Text: For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night (1Thess. 5:3).
The lections appointed for this Sunday focus on the great and terrible day of the Lord. The great and terrible day of the Lord is the day when Christ will make His triumphant return to the world in glory and power to judge the living and the dead. It is a day when everyone will receive his due reward for whatever he or she done (II Corinthian. 5:10, Rev. 22:12)
The great and terrible day of the Lord has some characteristics which are noteworthy.
(1) No one knows the time it will take place (Matthew 24:42)
(2) It will take place suddenly (I Thessalonians 5:3; II Peter 3:10)
(3) It is a day when rewards and sanctions will be dispensed (Revelation 22:12)
(4) It is an inescapable day (Revelation. 1:7)
These characteristic have their significance. Their significance lies in the fact that lack of information as regards the precise time of the Lord’s return will keep everyone watchful and prepared for the day as no one knows the time. Put in another way, to know the time will tempt some to be lazy in their Christian calling only to gear up when the time is fast approaching. It is to prevent complacency on the part of believers. The implication of the sudden coming of the Lord lies in the fact that it will make last minute preparation in form of repentance impossible. As everything will take place in a twinkling of an eye (I Corinthian 15:52). As the great and terrible day of the Lord is a day of reward and sanction, it will be a day of joy for some and weeping for others.
The great and terrible day of the Lord is real; and certain, even though some people have taken it lightly. What is slowing the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord is God’s mercy so that more sinners will repent and be saved (II Peter 3:8-9)
In view of the certainty of the great and terrible day of the Lord, let us always be steadfast, immovable always abounding in the work of the Lord as we know that our labour in the Lord is not in vain (I Corinthians 15:58)
It is never too late for anyone who has gone astray from the Lord to return to Him while He may be found, so that the great and terrible day of the Lord will not catch him/her unprepared.
That day wrath that dreadful day
When heaven and earth shall pass away
What power shall be sinners stay
How shriveling like a parched day.
Oh; on that day, that wrathful day
When man to judgment wakes from day
Be thou, O Christ, the sinner’s stay
Though heaven and earth shall pass away
The Very Revd Adewale Adebiyi Ph.D