Text: Zephaniah 1:14-15
The Day of the Lord was usually referred to by ancient Israelites as the time when God would intervene in the affairs of mankind, righting the wrong and establishing his just rule on earth.(Isa. 2:12-19, Zeph. 1:14-16)
Although the day of the Lord was usually considered to be something terrifying, yet the ancient Israelites often looked forward to it. The reason was that they believed that God was going to punish their enemies and bring in for them a golden age (Zeph. 3:16-20; Jer. 46:10). Unfortunately, they failed to realise that in that day, God would punish all sinners, including Israelites and save the faithful regardless of National and social status (Joel 2:30-32, Amos 5:18).
In addition, the prophets of Israel also presented catastrophic events, such as flood, earthquake, locust plague, famine or war, as the day of the Lord (Joel 1:15-16). That such catastrophic happening was only a forerunner and at the same time a guarantee of the great and final day of the Lord.
Jesus Christ’s first coming was, in a sense, a day of the Lord, for through Christ, God intervened in the affairs of mankind to conquer Satan, deal with sin and proclaim his kingdom (Matt. 3:11-12; 4:14-17).
It should be noted that the last days had begun. They will reach the climax when Christ returns at the end of the age to purge the world of sin and bring his full implementation of his kingdom (Matthew 24:29-31).
Christ’s people have always suffered persecution, but before the final great day of the Lord that persecution will become more severe (Matt. 24:5-14; John 16:33). The spirit of anti-Christ, which has always been in the world, will express itself in a final great rebellion against God. There will be all sorts of pressure, both subtle and open; to force Christians to abandon their faith in Christ (2Thes. 2:1-7).
In a series of devastating judgments, God will pour out his wrath upon rebellious man. God will not pour out his wrath upon his own people but on the contrary he will protect them from it.
Yet the rebels, instead of turning to God in repentance, will hate him and persecutes his people even the more. The persecution will be so severe that, for the sake of the Elect, God will shorten the day of his wrath. Although some believers will be killed for their faith in Christ, as far as God is concerned not one will be lost. (Matt 24:22, Rev. 6: 9-11).
Christ’s return will be a day of fierce Judgment that will result in a separation between the wicked and the righteous. For one it will be a day of wrath and for the other a day of salvation.
The question is how prepared are you for this fearful, terrible and awesome Day of the Lord? Even as the Advent approaches?
Very Revd Adewale Adebiyi