and God’s work in it.
The most significant event in human history is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The story of this event permeates the text of Scripture. The creation account shows us God’s sovereignty over His creation. The fall shows us why we need a savior. The history of Israel shows two significant things: 1) the historical context of the coming of the Son of God incarnate, and 2) humanity’s inability to save itself through works, thus, its need for a savior.
The gospels tell the story of Jesus the Savior on earth, and much of the rest of the New Testament teaches how to live in this age in light of Jesus’ work on our behalf. The prophecies of the Bible, particularly in Daniel and Revelation but also elsewhere, show what Jesus as Savior is saving us to (eternal paradise) and from (eternal damnation in hell).
The story of Jesus saturates the metanarrative of the Bible, and prophecies of His first advent are found throughout the Old Testament. Allusions to Him also come up in micro ways, as many people and events hint at the work He would accomplish. One scholar, J. Barton Payne, has found as many as 574 verses in the Old Testament that somehow point to or describe or reference the coming Messiah. Alfred Edersheim found 456 Old Testament verses referring to the Messiah or His times. Conservatively, Jesus fulfilled at least 300 prophecies in His earthly ministry.
So, the question of how many prophecies Jesus fulfilled is difficult to answer with precision. Should we count only direct messianic prophecies? Do we count repeated prophecies twice? How about allusions and indirect references to the ministry of Christ? And what about types? A type is a prophetic symbol: a person or thing in the Old Testament that foreshadows a person or thing in the New Testament. So, while Isaiah prophesies the Lord will offer good news for the brokenhearted (Isaiah 61:1), Boaz lives this out, acting as a type of Christ (Ruth 4:1–11).
The day of Christ is a prophetic event specifically referenced three times in the New Testament; the apostle Paul speaks of “the day of Christ,” “the day of Jesus Christ,” and “the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Other New Testament passages may allude to the day of Christ, but the use of this phraseology is unique to Paul’s writings. Let us examine these three passages within their proper scriptural context. The first is Philippians 1:3–6:
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ (ESV).
Besides assuring Christian believers of their eternal security, this passage teaches that the day of Christ marks the time when our sanctification will be complete. At long last, we will enjoy sinless perfection and dwell in resurrected, immortal, glorified bodies. In reference to this same bright future, John wrote, “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2, ESV).
The next mention of “the day of Christ” is in Philippians 2:14–16:
Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain (ESV).
From this passage, we can be assured that the difficulties believers face in a hostile, godless world will pass and that, in the day of Christ, the struggles will end for those who persevere. In another passage, the apostle Paul writes, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9, ESV).
The third and final of Paul’s references to “the day of Christ” is found in 1 Corinthians 1:4–8:
I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge—even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you—so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ (ESV).
Again, the apostle Paul assures all believers of their eternal hope, for when the day of Christ comes, they will be counted among the redeemed. This blessed hope is also expressed in our Lord’s words, “And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day” (John 6:39, ESV).
The day of Christ points to the time when our struggles end and victory over sin and death is no longer a promise, but a glorious reality. We believe the day of Christ begins at the rapture of the church and continues through the millennial reign. The day of Christ is a time of lavish promises fulfilled and decisive victories achieved—a time when believers no longer walk by faith but by sight, for our enemies will be our Lord’s footstool (Psalm 110:1).
The day of Christ is related to but probably distinguished from the day of the Lord. The day of the Lord is a time of judgment in which God pours out His consuming wrath upon a hostile, rebellious, unbelieving world:
Alas for the day!
For the day of the Lord is near,
and as destruction from the Almighty it comes (Joel 1:15, ESV)
Wail, for the day of the Lord is near;
as destruction from the Almighty it will come! (Isaiah 13:6)
Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord!
Why would you have the day of the Lord?
It is darkness, and not light (Amos 5:18, ESV)
For the day of the Lord is near upon all the nations.
