The Day of the LORD in relation to the rapture of the church

The Day of the LORD in relation to the rapture

 

The Thessalonian epistles stand in a unique position to explain to us the relationship of the phrase “The Day of the LORD” in relation to the coming of Christ, which coming includes the rapture of the church.  The phrase “The Day of the LORD” is not unique to Paul, and neither is the theme of the coming of Christ; yet the truths concerning the church are more fully revealed in Paul’s writings than in any other author.  As such, we should carefully examine how the phrase is used in I and II Thessalonians.

 

13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left 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 cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

 

I Thessalonians is the passage which contains the well known rapture passage.  Paul instructs believers not to grieve for departed believers in the same way that unbelievers grieve for their departed loved ones.  The reason for this is that Christian believers will be raised from the dead, brought from heaven to earth with Christ when He comes again, be “caught up” to meet Christ as He descends, and forever be united with the Lord Jesus.  Paul describes this event (referred to as the rapture by most) and includes both living saints and departed saints as participating equally in the event.  Departed saints rise first, then living saints are caught up to be with Christ.  Believers have this hope, unbelievers do not.

 

There are three sounds which accompany this coming of Christ.  There is a cry of a command.  This command is quite authoritative, possibly being a military command.  A related word is used in Acts in reference to government officials commanding orders to civilians.  It is a stimulating cry designed to arouse the hunted for a chase such as by hounds.  Secondly there is the voice of an archangel.  We only know of one archangel in scripture, Michael.  He has a special role in end times events.  Third, there is the trumpet of God.  Other end times passages also refer to a trumpet being blown in relation to the return of Christ.

 

1 Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. 2 For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, There is peace and security, then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4 But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. 5 For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. 6 So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

After describing this event, Paul continues teaching the Thessalonians that they already have significant knowledge of this event.  Paul had been in their presence teaching them of these things and now he reminds them of what he had previously taught them.  He states that they understand that the Day he has just spoken of has certain times and seasons which will precede it.  He also refers to the Day just described as The Day of the LORD.  But notice that only Christians will recognize the indicators which precede the Day of the LORD.

 

The Day of the LORD (which includes the coming of Christ and rapture of the church) will come like a thief in the night to those who are in spiritual darkness.  But Christians are not in that spiritual darkness, so the Day of the LORD will not catch them like a thief in the night.  Christians walk in spiritual light and will understand the signs which occur beforehand.  The sign which Christians will see is the proclamation of “peace and safety”.  However, this statement of peace and safety does not refer to true security.  On the heels of this announcement, sudden destruction will come like a thief in the night to the world yet Christians will be prepared.  So while the world in general is saying that peace and safety has arrived, Christians should know better.

 

The last thing we should realize from this passage about the Day of the LORD in relation to the rapture, is the reference to the wrath of God.  Paul points out that believers should be prepared for this day because we are not appointed to the wrath of God, but to obtain salvation.  This should prompt us to connect the Day of the LORD and coming of Christ with the wrath of God.  In contrast to experiencing the wrath of God, believers will experience salvation which results in living with Him (Christ).  So when Christ comes, raises the dead, and raptures the church, this spares the church from the wrath of God immediately following.

 

5 This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering 6 since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels 8 in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, 10 when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.

 

Now for the clarification in II Thessalonians.  Paul writes concerning the tribulation and persecution that the Thessalonians church was experiencing.  He reminds them that they are suffering for the kingdom of God.  Then he commits the vengeance for this suffering into the hands of God.  This vengeance will occur when Jesus comes in glory with flaming fire accompanied by His mighty angels.  Before the coming of Christ there is tribulation for the church.  After the coming of Christ there is the vengeance against those who had been persecuting the church.  This coming results in relief and rest for the church.

