The Day of Christ

Introduction

The phrase “the day of Christ” or “the day of the Lord Jesus” is unique to the Apostle Paul. Paul also called the day of Christ “that day” in his last letter. The phrases are found in 1 Corinthians 1.8, 3.13, 5.5; 2 Corinthians 1.14; Philippians 1.6, 10, 2.16; 2 Timothy 1.18, 4.8.

On the other hand, the phrase “the day of the Lord” (also called “that day”) is common throughout the Old Testament. The prophets referred constantly to it. In the New Testament, the Lord Jesus Christ, Paul, and Peter referred to it. Some of the passages are the following: Isaiah 2.12, 13.6, 9; 34.8; Ezekiel 13.5; 30.3; Joel 1.15, 2.1, 11, 31, 3.14; Amos 5.18, 5.20; Obadiah 1.15; Zephaniah 1.7, 14; Zechariah 14.1; Malachi 4.5; Matthew 24.1-51; Acts 2.20; Romans 2.5; 1 Thessalonians 5.2; 2 Thessalonians 2.2; 2 Peter 3.10; Revelation 1.10 and “that day” Isaiah 2.11, 17, 20; 3.18. This day is a time of terror, darkness, and wrath. It is a “day of visitation” (Isaiah 10.3), a “day of the wrath of the Lord” (Ezekiel 7.19), the “great day of the Lord” (Zephaniah 1.14).

Contrasting the Two Days

A stark contrast exists between these two days. The chart below outlines the differences.

Day of Christ Day of the Lord
For the Church (the Body of Christ) For rejectors of Christ
A day of blessing and reward A day of judgment
A heavenly hope An earthly despair
Eagerly anticipated Feared and dreaded

The Day of Christ

The chart below notes the verses that refer to the Day of Christ. They are all from Paul since God did not reveal it in the Old Testament, during Jesus’ earthly ministry, or later to the Twelve. The ascended Lord revealed this Day unto Paul for it is a day that has reference to the Church, the Body of Christ exclusively. Paul called it our “blessed hope” (Titus 2.13) and is the day which believers eagerly anticipate.

Day of Christ Comment

I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge, even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you, so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1.4-8).

Paul wrote the Corinthians that they were enriched in Christ, in all speech and knowledge, that they were true believers, and lacked in no gift. They eagerly awaited the return of Christ who would establish them blameless until the end. No hint of judgment is in this day (cf. 1 Thessalonians 1.9-10, 5.9).
Each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work (1 Corinthians 3.13). In the “day of Christ” believers works will be judged. This will most likely determine rewards, responsibilities, and rank.

1 It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father’s wife. You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst. For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present. In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit,with the power of our Lord Jesus, I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.  (1 Corinthians 5.1-5).

Paul had to deal with a situation of immorality that was so offensive he said it didn’t even happen among pagans. Paul’s judgment in the matter was “to deliver the person to Satan for the destruction of his flesh.” In other words, he prayed for his death so that he might be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Sometimes it is more merciful for someone to die before their normal time if their actions will harm the Church or themselves. This man was saved and Paul wanted the best for him when Christ returned for his Body.
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus  (Philippians 1.3-6). The Philippians embraced the gospel faithfully from the beginning (the first convert in Asia was Lydia, cf. Acts 16.14). Paul wrote encouragingly that God would continue his good work until Christ returned. Again, no mention of wrath is in the day.
For God is my witness, how I long for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; (Philippians 1.8-10) Paul expressed his love for these Philippians and prayed their love would abound in real knowledge (ἐπίγνωσις) and they would approve (δοκιμάζω<) “try,” “test” things that were excellent to be unsullied when Christ returned.
14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing; 15 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain (Philippians 2.14-16). Paul encouraged the Philippians to good behavior, to be above reproach, to stand as examples in a perverse world, and to hold fast to the Scriptures. They were his glory and he wanted his hard work to them to bear fruit and celebrate in their success when Christ returned for his Body.
12 For our proud confidence is this: the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you. 13 For we write nothing else to you than what you read and understand, and I hope you will understand until the end; 14 just as you also partially did understand us, that we are your reason to be proud as you also are ours, in the day of our Lord Jesus (2 Corinthians 1.12-14). Paul wrote the Corinthians that in good conscience he had conducted himself with integrity towards them. Together, they had a mutual source of pride: they could be proud of him and he them in the day of Christ. When Christ returns for his body there will great celebration and reward. Again, no hint of wrath, woe, or fear is present.
16 The Lord grant mercy to the house of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains; 17 but when he was in Rome, he eagerly searched for me and found me— 18 the Lord grant to him to find mercy from the Lord on that day—and you know very well what services he rendered at Ephesus (2 Timothy 1.16-18). Paul asked the Lord for special mercy to Onesiphorus and his household for he had not been ashamed of Paul’s imprisonment but searched determinedly for him. Paul wished Onesiphorus reward when the Lord returned. No wrath.
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing. (2 Timothy 4.6-8). Paul knew his execution was near. He knew he had been faithful to the Lord and that the Lord had a crown of righteousness for him when he returned as well as for all who eagerly anticipate His return. Once again, no mention of wrath or terror in this return of the Lord.

The Day of the Lord

Many scriptures speak of the Day of the Lord (יוֹם יְהוָה). It is concisely described by the prophet Zephaniah:

Near is the great day of the LORD,
Near and coming very quickly;
Listen, the day of the LORD!
In it the warrior cries out bitterly.

A day of wrath is that day,
A day of trouble and distress,
A day of destruction and desolation,
A day of darkness and gloom,
A day of clouds and thick darkness,

A day of trumpet and battle cry
Against the fortified cities
And the high corner towers.

I will bring distress on men so that they will walk like the blind, because they have sinned against the LORD;
And their blood will be poured out like dust and their flesh like dung.

Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to deliver them on the day of the LORD’S wrath;
And all the earth will be devoured in the fire of His jealousy,
For He will make a complete end, indeed a terrifying one, of all the inhabitants of the earth (Zephaniah 1.14-18).

