Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Joel and 2 Peter 3 – The Day of the Lord

Revelation describes a time period known as “the day of the Lord”.  The Old Testament is full of prophecies for this time period.  It is called “in that day”, “in the latter days”, and “the day of the Lord”.  Jesus used the terms “last day” and “day of judgment”.  Exactly what is “the day of the Lord”?  It is God’s judgment on the world and the deliverance of His people.  It’s not a single day, but an event.  It’s fulfillments of prophecy that happens in phases.  The final phase or judgment will be unlike anything we have ever seen. 

Joel 1 – 2:1-27 – Locust Plague, Call for Repentance

Joel describes “the day of the Lord” as a severe plague of locust that eat everything.  The fields are ruined; the ground is dried up; the grain is destroyed; farmers are in despair; harvests are destroyed; the vine is dried up; the trees are dried up; the grain offerings have been cut off; priests are mourning.  There is no joy on earth.  Even the animals seem to know it’s a sad time.  Joel appeals to the drunkards, the people, the priests and to the elders.  He calls for repentance of all the people.

This destruction is brought about because of man’s sin and Joel calls for repentance.  God has rules and we must obey.  The Scriptures tell us throughout that we can escape God’s wrath by repenting, believing and trusting in Jesus alone.  We can be saved.  He will always forgive our sin and remember them no more, if we repent and return to Him.

God shows He is full of compassion and grace.  By repenting the Lord will restore everything.  He will take pity on His people and send them grain and new wine enough to satisfy them.  The pastures and trees will be green again.  He will repay them for the locust years.  He will drive the armies far from them.  The people will rejoice in the Lord and know that He is the Lord their God.  Then He will pour out His Spirit on all who believe. 

Joel 2:28-32 – Spirit Poured Out

God promised to pour out His spirit on all people who respond to His call.  The Holy Spirit is the 3rd person in the Trinity and has always been active in history.  Acts 2 tells of the Holy Spirit pouring out on all believers at Pentecost.    The Holy Spirit is active in the world and has been throughout history.  Gen. 1:2 tells us He is the Creator.  John 3:3-8 tells us to see the kingdom of God you must be born of water and the Spirit.  John 16 tells us He is our Counselor.  Acts 2:1-13 tells us the Holy Spirit filled all the believers at Pentecost.  2 Peter 1:21 tells us Scripture was not written by men’s interpretation, but by the Holy Spirit. 

The Holy Spirit was sent to convict the world of quilt.  (John 16:7-11).  He applies the truths of God into our minds.  Once we are saved and belong to God, the Spirit resides in our hearts forever.  Gal. 5:22-23 tells us He begins harvesting His fruit in our lives – the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  He is at work in our lives as He guides us to do the right things, help us make the right decisions, prompts us as to what to say and do. 

It is important that Scripture remind us of the last days, because judgment is coming and people need to repent before it’s too late.  Jesus will return.  That is a fact and we need to be ready.  God promises if we call on the name of the Lord we will be saved. (Joel 2:32)  Then we don’t have to worry or fear the future, because we are sealed forever with the seal of God.  We are His and no one can take us from Him.

Joel 3 – Nations Judge, People Blessed

God controls the destiny of nations and He will be the judge.  On that terrible day it will be too late to decide to follow God.  The time for the decision to follow Him, is NOW!  There will be no escape.  God will restore Judah and Jerusalem and He will judge the nations who were against them.  (Joel 3:17, Rev. 11:8).  Then God will bless His people and Jerusalem will be holy and never again be invaded.  (Joel 3:17-21).  This will be the Millennial Reign referred to in Revelation. 

2 Peter 3 – Be Prepared

Peter tells us when “the day of the Lord” comes there will be scoffers - people who mock Christianity.  They will insult and criticize believers.  This is happening now, but we are to make every effort to be found spotless and blameless and at peace with God so when the day of the Lord comes we will be ready.  We don’t know when Jesus will return.  It could be today or next week.  God’s timing is not our timing.  “… With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.  The Lord is not slow in keeping is promise, as some understand slowness.  He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”2 Peter 3:9. 

God created time and is not limited by it.  Earth’s time is limited and God governs the schedule.  He is waiting for more people to repent, but He won’t wait forever.  He has defined a day when His final judgment will come to the earth.  The time is near.   I have heard that if a 1,000 years is like a day to God then Jesus has been gone only 2 days.  That’s something to think about.

These unbelievers have forgotten the God is the Creator and has a plan.  He is in charge and no one can escape His judgment.  They have forgotten or just don’t want to admit that Jesus is the only way to the kingdom of God.   “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.” - John 14:6

How are you resisting God’s truths in Scripture?
How are you preparing for Jesus’ return?

The Bible leaves no doubt this earth as we know it will end and Revelation makes that truth clear.  Now that you know the ending.  Will you choose to live a godly life?

Join me next week as we continue our study in Revelation 6.  Hope to see you here.


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