There have been many great and notable days in the history of this universe. It was a glorious day when God called Moses up on Mount Sinai and, while the lightning flashed and the voice of God shook the earth, gave him a code of laws to guide His people. Our own legal system is founded upon the Mosaic law, and the righteous principles of human government today may be traced to the law written by the finger of God upon the tables of stone.
It was a significant day when Jesus stood upon the Mount of Transfiguration in company with Moses and Elijah. We are told that his face did shine as the sun and his raiment was white as the light. It was on that day that Jehovah acknowledged Christ as His Son for the second time, and called upon all men to hear Jesus rather than Moses or Elijah.
It was a momentous day when the Son of God bowed his head and surrendered his life upon the cross of Calvary. The earth shook, the rocks were rent, and the sun refused to give her light Paul interprets the meaning of this tragic day by saying, “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he, by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Heb. 2:9).
Surely it was a great day and one fraught with hope and joy when the Lord arose from the grave and appeared to His faltering followers. Paul says that He was “declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Rom. 1:4). Humanity can now rejoice over the triumphant resurrection of that day, and say, “Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept (1 Cor. 15:20).
The “Day Of The Lord” Is Future
Peter describes a great day—“the day of the Lord”—which is yet future. This day is a matter of prophecy rather than history. It looms upon the horizon of humanity and constitutes an inevitable appointment for every man; “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment; so Christ was once offered to hear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation” (Heb. 9:27-28).
Will Come Unexpectedly
One of the clearest and most positive points of teaching relative to the Second Coming of Christ is that it will be unexpected. “The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night” (2 Pet. 3:10).
The time of his coming is one of the secret things that belong to God; it has never been revealed to any man (Deut. 29:29). He may come within the next twenty-four hours, or he may not come within the next twenty-four centuries. Jesus said, “But of that day and hour knoweth no one, not even the angels of heaven, neither the Son, but the Father only” (Matt. 24:36). Let a few fanatics come, however, announcing a date set by some visionary zealot, and many will believe them. That Jesus will not come in the hour expected by some religious cult is one of the few things that we can positively know regarding the time of his coming; for He says, “In an hour that ye think not the Son of Man cometh” (Matt. 24:44).
When Jesus comes it will be just as much a surprise to this old world as the flood was to the wicked ones who were swept away in the days of Noah. (Matt. 24: 37-39)
What Will Occur At His Coming
Peter sets forth some of the events of that hour when the day of the Lord dawns upon a doomed and startled universe:
(1). The heavens will pass away with a great noise.
(2). The elements will melt with fervent heat.
(3). The earth will be burned up.
(4). Paul adds to this that the world will be judged at that appointed day. (Acts 17:31)
(5). Jesus said all the dead would be raised in that same hour. (John 5:28-29)
(6). It will be a day of eternal separations; it will also be a day of rewards and retributions. (Matt. 25; Rev. 20)
Peter’s Exhortation On Preparation
There is no finer instruction than that given by the apostle Peter as a climax to this solemn lesson relative to the “Day of the Lord.’ Having warned them of the unbelieving scoffers who would come with mockery, denying the day of the Lord, he says
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shell be dissolved with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing that these things are thus all to be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy living and godliness, looking for and earnestly desiring the coming of the day of God, by reason of which the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for these things, give diligence that ye may be found in peace, without spot and blameless in his sight. Ye, therefore, beloved, knowing these things beforehand, beware lest, being carried away with the error of the wicked, ye fall from your own steadfastness. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 8:10-18).
Are you ready? The Lord will descend, and what then?