Jesus spoke of this day in Matthew 24.1-51. He echoed the horrors of this time with his words:

“For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. “Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short (Matthew 24.21-22).

The Day of the Lord is that time of judgment in which God will judge Israel for her unbelief (Jeremiah 30.7) and the nations of the world for their rejection of Christ. The day will end with the return of the Lord (Matthew 24.30; Revelation 19.11-19). He warned his listeners to be prepared for this day (Matthew 24.42-51).

The earliest reference to this day is in Psalm 2. An understanding of this Psalm is critical to a correct understanding of Jewish eschatology. It succinctly outlined the whole prophetic program for Israel (1st and 2nd Advents) and the Messianic Kingdom on earth.

Psalm 2 Comment
Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing? Nations refer to Gentiles; peoples refers to Jews.
The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, Verse 2 parallels verse one. Gentile powers consorted with Israel to crucify the Messiah and will consort again when the Antichrist comes.
“Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!” The mental attitude of rebellion of Jews and Gentiles against God’s rule.
He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them. God laughs in scorn in response to man’s foolish rebellion (v. 3).
Then He will speak to them in His anger and terrify them in His fury, saying, This verse refers to God’s judgment primarily to the Day of the Lord. He will judge the world for its unbelief.
“But as for Me, I have installed My King upon Zion, My holy mountain.” God’s plan is for the Son to rule earth from Mt. Zion (Jerusalem).
“I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. The Son declares His right to rule: Begotten refers to Christ’s resurrection (Acts 13.33; Romans 1.4; Hebrews 1.3, 5).
‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Your possession. The Messiah is worthy to fulfill God’s prophetic plan to establish His kingdom on earth because of who He is and his work on the cross.
‘You shall break them with a rod of iron, you shall shatter them like earthenware.'” Christ will return to defeat his enemies and rule earth with a rod of iron (Revelation 2.27, 12.5, 19.15).
10 Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; Take warning, O judges of the earth. Again parallelism: God warns kings (Gentiles) and judges (Israel) to be forewarned of His intent.
11 Worship the LORD with reverence and rejoice with trembling. God’s counsels worship of Him with reverence: Christ is coming to rule.
12 Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him! God’s final warning: the fate of all who refuse to acknowledge and honor His Son is doom. On the other hand, all who love Him are blessed forever.

Paul’s Warnings

Paul made it clear that the Church would not experience the Day of the Lord. Notice the difference between the following two passages:

13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words (1 Thessalonians 4.13-18).

. . .

1 Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. 2 For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. 3 While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape.

. . .

4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; 5 for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; 6 so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. 7 For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. 8 But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing (1 Thessalonians 5.1-11).

In the first passage, Paul’s subject was believers. The bolded text, “we,” “you” refers to believers. Paul wrote that the Lord would come for believers and closed the passage with a word of comfort (cf. 1 Thessalonians 1.9-10). Notice the contrast in the next passage. The bolded text “they,” “them” refers to unbelievers. They, unbelievers, not believers, will experience the Day of the Lord (Tribulation). He closed this passage with “us,” “we,” “you” again as the subject to contrast and demonstrate that God has not destined believers for wrath, i.e., the Day of the Lord, the Tribulation. Because of this hope and confidence, we are to encourage one another. These passages indicate clearly that the Church, the Body of Christ, will not undergo God’s wrath of the Tribulation.

Paul wrote another letter to the Thessalonians to correct a false teaching that had come to this congregation. The false teachers taught that the Church would undergo the Tribulation.1 Paul wrote,

1 Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, 2 that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come (2 Thessalonians 2.1-2).

Apparently, someone had written a letter and signed Paul’s name which stated that the “day of the Lord” had come.2 This had shaken the Thessalonians because Paul had taught them that before the Day of the Lord came the Lord would come and remove them (the body of Christ) from the earth (1 Thessalonians 4.14-18 cf. 1 Corinthians 15.51-52) which was a source of comfort (1 Thessalonians 4.18). Paul taught that this “day” was a “secret” (μυστήριον), unknown until the risen Lord had revealed it to him (1 Corinthians 15.51).

3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? (2 Thessalonians 2.3-4)

Paul cautioned the Thessalonians not to be deceived by anyone who was teaching them that they had entered the Tribulation. This is not possible for God will remove His Church before this occurs. He reminded them of his teaching that the sign of the Day of the Lord was the appearance of the “man of lawlessness,” “the son of destruction.” This individual has several other names, e.g., “lawless one” (2 Thessalonians 2.8), “the beast” (Revelation 11.7), “antichrist” (1 John 2.18). He will be identified ultimately by his blasphemy of God for he will establish his throne in the Jewish temple and declare himself to be God (cf. Revelation 13.12, 15, 14.9, 11).

6 And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way (2 Thessalonians 2. 6-7).

At the present time, the Antichrist is restrained by God. The most likely reason is the presence of the Holy Spirit who indwells believers. When the Body of Christ is complete, God will remove it and hence, the Holy Spirit. This event is known as the Rapture of the Church, the Body of Christ. It is synonymous with the Day of Christ. Sometime after that (the Bible does not reveal how much time will pass) the Antichrist will become manifest. Another “mystery” the Lord revealed to Paul was this “mystery of lawlessness”. See Paul’s “Mystery”. Paul wrote that this “mystery of lawlessness” was already at work. This means that Satan has been at work to set up his man to rule the world since the first century. It is possible that he may have someone ready to assume this role in every generation.

8 Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; 9 that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 11 For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, 12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness (2 Thessalonians. 2.8-12).