As you have done, it shall be done to you;
your deeds shall return on your own head (Obadiah 1:15, ESV)
The day of the Lord is a time of worldwide judgment; the day of Christ has to do with believers meeting Christ and receiving their heavenly inheritance. Thankfully, God’s people will not face the unleashing of God’s righteous fury when the day of the Lord comes (I Thessalonians 5:9). The day of the Lord is reserved for unrepentant sinners who refuse God’s mercy. The haughty and proud rebels who snub His mercy must face His judgment. By contrast, the day of Christ is a time of hope and promise and, indeed, a day of celebration. May we join King David in singing,
“I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord” (Psalm 40:1–3, ESV).
THE DAY OF THE LORD – THE RETURN OF JESUS CHRIST
In searching the scriptures it is impossible to separate The Day of the Lord and the return of Jesus Christ. They are intertwined. The Bible speaks repeatedly concerning the Day of the Lord, when Jesus Christ, the root of Jesse, also called the Branch, shall return as King of kings and this time he will be exalted and respected. He will execute justice and righteousness over the entire earth.
For Christians, comfort can be found in these words from Isaiah, “Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut the 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) But, for those who are NOT His, this will be a day of vengeance, of darkness and sorrow.
Some of these scriptures seem scary, but remember He is not mad at his own. Read over these scriptures and the scriptures surrounding them in the Bible and ask yourself, will I be in darkness and gloom, during that time or, will I be one of the comforted who will be glad and rejoicing?
In Revelation, the final book in the Bible, Jesus warns three times for emphasis that He is coming quickly.
Scriptures relating to the Day of the Lord and the return of Jesus Christ.
At that time Jesus Christ will receive the honor and respect that is His.
At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 17:7)
And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God, we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD, we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation. (Isaiah 25:9)
Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that speak; behold, it is I. (Isaiah 52:6)
This will be a day of vengeance for some and a day of comfort for others.
To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; (Isaiah 61:2)
He will be a King who brings about justice in the earth.
Behold the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. (Jeremiah 23:5)
The Day of the Lord is also described by Jeremiah as the day of Jacob’s Trouble.
Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it. For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him: But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them. Jeremiah 30:7-9
Daniel saw Jesus’ return in visions.
I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. (Daniel 7:13)
Zachariah speaks of this time of joy when Jesus will dwell on the earth and many nations will be joined to him.
Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD And many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto thee. (Zechariah 2:10-11)
Zachariah also informs us that Jesus feet will stand on the Mount of Olives.
And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. (Zechariah 14:4-5)
Again, He will be King and Lord over the entire earth.
And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one. (Zechariah 14:9)
Joel also describes the day of the Lord.
Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come. (Joel 1:15)
Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand; (Joel 2:1)
And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it? (Joel 2:11)
The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD come. (Joel 2:31)
Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. (Joel 3:14)
Amos speaking to those who do not really believe he is coming.
Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light. (Amos 5:18)
Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it? (Amos 5:20)
And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord GOD, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day: (Amos 8:9)
Obadiah warns that in the end everyone who is evil will get their just reward.
For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head. (Obadiah 1:15)
Malachi also that Jesus at that time is going to clean house.
But who may abide the day of his coming? And who shall stand when he appearth? For he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: (Malachi 3:2)
In the gospels we find that Jesus spoke often of his return and the Day of the Lord.
For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. (Matthew 16:27)
For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west: so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (Matthew 24:27)
But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark. (Matthew 24:37-38)
The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in and hour that he is not aware of. (Matthew 24:50)
Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. (Matthew 25:13)
When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: (Matthew 25:31)
Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. (Mark 8:38)
For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day. (Luke 17:24)
Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. (Luke 17:26-30)
Paul spoke of the return of Jesus in the book of Thessalonians.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: (1st Thessalonians 4:16)
The book of Jude describes Enoch who at the very beginning spoke of Jesus coming with thousands of angels.
Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones. (Jude 1:14)
Jesus warns three times in the book Revelation that He is coming quickly.
Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. (Revelation 3:11)
Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. (Revelation 22:7)
And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. (Revelation 22:12)
(Additional scriptures you may want to check out) Isaiah 11:10, Isaiah 12:4, Jeremiah 33:15, Ezekiel 48:35, Hosea 2:16, Zachariah 14:20, plus there are many more which are not listed here)
WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED?
We have learned that there is a Day of the Lord coming when Jesus Christ will return and rule the entire world in righteousness. Some will be rejoicing and some will be in darkness.