Children of the Light – Day of the Lord
By Ronald Graham
“But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.” 1 Thessalonians 5:1-5.
If you are a born again child of God, you are one of the children of light spoken of by the Apostle Paul in the last verse above, therefore you cannot, and will not, be overtaken as a thief would overtake the unsuspecting. Why won’t you be among the crowd that will be overcome with sudden destruction? The “Day of the Lord” mentioned in verse 2 above is referring to the day of God’s wrath. The title given us (Christ’s Church) is “children of light” if you are in the “Light” category you are “In Christ” therefore you will not be on earth when God pours out His wrath on this Christ rejecting world.
In the book of Isaiah, the prophet speaks numerous times of the “Day of the Lord”. One such verse that really catches the eye is “Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.” Isaiah 13:9. When the Lord comes back to earth this time He won’t come as a suffering servant, but as a conquering King. He will come with cruel wrath and fierce anger to destroy all who’ve rejected Him. Isaiah doesn’t mince words; the reader knows exactly what God’s actions will be when He once again sets physical foot on planet earth.
It is Paul’s intention to explain further to the Thessalonian Church that they are not part of those who dwell in darkness; therefore they will not experience the “Day of the Lord”. Paul starts off using words like “you” and “yourself” in verse 2 of 1 Thessalonians 5, speaking of the church. Then he changes to “they” and “them” referring to those who’ve spent their lives dwelling in darkness – those who’ve had no use for Jesus Christ their entire lives. For when “they” shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon “them”, as travail upon a woman with child; and “they” shall not escape.
Those who choose to remain in darkness will be left here on earth to contend with God’s fierce anger. We who are born again – although just as deserving of God’s punishment as those who dwell in darkness – will never face a moment of God’s wrath. How thankful are we that Jesus was willing to sacrifice Himself on that cross. He took all of our sins and nailed them to that cross. The sin of the world nailed and forgotten, but only those who are born again are forgiven.
“Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.” Isaiah 26:20-21. When the children of light are safely hidden and the door is shut, then the indignation will come. For the children of light, paradise will be our staging area whilst “the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth”.
“For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.” Isaiah 13:10-11. Those folks who will be left to deal with God’s wrath will first be plunged into darkness – darkness will be the norm around the world. Then God will punish them for their evil, wicked ways. Those arrogant enough to reject His free gift of salvation even going as far as to say there is no God – that we all evolved from pond scum – will immediately be reminded of their foolishness.
“Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.” Joel 3:14. This verse has been used by pastors as a draw to those who still need to make a decision for Christ. But, in all actuality, time has run out for the multitudes left standing in this valley. Since the valley of decision is the location of the battle of Armageddon it’s not some sort of safe haven or a place to finally make up your mind one way or the other concerning Jesus Christ. Joel is referring to this valley as a valley of judgment – by this time, if you haven’t made a decision to believe and accept God’s free gift of salvation, it’s too late. God’s judgment has come.
“The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:” Acts 2:20. Notice the word “before” in this verse, darkness will reign supreme even before “that great and notable Day of the Lord” comes barreling down on this wicked, perverse generation. Yes, this generation.
“The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness… And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD’S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.” Zephaniah 1:14-15, 17-18. Many times in the Old Testament we see prophecy with dual fulfillment. King Josiah inherited a corrupt nation from his father Amon and grandfather Manasseh, a nation almost wholly given over to idolatry (2 Kings 21:3-7). Here God announces judgment against the idol worshippers in Israel. Although Zephaniah speaks of how God will judge a rebellious Judah, a future fulfillment is also in view here. God will once again judge the wicked earth dwellers – neither their gold nor silver will do them any good in the “Day of the Lord”. This prophecy is about to be fulfilled, God’s wrath is about to be poured out on a Christ rejecting world. No one, in their right mind, should desire to see and be a part of the final fulfillment of Zephaniah’s prophecy.
“For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.” Malachi 4:1. All of these prophets are speaking of the same future event. It’s the “Day of the Lord”; it’s the wrath of God being poured out on a generation that has thoroughly rejected God and His Christ and turned to wickedness (as in the days of Noah), and to postpone His wrath God would only be allowing all humanity to destroy themselves. “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” Matthew 24:21-22. The elect are those who have become followers of Jesus Christ during the Great Tribulation. We, the Church, will be watching from the mezzanine.
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9. Here we’re told of God’s patience – that He is longsuffering to us-ward. This means that God is slow to anger – slow to punish. But don’t forget that He is not slack concerning His promise. “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” 2 Peter 3:9-10.
Throughout His Word, God places so much emphasis on the approaching “Day of the Lord” that for us to merely relegate it to allegory, or shrug it off as a future event unimportant to us today is foolishness and completely misses His point. He’s made a promise that His wrath will be unleashed. Yes, God is longsuffering to us-ward but He’s trying to get the point across to everyone who has an ear to hear with that although He is slow to anger and slow to punish, His anger will eventually be poured out and soon, but only on those who’ve rejected His free gift of salvation.
At this point you might want to do some real soul searching to be absolutely sure just where you stand in relation to the Creator of the universe. Have you heard the Gospel of Christ? Have you believed? Have you placed Jesus Christ first in your life? Or is there an idol in that most important place in your heart?
The Children of the Light/Day, are all those who have placed their faith and trust in Jesus the Christ alone for salvation. We are those who will be caught up to be with the Lord prior to “Day of the Lord” (the wrath of God).
Many folks disagree when it comes to this mystery we refer to as the Rapture of the Church, but as seemingly old and tired as the cliché becomes it’s still just as appropriate today as we’re continually confronted by the naysayers. We simply tell them not to worry; we’ll explain it to them on the way up.
God bless you all,
All scripture is from the KJV and God breathed