Sometime after the Body of Christ is removed, the Antichrist will be revealed. God will destroy him at his coming (Revelation 19.11-20). The Antichrist will exercise Satanic powers (ability to perform miracles) which will deceive most of humanity. The world’s population will be deceived because it has rejected the truth. Just as nature abhors a vacuum, when one rejects truth he appropriates deception. Such deception will be similar to what happened to Pharaoh in Moses’ day. Pharaoh hardened his heart to Moses’ words. As a result, God hardened Pharaoh’s heart (Exodus 7.13-14, 22; 8.15, 19, 32; 9.7, 12, 34-35; 10.1, 20, 27; 11.10; 14.8; 1 Samuel 6.6) so that he would believer a lie; he continued to trust in the gods of Egypt.

13 But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. 14 It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us (2 Thessalonians 2. 13-15).

Paul encouraged his readers that they were beloved by the Lord and secure in Him. Paul, as was his habit, emphasized his gospel, “the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 24.20; 1 Corinthians 15.1-4)3 as opposed to the “gospel of the kingdom”4 and encouraged the Thessalonians to stand firm in what he had taught them and not be deceived by false teaching.

Conclusion

The Day of Christ is distinct from the Day of the Lord as daylight is to dark. The first is a time of great anticipation, joy, blessing, and reward. The second is a time of terror, wrath, dread, and woe. Paul taught the Thessalonians that the two days were different and not to be deceived by anyone who taught that the Church would go through the Tribulation or Day of the Lord. Paul taught Christ would remove the Church, the body of Christ, before that Day for we are not “appointed unto wrath” (1 Thessalonians 1.10, 5.9). Paul’s doctrine is as pertinent today as it was over 1,900 years ago. Christ’s second advent occurs in two phases: in the first phase the Lord returns for the Body of Christ; in the second phase the Lord returns to destroy his enemies. The Day of Christ is the Rapture, our blessed hope (Titus 2.13), the resurrection of the Church, in which we receive eternal bodies. This truth is for the Body of Christ alone and we should comfort one another and rejoice in it.

1 According to Paul, a false teacher is one who teaches the Church will go through the Tribulation.
Some manuscripts read “the day of Christ.” This is the translation of the King James Version. Most scholars agree that better manuscript evidence exists for the reading “day of the Lord.” Such a reading also fits Paul’s theology for he taught that we are not “appointed unto wrath” (judgment, i.e., the Day of the Lord, cf. 1 Thessalonians 1.10, 5.9) since the Body of Christ will be removed from the earth before the appearance of the Antichrist and God’s judgment. Paul’s usage of ἐνίστημι in 2 Thessalonians 2.2. Paul used this term in Romans 8.38; 1 Corinthians 3.22, 7.26; Galatians 1.4; 2 Thessalonians 2.2, 2 Timothy 3.1; Hebrews 9.9. In almost every instance he used it to mean things “present.” In the first two usages he distinguished it from future occurrences (οὔτε ἐνεστῶτα οὔτε μέλλοντα; εἴτε ἐνεστῶτα εἴτε μέλλοντα). Thus, a reading of “day in Christ” would read, “That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is present.” Such a reading does not make sense. They knew the day of Christ (Rapture) had not taken place because they were still there. The question they had (and were being taught by false teachers) was whether they were experiencing the day of the Lord. Paul wrote 2 Thessalonians to correct this false teaching. Thus, the correct reading is “That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of the Lord is present (or has come).” See the companion study on the Rapture  and on 1 and 2 Thessalonians.
See the study, The Gospel.
4See the study, The Gospel of the Kingdom.

©2010 Don Samdahl. Anyone is free to reproduce this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold.

Updated March 16, 2015


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53 Responses to The Day of Christ

  1. What a truly fantastic blessing these sermons are!

    • ,JJim Grapp says:

      KIt is interesting that you spend so much time differentiating between the ‘Day of Christ.’ and the ‘Day of the LORD,’ and even note that Paul is the only one who uses the phrase ‘Day of Christ.’ Yet you go to a new translation and change Paul’s words in this instance to the ‘Day of the LORD’ which changes the revelation of Antichrist from before the ‘rapture’ to merely before the judgement of God! If Paul believed Antichrist would only come AFTER the rapture he would likely have simply said so rather than even mentioning an event that would take place after those he was writing to were gone. The Thessalonians were worried they had missed the ‘gathering to Christ.’ It mazes me how the pre-trib folks have to ‘correct’ the KJV to promote their doctrine!

      • doctrine doctrine says:

        No translation is perfect and the KJV is no exception. The doctrine of inspiration is that the autographs were inspired not the translations. Virtually every manuscript reads Day of the Lord in 2 Thes. 2.2. The Day of the Lord is always associated with God’s wrath. Paul taught that the Church, i.e. the Body of Christ has nothing to do with God’s wrath and will NOT go through the Day of the Lord (cf. 1 Thes. 1.10, 5.9). The Thessalonians were not worried they had missed the Rapture. They were concerned they were in the Day of the Lord. False teachers had come to them teaching this error. Paul wrote them to put them back on the right road.

        • Dan says:

          I also think there is a difference between the Great Affliction and the day of the Lord. Paul even told the Thessalonians that persecution and affliction (tribulation) was a just judging of God to deem them worthy of the kingdom of God. In Acts 14:22 Paul writes “through many afflictions must we be entering into the kingdom of God.”

          Even so, in I Cor. 10:13, “for those who attain to the consummation” (Vs. 11), it is said that “no trial has taken you accept what is human. Now faithful is God, Who will not be leaving you to be tried aove what you re able…”

          The context of I Cor. chpt. 10 is not speaking of common everyday trials but that which was the expectation of the Acts period believer. They knew better than most Christians today that they would live THROUGH, the times of Jacob’s trouble.

          Persecution and martyrdom was a NT norm. Jesus Himself was afflicted of Satan for 4 days and nights in the wilderness and suffered the death of a Roman cross. Jesus said “in the world you WILL have afflictions but courage! I have conquered the world.”