 

1 Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, 2 not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. 5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Then in chapter 2, Paul refers to the aforementioned coming of Christ as the Day of the LORD.  He first mentions two things which will occur at the same time, the coming of Christ and the gathering of the church to be with Christ.  Then he states that this Day of the LORD has not come and will not come until two things occur first.  Before examining these two things, we should notice that Paul is writing of the same coming here in II Thessalonians as he was in I Thessalonians.  In I Thessalonians, he wrote a false cry of peace and safety, then Christ’s coming, the church being gathered to him, it happens on the Day of the LORD, and the wrath of God immediately follows.  Here in II Thessalonians, he writes of persecution for the church, then the coming of Christ, the gathering of the church, it happens on the Day of the LORD, then the vengeance against those who had been persecuting the church immediately follows.  They are obviously describing the same coming.

 

The two events which precede the Day of the LORD are named and explained.  The apostasy is sometimes translated as the rebellion or the falling away.  It is later explained as the strong delusion which will lead so many to embrace a lie because they refused to love the truth and be saved.  The other is the man of sin being revealed.  This is explained as the son of destruction taking a place in the temple of God and proclaiming himself to be God.  His coming is accompanied by Satan’s power, false signs, and wicked deception.  The coming of this man of sin will precede the coming of Christ as will the apostasy.

 

We should be able to come to some very simple conclusions about the Day of the LORD and the rapture of the church based on I and II Thessalonians.  The Day of the LORD acts as a dividing event between two time periods. 

 

Before the Day of the LORD, there is persecution and tribulation for the church. 

After the Day of the LORD, there is vengeance against the ungodly for that persecution.

 

Before the Day of the LORD, there is a false cry of peace and safety by the world. 

After the Day of the LORD, there is sudden destruction for the world. 

 

Before the Day of the LORD, there is a man of sin proclaiming to be God.

After the Day of the LORD, there is the destruction of the man of sin by Christ.

 

Before the Day of the LORD, there is an apostasy which causes many to embrace a lie.

After the Day of the LORD, those who have embraced the lie will be destroyed.

 

Before the Day of the LORD, the man of sin is exalted.

After the Day of the LORD, Christ is glorified in the church.

 

Before the Day of the LORD the times will have been characterized by persecution for the church, the world falsely saying there will be peace and safety, the man of sin deceiving the world by Satanic power, and a great apostasy which includes many believing the lies of the devil.  The Day of the LORD will begin with the coming of Christ, the dead in Christ being resurrected, the living church being raptured (granting us relief), then those believers will always be with the LORD.  The Day of the LORD will continue after this coming and gathering to be a time of wrath, vengeance, punishment of the ungodly, and destruction of the man of sin.

 

The previous study shows that the PreWrath Rapture is the most scriptural position.  In simply examining these two letters of Paul, we have come to some very simple, yet profound conclusions regarding the Day of the LORD and the rapture of the church.  If we were to cross reference other passages, we could expand our events to include even more detail.  Referencing Joel 2:28-32 would show that there will be cosmic signs just before the Day of the LORD.  Zephaniah 1:14-16 would show us that the Day of the LORD is a day of wrath announced with a trumpet blast and battle cry.  Matthew 24:29-31 would place the coming of Christ with a gathering of the elect, but also noting that the nations will mourn as they see Christ coming in glory and power.  This passage also shows cosmic signs acting as portents to the coming of Christ placed immediately after the great tribulation.  The sixth seal of Revelation and Isaiah 2:10-21 could be examined as well.

 

Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

 

-The Orange Mailman

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11 Responses to The Day of the LORD in relation to the rapture of the church

  1. Kristen says:

    Nicely written, Orange. Have they asked you to preach this at your church yet? By the way, a certain friend of ours has decided he\’s not prewrath anymore but post-trib…have you crossed his path lately?

  2. Darrin says:

    Thanks Kristen. I\’m not sure who you mean, but I\’ve got guesses. Whoever they are, ask them to read this article. Post-tribbers are usually pretty good about their basic stance. I\’m part post-trib myself, believe it or not. I get a little flack for some of my peculiarities from the classic prewrath crowd sometimes.

