From popular movies to predictions over the ages, uncertainty has clouded the topic of the “end times.” Will born-again believers experience the period of wrath of the Book of Revelation? To answer this question, let’s go to God’s Word to search the Scriptures and see, What does the Word say?
In the Book of Revelation, the Apostle John foretold of events of the future, which would culminate in a new heaven and a new earth where only righteousness dwells. Before that new heaven and earth, there would be a time period including judgment, wrath, and tribulation. The first chapter of Revelation sets the context for this revelation.
Revelation 1:1 and 10:
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John.
I [John] was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.
God gave John revelation regarding “things which must shortly come to pass,” some time in the future “on the Lord’s day.”
The Lord’s Day, or the Day of the Lord, does not refer to a day of the week. As seen elsewhere in God’s Word, it is a period of time in the future when God will execute His perfect justice: He will right all wrongs. And His Son, Jesus Christ, will rule on earth in righteousness, power, and glory, ultimately subjecting himself to God, “that God may be all in all” (I Corinthians 15:28). There are many references to this period of time throughout God’s Word. For our study, we’ll look at two occurrences in Isaiah.
Isaiah 2:11 and 12:
The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.
For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low.
The Day of the Lord is a time that “the Lord alone shall be exalted” and the “proud and lofty” will be humbled.
Isaiah 13:6 and 11:
Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.
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.
E. W. Bullinger writes about “the day of the Lord” in The Companion Bible:
“The day of the Lord” is the day when everything done will be to abase man and exalt Jehovah. Now it is “man’s day”…, when man exalts himself, and bows God out of the world He has created.
I Corinthians 15 speaks of the final point of this end time when Christ shall be king of kings and lord of lords.
I Corinthians 15:22-28:
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.
Then cometh the end [the final point], when he [Christ] shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith, all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.
And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
The context of the Book of Revelation is the Lord’s Day, a period of time in the future when God alone will be exalted. At points during the Lord’s Day, there will be wrath, tribulation, and judgment. How do these future events relate to born-again believers today?
According to Thessalonians, the Lord Jesus Christ shall return for his Church, the born-again believers, and this will occur before any of the events of the Lord’s Day.
I Thessalonians 4:16 and 17:
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 [the born-again believers who have fallen asleep] shall rise first:
Then we which are alive and remain [the living born-again believers] shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
This is known as the return of Christ for his Church, also referred to in the Word as the “gathering together” (II Thessalonians 2:1) and the departure, translated as “a falling away” (II Thessalonians 2:3)….
This is an excerpt from the September/October 2011 issue of The Way Magazine.
Copyright© 2011 by The Way International. All rights reserved.
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