          • doctrine doctrine says:

            Paul specifically told the Thessalonians they would not go through the Tribulation which is the wrath part of the Day of The Lord of which Jesus spoke in Matthew 24 (1 Thessalonians 1.10, 5.9). Paul made a clear distinction between members of the body of Christ and the world that will be left following the Rapture of believers in 1 Thessalonians 5.1-11. No one experienced more persecution than Paul but he corrected the false teacher’s assertion that believers were in the Day of The Lord. Paul expected the Rapture to occur in his lifetime which would only make sense if members of the body of Christ do not experience the Tribulation.

            • Ron neff says:

              While this is true that we will not go through tribulation from God’s wrath but if you look at 2 Thess 2:3 you will see that it says that apostasy (falling away) AND the man of sin will be revealed FIRST before Christ comes and we are raptured. This also agrees with what is written in Mark 13:14-27, Matthew 24:15-31, and Luke 21:20-28. We go through tribulation from the antichrist before Christ comes back. Christ does not return in two phases as you put it above. There is no biblical support for this. This view is made up to support pre-trib. If you look at the verses in their plain reading you will see that we do suffer persecution first. God’s wrath occurs after our rapture and starts in Revelation 8.

              • doctrine doctrine says:

                Ron,
                The Tribulation lasts for 7 years. Paul declared believers would not experience it (1 Thessalonians 1.10, 5.9). Paul wrote of the Tribulation in 2 Thessalonians 2.3, the Day of the Lord, not the Rapture. The Rapture was a secret before Paul (1 Corinthians 15.51). No Biblical support exists for any other view than a pre-tribulation rapture.

  2. Ezek 33 says:

    The elements of seriously dividing the Word of God and recognizing the bigger picture is part of the ‘reward’ to the professed Christian. A consistent teaching of the rapture in Scripture suggests that the rapture is not for all professed Christians, but a reward for those who diligently seek Him. Thank you for the diligent use of the Scriptures in your studies and teaching.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Thank you. Paul commanded the Thessalonians to comfort one another with the truth of the Rapture (1 Thess. 4.18). It follows that if one refuses to believe God’s word about the Rapture one cannot obey God. If one disobeys God one will lose out in reward.

  3. Brother, you have done a wonderful job of spelling out the differences between the day of Christ, and the day of the Lord: they are as different as night and day, pun intended. But I think you fail to understand that they are two sides of the same coin. When Jesus comes, for the believer, it will be the day of Christ, but for the unsaved, it will be the day of the Lord. Also, as you wrote about the day of the Lord, you suddenly changed it to mean, the great tribulation, those are two very different things as well. One, the day of the Lord, is God’s wrath upon the unsaved after the rapture, and the other, the great tribulation, will come from the Antichrist and the false prophet before the rapture, and is Satan’s wrath directed at the saints.

    (2Thessalonians 2:1-5) Someone was preaching that the day of Christ was at hand (Like pretrib today) Paul wrote to correct this error, the program is very simple: first the man of sin — then the day of Christ. Paul expounded upon the meaning of the day of Christ in verse one. Jesus outlined the same chronology of end time events: first the abomination of desolation — then His coming in the clouds. We see this same outline repeated in Revelation. I recommend Marvin Rosenthal’s book, The Prewrath Rapture of the Church.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Danny,
      The Tribulation is part of the Day of the Lord. The wrath of the Tribulation does not come solely from Satan. God also pours out His wrath (Psalm 2.5; Isaiah 13.6). The 2 Thessalonians 2.2 passage should read “day of the Lord” not “day of Christ.” This is what almost all manuscripts reveal. It is the only thing that makes sense in the context of what Paul had taught the Thessalonians in 1 Thessalonians 1.10, 5.9. Jesus taught nothing about the day of Christ in His earthly ministry. He did not reveal the day of Christ, a.k.a. the Rapture until he revealed it to Paul.

  4. sew says:

    I was taught that anytime the phrase “THAT DAY” is used in the new testament it is referring to the “day of the LORD” like in 2 Thess. 2:3….for THAT DAY shall not come except there come a falling away first and that man of sin be revealed. I also learned that anytime the phrase “those days” is used in the new testament it refers to tribulation. I think the falling away in 2 Thess. 2:3 could mean what Jesus said in Luke 8:13 during time of temptation people fall away. But Jesus said He will keep us from the hour of temptation which will come upon the whole world. Rev.3:10

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      The revelation of the Rapture, part of the Day of Christ, was a NEW revelation the risen Lord gave to Paul. As such, Paul referred to it as “that day.” This was the day Paul looked forward to. It is our “blessed hope,” (Titus 2.13) the day we receive our resurrection bodies.

  5. eze 33 says:

    So interesting! If we look at the language of Matthew 13 and of the letters to the assemblies of Revelation. We find that the Gospel of the Kingdom has returned to the world. The age of grace there is over. The day of Christ marking the removal of the restrainer, but the beginning of specifically – tribulation for Israel – not yet begun… 7 years set aside for the Israel as spoken by Daniel (and other OT prophets).

  6. Kelly says:

    I have some questions if you have the time.
    First, I fully agree that the day of the Lord and the day of Christ are two different things as scripture clearly states. However, I dont agree that KJV manuscript of 2 Thess 2 “day of Christ” is the wrong translation. If it reads the day of Christ, then we are told that the rapture will not occur until after the falling away and the revealing of the antichrist (the first seal of tribulation). But, even if it should read “the day of the Lord” then it says the day, the era, of Gods wrath will come after the apostasy and the antichrist’s reveal. I 100% agree that we are not appointed to God’s wrath as His word so plainly tells us. What I am wondering is why you state the day of the Lord is the same as tribulation. Acts 2:20 says The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come:

    The sun turning to darkness and the moon into blood occurs at the 6th seal during Daniels 70th week, or tribulation, and Acts 2:20 tells us the day of the Lord (the day of WRATH) comes after that, why do you believe we will be raptured before the onset of tribulation ?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Kelly,
      In His ministry The Lord taught what the prophets had revealed. The prophets revealed a day of God’s wrath: the Day of The Lord. This is what Jesus taught in Matthew 24. The Lord called it the Tribulation and referred to the abomination of desolation of Daniel which Revelation records. Are you saying there is more than one day of God’s wrath over the earth? The Day of The Lord also seems to include the creation of the new heavens and new earth from what Peter wrote (2 Peter 3.10). So, it would seem that the Day of the Lord begins with the Tribulation and concludes with the new creation. We will be raptured before the Tribulation because Paul tells us we will be.