  3. Kristen says:

    I guess I could say I\’m post-great-trib. I\’m talking about Slick. He\’s on a roll about being here for the trumpets but gone for the bowls. He apparently differentiates between wrath and the DOTL. (I think I mentioned that to you once…) "Peculiarities" is a good word to describe you! Sorry that the weather is getting colder – I hear that prayer shawl may come in handy this winter! Say hi to Diva for me…

  4. rapazoe says:

    Joh 6:39 “This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.

    ressurection = rapture = salvation

    is the “Last Day” in reference to the last day of this age ie:day6 …. or is it Day 7 … the Day of the Lord ???

    is it new years eve … or new years day ???

    • It is the last day of the end of the age. Matthew 24:29-31 explains this event. It begins the Day of the LORD and the destruction that will follow.

      • rapazoe says:

        I think Matthew explains it as follows ..

        Day 6
        vs 27-28 represent the last day of this present age … Day 6.
        No rapture or ressurection takes place until after vs 29.

        Day 7 … the last day
        vs 29 represents the first day of The Day of the Lord … the 7th day … the sabbath day of the kingdom … the Last day. Powers are shaken and Jesus is activated. Jesus will then appear in the clouds with great power and great glory. vs 31 He sends out His angels to rapture the elect. ie … raised up on the Last day.
        Day 7 is the Last Day of this “epoch” … and then what ???

        rev 21:1 I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth have passed away, and the sea is no more.

  5. rapazoe says:

    Jewish folks will be well aware of the Last Day and all of its wonders….. but would not have any concept of the last day at the end of this present age … so I think the sister of Lazarus is referring to the only thing that all Jewish people would be thinking … the the Last Day .. ie Day 7.

  6. rapazoe says:

    … a serious error … NO scriptural basis for your statement … “Christ is on His way to earth, but before completely descending,” … this is a hangover thought from pre-trib nonsense.

    rather, … the raptured are on their way to heaven …
    Rev 7:9  After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no man could count, out of every nation and of all tribes, peoples, and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands. 
    Rev 7:10  They cried with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation be to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
    rapture = salvation from the wrath that is coming … so why would Jesus place His elect back in harms way (wrath) by being on the earth when the wrath follows immediately … Rev 6:17  for the great day of his wrath has come; and who is able to stand?” … ( I thought you were pre-wrath?) 
    agree with you here … They have entered into the chambers and will hide themselves for a little moment until the indignation is overpast because the LORD is coming out from His place to judge the earth, Isaiah 26:19-21.
    Jesus and His Bride return to earth here … Rev 19:11  I saw the heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it is called Faithful and True. In righteousness he judges and makes war. 

    Rev 7-11 = Rev 14-16
    Rev 6-7 = olivet discourse

    Isa 26:19  Your dead shall live. My dead bodies shall arise. Awake and sing, you who dwell in the dust; for your dew is like the dew of herbs, and the earth will cast out the departed spirits. (ressurection and rapture … where do they go ???)
    Isa 26:20  Come, my people, enter into your rooms, and shut your doors behind you. Hide yourself for a little moment, until the indignation is past. (Hide for a little moment – until wrath is complete = rapture to heaven)
    Isa 26:21  For, behold, Yahweh comes out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity. The earth also will disclose her blood, and will no longer cover her slain.  (punishment, wrath, vengeance … the Day of Christ/Lord)

    1. elect raptured before the wrath (pre-wrath, post-trib)
    2. elect in heaven for a little while … “until the indignation is past”
    3 elect returns to earth as the Bride of Christ with Jesus leading the way … Rev.19

    1Th 5:9  For God didn’t appoint us to wrath, but to the obtaining of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 

    rapazoe – March 2020

  7. rapazoe says:

    Isa_13:6  Wail; for the day of Yahweh is at hand! It will come as destruction from the Almighty.
    I am thinking that the expression “at hand” is not a time reference but rather a certainty reference.
    ie: “at hand” – does not mean “coming soon” or in “short order” …
    rather
    ie: “at hand” – means it is a certainty … if something is at your hand … you can grab it for sure.
    which explains why the “Day of the Lord” is at hand … 5,000 years ago … it is certain to come
    but mayb not tomorrow or next week …

    rapazoe – March 2020

  8. “ So when Christ comes, raises the dead, and raptures the church, this spares the church from the wrath of God immediately following.”

