1 Thessalonians 5
The Day of the Lord
5:1 Now on the topic of times and seasons, brothers and sisters, you have no need for anything to be written to you. 5:2 For you know quite well that the day of the Lord will come in the same way as a thief in the night. 5:3 Now when they are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction comes on them, like labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will surely not escape. 5:4 But you, brothers and sisters, are not in the darkness for the day to overtake you like a thief would. 5:5 For you all are sons of the light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of the darkness. 5:6 So then we must not sleep as the rest, but must stay alert and sober. [emphasis mine]
These verses tell me that it is possible for a God-fearing Christian to discern the approximate time of Jesus Christ’s second coming. Not an exact time, but a general indication that the Lord’s return is near. I know many people have falsely predicted in the past that Christ is coming on this date or on that date, but I think based on these verses in Thessalonians, it is possible to know whether it is close at hand.
1. Look for the Last Trumpet:
15:51 Listen, I will tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed – 15:52 in a moment, in the blinking of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
[1 Corinthians 15:51-52; emphasis mine]
I highlighted two things in these verses:
1. we will all be changed; and
2. It will be at the last trumpet.
2. It is Well With My Soul:
I love how the Holy Spirit talks to me in sometimes the most subtle ways. One day I was doing the dishes (yes, it happens) and was listening to the Gaithers’ sing “It Is Well With My Soul” – what a great song! A couple lines of that song struck me. The lyrics go:
And the trump (i.e. trumpet) shall resound
And the Lord shall descend
It is well, It is well with my soul.
Suddenly I had a mental breakthrough, not a profound one, but still I think the Holy Spirit was trying to bring something rather obvious to my attention. That is: i) a trumpet will sound; and then ii) the Lord will descend. Well, I thought, if I can find the scriptural support for this powerful song, I can prove when Christians will be transformed into heavenly beings. Incidentally, the imminent rapture theory says nothing about a trumpet sounding before Christians are taken and transformed. This song talks about a trumpet sounding, which must be the last trumpet, before Christ returns to earth. What scripture provides support for those amazing lyrics?
Matthew 24: 29-31:
24:29 “Immediately after the suffering of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven will be shaken. 24:30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man arriving on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 24:31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet blast, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. [emphasis mine]
Notice The Trumpet Blast:
The Sun and Moon Will be Darkened:
Whenever you see a reference in the Bible to the sun and moon darkened or a day without light, this gives a signal to the reader that it is referring to the final Day of the Lord. There are many references in the Bible that describe what The Day of The Lord will be, and I encourage you to search out each one of them by looking at specific references to a darkened sun, moon, and stars. I believe that the Day of the Lord will soon take place. Like the traditionalists believe the rapture is near, I believe that the Day of the Lord is near. Why do I think the Day of the Lord is near? Well, let’s read one passage about the Day of the Lord to see what it will happen on that day.
Joel Chapter 3 [emphasis mine]:
The Lord Plans to Judge the Nations
I will enter into judgment against them there
concerning my people Israel who are my inheritance,
whom they scattered among the nations.
They partitioned my land,
They traded a boy for a prostitute;
they sold a little girl for wine so they could drink.
and brought my precious valuables to your own palaces.
removing them far from their own country.
I will repay you for what you have done!
They will sell them to the Sabeans, a nation far away.
Indeed, the Lord has spoken!
Judgment in the Valley of Jehoshaphat
“Prepare for a holy war!
Call out the warriors!
Let all these fighting men approach and attack!
and your pruning hooks into spears!
Let the weak say, ‘I too am a warrior!’
all you surrounding nations,
and gather yourselves to that place.”
to the valley of Jehoshaphat,
for there I will sit in judgment on all the surrounding nations.
Come, stomp the grapes, for the winepress is full!
The vats overflow.
Indeed, their evil is great!
for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision!
The heavens and the earth shake.
But the Lord is a refuge for his people;
he is a stronghold for the citizens of Israel.
The Lord’s Presence in Zion
dwelling on Zion, my holy mountain.
Jerusalem will be holy –
conquering armies will no longer pass through it.
and the hills will flow with milk.
All the dry stream beds of Judah will flow with water.