      • The KJV translation is correct. Look at the grammar and whole context.

        I Thes. 2:2 “That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.”

        In other words:
        Do not be troubled by the day of the Lord, because the day of Christ is coming before it.

        “As that” means “because”. Because the day of Christ is coming, the day of the Lord will not come pass for the Church.

        I Thes. 2:3 “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;”

        The day here is talking about the day of the Lord, not the day of Christ. Well, you say, that’s right, that’s why the KJV is wrong. Incorrect. The antecedent for the day in chapter 2, verse 3 comes from chapter 1, verses 7-10, NOT chapter 2, verse 2. Paul is making the distinction of the day of the Lord and day of the Christ here. So, in whole context and grammar, the KJV is correct.

        To change the KJV “day of Christ” to “day of the Lord” would make the following grammar mistake, simplified:
        Do not be troubled by the day of the Lord, because the day of Lord is coming before it. (modern versions)

        Do not be troubled by the day of the Lord, because the day of Christ is coming before it. (KJV)

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Samuel,
          The Thessalonians’ problem was they were being taught that the Day of the Lord had come and they were experiencing it. Paul wrote to correct this error–to assure them the Day of the Lord had not come. He then went on to explain that what would occur before it came–(ἡ ἀποστασία) the Rapture. The KJV is wrong in this instance. See my study on 1 and 2 Thessalonians for more information.

          • You misunderstand what I’m saying. Do you understand what antecedents are in grammar and context?

            If the antecedent for “day” was in chapter 2, then yes, it’s a mistranslation. But the antecedent is in chapter 1, not 2. Big difference.

            In other words, when Paul is speaking about the day of Christ, he wasn’t referring to the description around it. It was out of the blue and not connected to the chapter. The chapter itself is talking about the day of the Lord.

            Again, simplified:
            (from chapter 1 to chapter 2) Do not be troubled by the day of the Lord, (chapter 2, verse 2)because the day of Christ is coming before it. (chapter 2, verse 3) The day of the Lord will not come until the man of sin, etc. (KJV)

            (from chapter 1 to chapter 2) Do not be troubled by the day of the Lord, (chapter 2, verse 2)because the day of Lord is coming before it. (chapter 2, verse 3) The day of the Lord will not come until the man of sin, etc. (modern versions)

            • doctrine doctrine says:

              Samuel,
              Here’s an accurate translation: 1 Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him (Rapture), 2 that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the departure (Rapture) comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. Please read my article on 1 and 2 Thessalonians for more of the argument Paul made regarding the Day of the Lord and the Rapture.

            • That translation would be correct, if the context merely started from chapter 2. It actually starts from chapter 1.

              To say that a day is at hand means that day comes before. To say that the day of the Lord is at hand means that it comes before. To say that the day of Christ is at hand means it comes before the day of the Lord.

              Using your structure, here it is with full context:
              1: 7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, (day of the Lord)

              1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: (day of the Lord)

              1:9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; (day of the Lord)

              1:10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. (day of the Lord, He comes with His saints, meaning they raptured beforehand)

              1:11-12 Same, but of no consequence to context.

              2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (day of the Lord), and by our gathering together unto him, (day of Christ)

              2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, (comfort from the day of the Lord) as that (as that = because) the day of Christ (Rapture) is at hand (at hand = comes before). (Be comforted from the day of the Lord because the day of Christ is coming before it)

              3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; (day of the Lord)

              Maybe this inforgraphic I cobbled up will explain better: http://i678.photobucket.com/albums/vv142/gmx0/IIThes_zpsa4bb0756.jpg

              • doctrine doctrine says:

                Samuel,
                Paul taught the Thessalonians the Rapture in 1 Thessalonians. He wrote 2 Thessalonians to correct the false teaching that the difficulties the Thessalonians were experiencing was the Day of the Lord. The problem with the view you present is twofold. The first is that better manuscript evidence supports the reading “day of the Lord” than “day of Christ.” The second, more important point is Paul’s usage of ἐνίστημι in 2 Thessalonians 2.2. Paul used this term in Romans 8.38; 1 Corinthians 3.22, 7.26; Galatians 1.4; 2 Thessalonians 2.2, 2 Timothy 3.1; Hebrews 9.9. In almost every instance he used it to mean things “present.” In the first two usages he distinguished it from future occurrences (οὔτε ἐνεστῶτα οὔτε μέλλοντα; εἴτε ἐνεστῶτα εἴτε μέλλοντα). Thus, a reading of “day in Christ” would read, “That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is present.” Such a reading does not make sense. They knew the day of Christ (Rapture) had not taken place because they were still there. The question they had (and were being taught by false teachers) was whether they were experiencing the day of the Lord. Paul wrote 2 Thessalonians to correct this false teaching. Thus, the correct reading is “That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of the Lord is present (or has come).” Paul went on to assure them the day of the Lord would not come until the “departure” (Rapture) occurred and the Antichrist was revealed.

