Luke 17:28-32
Another excellent message from Nelson Walters. One you need to share widely with members of your church group.
Concerning “TheDay of the Lord“; in Thessalonians, Paul compresses the details for the purpose of giving a summary statement concerning coming judgement. He highlights the point that on that first day when Christ returns there will be two immediate consequent effects.
The saints will be delivered – The Rapture
“For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord” 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
and the wicked begin to be judged – Wrath of God
“when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.” 2 Thessalonians 1:7
Paul is not intending to describe the full account of the complex-whole of judgement elements which we see in Revelation. He does however, give us hope that, in the end, God’s righteousness will prevail and he assures the Thessalonians that there will certainly be a coming day of retribution for their persecutors.