    How does this contradict Pre-Wrath? How would you explain PreWrath?

  9. rapazoe says:

    pre-wrath implies that the rapture takes place before the wrath of God is inflicted upon the earth.
    You state that Jesus and the raptured elect will descend to earth after the rapture.
    This idea of descent to earth at the time of the rapture is not found anywhere in scripture … it is a pre-trib fabrication “fake news”!!!

    Orange Mailman says … from heaven to earth !!!
    “The reason for this is that Christian believers will be raised from the dead, brought from heaven to earth with Christ when He comes again, be “caught up” to meet Christ as He descends, and forever be united with the Lord Jesus. Paul describes this event (referred to as the rapture by most) and includes both living saints and departed saints as participating equally in the event.”
    The Day of the LORD will continue after this coming and gathering to be a time of wrath, vengeance, punishment of the ungodly, and destruction of the man of sin.
    Departed saints rise first, then living saints are caught up to be with Christ. Believers have this hope, unbelievers do not.”

    … thats no hope … to be on earth with unbelievers at the time of Gods wrath !!!
    … it just makes no scriptural sense …
    … there is no point to the pre-wrath position if the rapture does not remove the elect from wrath … I thot that was the essential point of the pre-wrath system
    … it would be a mind-boggling contradition …

    Here is the Olivet discourse account
    Mat 24:30  and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky. Then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. 
    Mat 24:31  He will send out his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together his chosen ones from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other. 
    Here is the Revelation account … which aligns perfectly well with the Olivet discourse
    Rev 14:14  I looked, and behold, a white cloud; and on the cloud one sitting like a son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. 
    Rev 14:15  Another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud, “Send your sickle, and reap; for the hour to reap has come; for the harvest of the earth is ripe!” 
    Rev 14:16  He who sat on the cloud thrust his sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.

    at the same time of the rapture … who is on the earth ???
    the 144,000 from the 12 tribes … no elect are mentioned being with Jesus here
    Jesus the lamb is noted but Jesus took the raptured elect to heaven and are singing a new song. They will remain there for a little while until the wrath/vengeance is past. (mayb 10+ days)
    Rev 14:1  I saw, and behold, the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him a number, one hundred forty-four thousand, having his name, and the name of his Father, written on their foreheads. 
    this aligns perfectly with Rev.7 … the great elect multitude are before the throne in heaven
    Rev.7 1-8 144,000 sealed
    Rev 7:9  After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no man could count, out of every nation and of all tribes, peoples, and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands. 
    Rev 7:10  They cried with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation be to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 

    clearly & scripturally, Jesus takes the raptured elect to heaven for a “little while” … until the indignation is past.
    Isa 26:20  Come, my people, enter into your rooms, and shut your doors behind you. Hide yourself for a little moment, until the indignation is past. 
    His elect people are hiding out in heaven for a little while until the indignation is past … He does not bring them to earth and put them in harms way of wrath/vengeance/indignation.

    Its a contradition in the pre-wrath rapture system if Jesus just brings the elect down to earth to experience wrath.
    I am no expert on the “pre-wrath” system but I thot pre-wrath implied an escape from wrath … !!!
    In fact I naively thot that this is THE essential point of the system.
    It is implied in its name “pre-wrath” … or is it false advertising ???

    no indication here of descending to earth !!!
    1Th 4:17  then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. So we will be with the Lord forever. 

    salvation = rapture = escape from wrath that follows immediately …
    1Th 5:9  For God didn’t appoint us to wrath, but to the obtaining of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 

    I am very confused by your post … please explain your non-scriptural assertions ..
    How would you explain Pre-Wrath ???

    rapozoe – April 2020

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