  7. Matt Enns says:

    I should like to add to this discussion that in the minor prophets we see the hebrew word for “visit” appear often and repeatedly. In Zephaniah the word appears 5 times. The first 3 times it is translated “punish” (1.8,9,12) and the next 1 it changes and has a beneficent tone (2.7) before finishing in a reference to the first judgment visit in 3.7. Zephaniah is the prophet of global repentance and revival. His is the task of calling all nations to Yahweh, and is a primary text for teaching on the day of the Lord in OT theology. For the day of the Lord to be the ‘visitation’ of the Lord upon the earth, it means that in that day he will visit some for punishment, and some for beneficence. If the day of the Lord is going to have beneficial tones, it must not strictly be a day of judgment of evil. If we read the prophets correctly, we see that God is into restoring justice through alignment to His “judgment.” Hence, a day of judgment is not just punishing, but a restoring of right. It need not be one day for rewarding, and one day for punishing, as we see in Zephaniah. Indeed, one purpose of the day is to restore the lost fortunes of God’s people that were taken unjustly.
    So, I’m not sure it is a lock tight case that there be such a distinction in the vernacular. Besides, day of the Lord, day of the Lord Jesus Christ, and day of Christ are extremely overlapping. On terminology alone it doesn’t seem to be a distinction.
    Just some thoughts…

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Matt,
      Thank you. Technically, the Day of the Lord in the prophets includes God’s wrath, the kingdom, and establishment of the new heavens and earth. But in most cases, it usually means God’s wrath. Offtimes, large swaths of time are include in one or two verses with regard to prophecy, For example, Isaiah 61.1-2, references the 1st advent, the Tribulation, and the Kingdom. Paul’s use of the Day of Christ, however, includes no hint of wrath whereas the Day of the Lord is replete with it–even when it also includes blessing–kingdom, new heavens/earth.

  8. Pingback: Why Rapture before Psalm 83? - Page 3

  9. Elizabeth Ann says:

    Thank you so much for all of the hard work you have obviously poured into this study. You have no idea what a tremendous blessing this is to me! You have addressed many points that I have been struggling with. May God richly bless you for your dedication to His word. I look forward to exploring your other topics. Thank you again!

  10. Danny Bigelow says:

    (2 Thessalonians 2:1-5)
    (1) Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and [by] our gathering together unto him, (2) That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. (3) Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; (4) Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. (5) Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?

    Concerning this church Paul wrote: “We ourselves boast of you among the other churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure” (2 Thessalonians 1:4). The patience and faith of these saints was manifested through the persecutions and tribulations which they had endured, Paul boasted of them among the other churches.

    Jesus was adamant that no one except the Father knows the day and hour of His return (Matthew 24:36). He taught that every generation of the church should expect and be watching for the signs that will signal His soon return (Mark 13:28-37). According to the passage above someone claimed to have gotten a letter from Paul stating that the day of Christ was at hand. Paul reminded them that the man of sin must first be revealed (2 Thessalonians 2:1-5). Paul’s chronology agrees with what the Lord outlined in the Olivet Discourse (Matthew chapter 24). Jesus forewarned the disciples about the coming of the man of sin (Matthew 24:15-25) He placed the abomination of desolation before the coming of the Son of Man and the gathering of the elect (Matthew 24:15-31). Concerning this chronology, Paul wrote, “Let no man deceive you by any means.” Many Bible teachers today believe that the day of Christ is imminent; yet when dealing with this very issue Paul wrote: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition. The text goes on to explain how the man of sin will be revealed (2 Thessalonians 2:4). Both the (KJV) and the (NKJV) refer to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together unto Him as the day of Christ. For a more comprehensive understanding of that day compare the following verses (1 Corinthians 1:8, Philippians 1:6, 10, 2:16, 2 Thessalonians 2:2).

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Danny,
      Two comings are in view in 2 Thessalonians 2.1-2. The first is the Rapture. The second is the Lord’s return for Israel and the nations. The “falling away” is better translated “departure” and refers to the Rapture. See my article 1 and 2 Thessalonians for commentary on this. The Lord will come for His Church before the Antichrist appears. Jesus taught His return for Israel in His earthly ministry. The Rapture is not taught in the gospels or by anyone other than Paul. Paul declared this truth was a secret (1 Corinthians 15.51). The better reading in 1 Thessalonians 2.2 is “the day of the Lord.” The “day of Christ” has little manuscript support.

  11. Danny Bigelow says:

    Thanks for your response. You wrote, “The Day of Christ is the Rapture, our blessed hope (Titus 2.13), the resurrection of the Church, in which we receive eternal bodies. This truth is for the Body of Christ alone and we should comfort one another and rejoice in it.”

    You have done an excellent job showing that the day of Christ is the rapture, but in (2 Thessalonians 2:1-5) Paul clearly wrote, “For that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed.” You said, “The better reading in 1 Thessalonians 2.2 is “the day of the Lord,” but doesn’t Paul teach (1 Thessalonians 5:1-9) that the sons of light will escape by rapture the day of the Lord’s wrath? In other words the day of Christ and the day of the Lord will arrive or begin on the same day, one in the clouds, and the other on the earth. The day Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Danny,
      Thank you. We’re given no information as to how soon the Day of the Lord will come after the Rapture. It may come immediately but it may be much longer. See my article, When Will the Lord Return? for more on this subject. The Church, the body of Christ, is removed before the Tribulation but how many years transpire before the appearance of the Antichrist is not known. The Lord cannot return for Israel and the nations until the 7 years have passed.

      • Danny Bigelow says:

        Thanks for your kindness and patience. In 1 Thessalonians 5:4-6 doesn’t Paul imply that the brethren are around to see this day, they’re told to watch for it that it might not come upon them like a thief in the night? If not, why the admonition to watch?

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Danny,
          Paul thought the Rapture would come in his lifetime. He most likely thought the rest of the prophetic events would follow quickly also. One thing one learns in studying the Scriptures is that God’s timing is His most closely guarded secret. I explore this point in my latest article, How “Near” is the Day of the Lord? We have no specifics about how quickly these events will unfold. We see signs of the Day of the Lord today but how far away the Lord’s return is unknown (Matthew 24.36-39).

          • GraceReceiver says:

            Don, I also have wondered the very thing that Danny is asking. Could you please reread his question? Like he says, “why the warning?”

