Hello everyone. Thank you again for the prayers and I do ask that you all keep praying for me. I am working hard on making some needed changes in my life. It will be a process and a painful one, but it is one that needs to be done. For tonight however, we are going to finish the book of 1 Thessalonians by talking about the Day of the Lord. I will be quoting verse 2 of the fifth chapter:
2for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
Now once again, I wish to remind you readers that we are not going to get into eschatology tonight. I instead wish to focus on the topics that all Christians agree on. I wish to bring up this passage because in the Old Testament, the Day of the Lord is a frequent appeal and we find that that hasn’t changed in the New Testament.
When the prophets spoke about an event called the Day of the Lord, they were making reference to the idea of a king who would be so powerful that he would defeat all of his enemies in a single day. Now I don’t believe that the Day of the Lord necessarily always refers to the same day, but it did refer to a time when YHWH would vanquish his enemies.
When we move over to the New Testament however, it is Jesus who is seen as the Lord. In the fifth chapter and in much of 1 Thessalonians, the Lord refers to Christ and it is the day in which he comes and defeats his enemies.
What this tells us is that Paul had no hesitancy to take this imagery of YHWH and apply it to Jesus. Just as YHWH in the Old Testament would be the one who came and defeated his enemies, in the New Testament, it is Jesus who comes and defeats his enemies. Now how you handle that eschatologically will be up to you. This blog does not go into that.
This should also reveal to us something of how Paul saw Jesus as a judge. Too often, we have thought of gentle Jesus meek and mild. Jesus is the good shepherd, yes, but the good shepherd is the one who comes and deals with those who are attacking the flock. Do not forget for a moment that he is the Lion of Judah.
Throughout the rest of the chapter in fact, we see a constant reference to the Lord Jesus Christ and to his wrath. He is the one who is the judge and we know from John that judgment has been entrusted to the Son. He is the one before whom all will bow someday. 1 Thessalonians should help remind us of that. When we come to Jesus in the text, we must remember that he is not just loving but he is also just and that he does take sin seriously and that he does have wrath.