The Old Testament prophets spoke of the day of the Lord. On one hand the day of the Lord was to be welcomed as the goal of history.
On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples
a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines,
of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear.
And he will destroy on this mountain
the shroud that is cast over all peoples,
the covering that is spread over all nations;
he will swallow up death forever.
Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces,
and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the Lord has spoken. (Isaiah 25:6-8)
On the other hand, the day of the Lord will be terrible and fearsome for those who reject God.
Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord!
Why do you want the day of the Lord?
It is darkness, not light. (Amos 5.18)
For people who have rejected God’s grace, the day of the Lord will more resemble the message by Amos than Isaiah.
When Paul took up the theme of the day of the Lord, he first applied it to people who have turned away from God’s love and grace.
1 Thessalonians 5.1-3 – Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anything written to you.
For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
When they say, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them, as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape!
The key word for unbelievers is “sudden destruction.”
False prophets told their audience that humans could continue in their sins and still have peace with God.
Jeremiah condemned the message of the false prophets.
— Jeremiah 6.14 – They have treated the wound of my people carelessly, saying, “Peace, peace,” when there is no peace.
In line with the prophets, Paul taught that apart from a faithful relationship with Christ, there is no peace.
Paul echoed Jesus’ “thief in the night” wording: “But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into” (Luke 12.39).
Today’s worldview is quite secular and becoming more so each day. Answers to major questions skirt around a Jesus-kind-of-life answer.
At one time people asked, “What would Jesus do?”
Today, people ask “What would the current pop philosopher or psychologist do?” Or, “what would the wealthy and prosperous do?”
Paul’s 2000-year-old message needs to be as urgent as when he first wrote it.
Christians need to live in wise love, as my friend Rudy Ross puts it. The world needs love that reveals Jesus and his way of life.
Paul the Evangelist
Paul was an evangelist. Paul, the prophets, and Jesus grieved over humans who rejected God’s purposes for their lives.
He wrote these lines in 1 Thessalonians to encourage the church and to give them words to warn their non-believing associates.
In today’s YouTube video I quote Charles Spurgeon who said we should never talk about hell without tears in our eyes.
In another instance, Spurgeon said that if we believe that both heaven and hell are real, then we should make every possible effort to help others experience God’s love.
Tomorrow’s article will cover what Paul said to believers about the day of the Lord.
For now, let’s pray about how we can best reveal Jesus to our unbelieving friends.
Rudy Ross and I discuss this passage on YouTube today. It can be found on the Bob Spradling channel.
Please email your prayer request to email@example.com or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.