            • doctrine doctrine says:

              GraceReceiver,
              Paul wrote the Thessalonians that they had nothing to fear from the Day of the Lord; they would not experience it (1 Thessalonians 1.10, 5.9). I do not think what he wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5.4-6 is so much a warning as a contrast and an encouragement. He wrote the Day of the Lord would take unbelievers by surprise (vv. 2-3) but that it would not overtake believers for we are not in darkness. Because of this, we should live godly lives (v. 8). In other words, the watchfulness should be that of watchfulness in terms of godly living, not in anticipation of the Day of the Lord. The word Paul used for “watch” is γρηγορέω. Note how Paul used this word elsewhere: 1 Corinthians 16.13; Colossians 4.2; 1 Thessalonians 5.6, 10.

          • Danny Bigelow says:

            Don, as to how close we are to the coming of the day of the Lord, I think the Lord Himself gave us that information in Matthew chapter 24. Joel 2:30-31 gives us the sign that will signal that the day of the Lord has come. Matthew 24:29-31 locates the fulfillment of that sign, it immediately follows the great tribulation, the coming of the day of the Lord.
            Jesus said that when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors (Matt. 24:33) the it here would refer to the coming of that great and terrible day of the Lords wrath. The day of the Lord follows the great tribulation.

            • doctrine doctrine says:

              Danny,
              The Day of the Lord encompasses the wrath of God (Tribulation), return of Christ, Millennial kingdom, and creation of the new heavens and new earth. Most of the time it refers to God’s wrath upon the earth. The clearest sign of the beginning of the Day of the Lord will be the Rapture. The Scofield Reference Bible contains this note on the Day of the Lord: The Day of the LORD (Jehovah), Summary: The Day of the LORD is that period of time when God openly intervenes in the affairs of men–in judgment and in blessing. See Joel 1:15, note. It will begin with the translation of the Church and will terminate with the cleansing of the heavens and the earth preparatory to the bringing into being of the new heavens and the new earth. The order of events appears to be: (1) the rapture of the Church just preceding the beginning of the Day of the LORD (I Th. 4:13-17); (2) the fulfillment of Daniel’s seventieth week (Dan. 9:27), the latter half of which is the great tribulation (Mt. 24:21; see Rev. 7:14, note; (3) the return of the Lord in glory to establish the millennial kingdom (Mt. 24:29-30); (4) the destruction of the beast, the false prophet, and their armies, which is the “great and terrible” aspect of the day. (Rev. 19:11-21); (5) the judgment of individual Gentiles according to their treatment of his brethren, the Jewish people (Zech. 14:1-9; Mt. 25:31-46) and the judgment of Israel (Ezek. 20:3438); (6) the millennial reign of Christ on earth (Rev. 20:4-6); (7) the satanic revolt and its judgment (Rev. 20:7-10), (8) the resurrection and final judgment of the wicked (Rev. 20:11-15); (9) the destruction of the present earth and heaven by fire preparatory for the future “day of God” (2 Pet. 3:10-12); and (10) the creation of the new heavens and the new earth (Isa. 65:17-19; 66.22; 2 Pet. 3-.13; Rev. 21:1).

              • Danny Bigelow says:

                Don,
                When comparing the day of the Lord, and the day of Christ, you very aptly explained, in this article, that the day of the Lord has to do with God’s wrath, while the day of Christ is unique with Paul and relates to the church and the rapture. My understanding is that Scofield has been credited with popularizing the pretrib rapture, through the use of his very popular study Bible. And as you know, He has a note in that study Bible that changes the day of Christ, to the day of the Lord at 2 Thessalonians 2:2. If Scofield was mistaken, would that change Paul’s chronology, in your opinion?

              • doctrine doctrine says:

                Danny,
                The reason Scofield changed the KJV reading was because almost all the manuscript support is for the Day of the Lord reading. The evidence for the Day of Christ is extremely weak. this is not a theological issue; it is a textual issue.

  12. Ivan Arellano says:

    Don,
    I too espouse pre-trib theology, but the wording in 2 Thessalonians 2 is difficult to reconcile. Specifically, with Paul’s reference to “the falling away” as translated by the KJV and other translations. The majority of other translations I’ve reference seem to point to the same idea of Apostasy, and use other words as revolt and rebellion to describe that event. In one of your replies you substitute the word “departure” instead, and suggest it refers to the rapture. Can you tell me or explain how you arrive at the conclusion and how do reconcile what appears to be a dual meaning?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Ivan,
      Please see what I wrote in the article 1 and 2 Thessalonians for a fuller explanation.

      • Ivan Arellano says:

        Don,
        I have not had an opportunity to read this article yet, but I believe I know where you are going. I’ve been reading other material, which support your view on this inpretation. They cite the Scott and Liddle Greek Lexicon for a more exhaustive definition in making their case. Would there be other free online Greek Lexicons with the same information, as the ones I come across with only make reference to either apostasy, rebellion and revolt?

        I have to admit, this passage of scripture was a problem for me to reconcile with my pre-trib view, but thanks to you and others, my position has become more solid.

        On a personal note, I believe that the pre-trib view is further established by considering that Christ will come back for a Glorious church, without spot or wrinkle. To accept a Mid-trib, or Post-trib rapture, is tantamount to claiming that Christ will come back for a backsliden apostate church. If anything, that should seal the coffin on such erroneous and misleading positions.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Ivan,
          The lexicons won’t help in this case. The first order in determining the meaning of a word is to see how a particular author, in this case, Paul, used the word. Then one sees how others have used the word, contemporaries, and then non-contemporaries. If you read the section Examination of Ἀποστασία you will get an understanding of the issues.

          • NARNIAN says:

            Don,
            Another problem for Pre-trib is Mathew 24. It clearly identified the “elect” as those that will go through this period in question. Proponents of Mid – Trib view make a very compelling argument for why this referece means “believers”, not Jews. How do you counter or refute that?

            • doctrine doctrine says:

              Narnian,
              Jesus and the Twelve had no ministry to Gentiles (Matthew 10.5-6). Matthew 24.1, 3 states He addressed His disciples–Jews–specifically the Twelve–who had just come from the Temple. Paul explicitly taught believers would not experience the Tribulation–1 Thessalonians 1.10, 5.9. Everything Jesus taught in the Gospels concerned Israel (Romans 15.8). All “proofs” of the Mid-Trib view come from the Gospels. Nothing in the Gospels is Church doctrine. Therefore, the Mid-Trib view is without Scriptural support.