A spring will flow out from the temple of the Lord,
watering the Valley of Acacia Trees.
and Edom will be a desolate wilderness,
because of the violence they did to the people of Judah,
in whose land they shed innocent blood.
and Jerusalem will be secure from one generation to the next.
It is the Lord who dwells in Zion!
Who has ever heard of such a thing?
Who has ever seen such things?
Can a country be born in a day
or a nation be brought forth in a moment?
Yet no sooner is Zion in labor
than she gives birth to her children.
I’ve covered this before on this blog, but “Zion in labor” is descriptive of the Holocaust, where Hitler exterminated 6.5 million Jews. Out of that “labor”, the nation of Israel was re-established in the Holy Land in one day! That is history – it cannot be refuted.
We know that this is descriptive of the Day of the Lord because of what it says in verses 14 and 15: “the sun and moon are darkened; the stars withhold their brightness”, but what else can we see about the conditions leading up to that day?
Verse 4 : “Why are you doing these things to me, Tyre and Sidon? Are you trying to get even with me, land of Philistia? I will very quickly repay you for what you have done!”
Tyre and Sidon are two coastal cities still present in southern Lebanon. The land of Philistia was along the coast, south-west of Jerusalem – roughly where today’s Gaza strip is located. Ok, now we have to pay attention – what has happened in Lebanon and the Gaza strip in relation to God’s people Israel? Answer: The 2006 Lebanon war with Hezbollah, and constant battles in Gaza with Hamas, the democratically elected government of the Palestinians. These battles are happening today! If you follow the news of these regions at all, you’d know that Russia, Iran, and Syria are actively and fully arming Lebanon’s Hezbollah, and Hamas in Gaza . Russia has sold $300 million worth of arms to Syria, who is trying to destabilize the Lebanese, pro-western government via the Hezbollah. The Gaza is caching millions of dollars worth of weapons in underground tunnels. All signs point to a major battle or series of battles with Israel, which is Hamas’ and Hezbollah’s common enemy.
Here’s two points to consider:
1. God has gathered the nations around Israel. (see my earlier post )
2. Tyre, Sidon and Philistia have fully armed themselves in preparation for war with Israel. (Hezbollah rearms)
A third point I’d like to include here as well. It is more of a coincidental point, but one that I think should be considered nonetheless:
3. The time of the Gentiles, as described in Luke 21:24, ended in 1967. As I referenced two blog posts ago, Luke 21:24 says:
They [Israel] will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
Israeli Defense Forces took control of all Jerusalem after The 6-Day War lasting from June 5 to 10, 1967. Please decide for yourself and consider that this may just be a coincidence, but isn’t it interesting that Tyre, Sidon and Philistia have aligned themselves against God’s people on the 40th anniversary of The Six Day War. The Six Day War - when after 2,000 years of exile, the Israelites liberated all of Jerusalem, and thereby ended the “times of the Gentiles” and Gentiles would trample on Jerusalem no more from that point to eternity. I think we need to consider the significance of 40 years in the Bible. When I do a search on the phrase "forty years" in the NIV bible I get 42 "hits" or results. Probably the most significant forty year period was when Moses and the Israelites were led out of Egypt and wandered the desert for forty years. This begs the question - is there something symbolic and significant between:
a)the plagues that God sent the Egyptians and the subsequent forty years of Israel's wandering the desert before entering the Promised Land; and
b)the plagues mentioned in the book of Revelation and the New Jerusalem that will come down from heaven?
That is a very deep topic and I don't have insight on this possibility. Perhaps if somebody has some insight on this, they can post a comment.
The coming of the Son of Man (Jesus Christ’s second coming) could, could be very soon indeed. My earnest prayer is that everyone reading this post, will seriously consider the accuracy of God’s prophesies, and then consider the possibility of Christ’s imminent return. But most importantly consider the condition of your soul. Have you accepted Christ as Savior of your life? The time you have to decide and answer that question is possibly very short.
As a pastor of mine once said: “Even if Christ’s coming is not immediate, no one is guaranteed their next breath.” Those are very wise words to consider. May the Holy Spirit minister to your soul in these last days.