  13. Danny says:

    Don,
    I may have gained a little clarification on that phrase, “The day of Christ” as Paul used it. I should mention up front that I changed from the pretrib position to the prewrath after studying Rosenthal’s book, “The Prewrath Rapture of the Church” back in 1991.

    As you well know, the expression, “The day of the Lord’ comes from the Old Testament and was used numerous times when referring to the coming of the Lord to judge the nations. In the Old Testament it’s described as a day of wrath, and a day of darkness, nothing positive said about it.

    In the New Testament, in his letters to the churches, Paul at times would add the name of Jesus Christ to that expression making it, “The day of our Lord Jesus Christ,” or sometimes just, “the day of Christ.” Prior to Christ’s incarnation, His name of “Jesus” had not yet been revealed. Therefore what is described in the Old Testament as a day of wrath and darkness for those in darkness, becomes a day of rejoicing for the saints (1Corinthians 1:8, Philippians 2:16, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-9). This is based upon the prewrath position that the church will be raptured to meet the Lord on that day. “What a day of rejoicing that will be!” This does not mean that the day of God’s wrath has been cancelled, it will still be fulfilled.

    Where have I gone wrong?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Danny,
      The Day of Christ and the Rapture are synonymous. The Tribulation lasts for 7 years according to Daniel 9. The last 3.5 years is the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24.21) and God’s judgments will intensify during that period. Jeremiah 30.7 wrote this was the time of Jacob’s trouble. After God removes the Church His timetable for Israel restarts. God’s prophetic program relates to Israel (the Church was unrevealed in it). As such, the Church has no prophecy–except the Rapture.

      • Danny says:

        Thanks for the reply, and your patience. I agree that the day of Christ and the rapture are synonymous, but I also think that the day of the Lord, and the day of Christ, are synonymous: it depends upon the group you’re addressing; for the church, it will be the day of Christ, for those in darkness, it will be the day of the Lord (1Corinthians 1:7-8, 1Thessalonians 5:1-9).

        I don’t find anywhere in scripture where it says that the tribulation will last for seven years, I do find that the great tribulation will begin at the mid-point and will continue until the Lord comes immediately after the tribulation of those days (Matthew 24:29).

        I believe, based upon Joel’s sign for the coming of the day of the Lord (Joel 2:31) that Matthew 24:29-31 is describing the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy, the coming of the day of the Lord’s wrath. Therefore Matthew 24:29-31 is speaking of the coming of the day of the Lord, the day of Christ, and the day of the rapture. He comes in the clouds, with the sound of a trumpet, the elect are gathered. I see many similarities between Matthew 24:29-31 and 1Thessalonians 4:16-17. If true, this would mean that Jesus was describing the signs that will culminate in the rapture, not the Revelation 19 coming to destroy the beast and establish His kingdom reign. Jesus taught beginning at verse (32) that the signs He listed when fulfilled would signal that His coming is near, at the doors, but that no one will know the day and hour, just that it is near. I don’t believe He was speaking of some other coming at this point.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Danny,
          The problem is that the Rapture was a secret (1 Corinthians 15.51). Paul explicitly taught the Thessalonians they would not experience the Day of the Lord, the Tribulation (1 Thessalonians 1.10, 5.9). The Rapture was unknown, unrevealed until the risen Lord revealed it to Paul. Everything in the gospels is focused upon Israel and the nations, not the Church. Jesus came to present Himself as King to the nation of Israel and fulfill the OT promises (Romans 15.8). Jesus had no ministry to Gentiles and the Church was unknown as Paul wrote in Ephesians 3.1-7. You might want to take a look at my article, Paul’s “Mystery”. Nothing the Lord taught in Matthew 24 concerns the Church, the body of Christ. It will not be present on the earth.

          • Danny says:

            Don,

            [Mat 28:19-20 KJV] 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.

            [Mat 24:13-14 KJV] 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

            [Mat 24:3 KJV] 3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what [shall be] the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

            In each of the verses above Jesus refers to the end, are there multiple ends, or do they all refer to the same end? Jesus assures the disciples that He will be with them, unto the end of the world. The end in Jesus’s discourse is His coming in the clouds immediately after the tribulation. Jesus said, “He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” In what sense will they be saved?

            [Rom 8:23 KJV] 23 And not only [they], but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, [to wit], the redemption of our body.

            Is Paul referring to the rapture?

            [Luk 21:27-28 KJV] 27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

            Is Jesus speaking to Israel or the Church at this point?

            • doctrine doctrine says:

              Danny,
              Everything the Lord revealed in the gospels concerned Israel (and the nations) prophetic program. God had revealed that program to the prophets, primarily in the context of the Day of the Lord. The end the Lord referred to in Matthew 24 was His return for Israel. He cannot return for them until they repent (Matthew 23.37-39). When they do, Paul declared “all Israel” will be saved (Romans 11.26). That is, ever Jew alive at that point. No Church, body of Christ, doctrine is in the Gospels. For Paul, the return of Christ was the Rapture (unless explicitly stated as in 2 Thessalonians 2.

              • Narnian says:

                Don,
                I saw an article heading, and advertisement of sorts, on one of the news sites. The Author, Joel Richardson, claims that he is about to destroy the long held beliefs on the Pre-Trib Rapture Theory with his new book. What evidence could he present that might give any weight to his arguments? Second, are you and other Pre-trib Rapture Theologians ready to respond and refute those claims? We are seeing alot of falst doctrines enter the church, so I hope that you will responde with a vengence.

              • doctrine doctrine says:

                Narnian,
                All these attacks mix God’s program for Israel with God’s program for the Church. God revealed the Pre-Tribulational Rapture to Paul alone and all doctrine about the Rapture must come from Paul. Attacks on the PTR are easily defeated when one understands this.

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