Day of the Lord

Concise Bible Dictionary:

This cannot be separated from Messiah’s day. It is often characterized by judgment: “A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness.... the day of the Lord is great and very terrible” (Joel 2:2, 11, 31; Mal. 4:1). “The day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night; for when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them” (1 Thess. 5:2-3). “The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (2 Pet. 3:10). This scene is followed by “THE DAY OF GOD” in 2 Peter 3:12, which ushers in the new heavens and the new earth.
It is important to keep the “day” quite distinct from the coming of the Lord to fetch His saints; for many have misapplied the term, and it has been constantly asserted that the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians was written to show the saints that it was wrong to be expecting the return of the Lord; whereas the fact is they thought the day of the Lord had come (though the First Epistle keeps the two things quite distinct (compare 1 Thess. 4:13-18 with 1 Thess. 5:1-4), and this could not come until Antichrist was revealed. There will be judgments before the millennium, and there will be judgments after the millennium, so that we may regard the Day of the Lord as extending through the millennium: it will be “the Lord’s” day in contrast to “man’s” day.

From Anstey’s Doctrinal Definitions:

This is an Old Testament term (Isa. 2:12, etc.) used in the New Testament to indicate the time when the Lord’s authority will be publicly established on earth (1 Thess. 5:2, 4; 2 Thess. 2:2-3 – J. N. Darby Trans.; Luke 21:34). (It is not “the Lord’s day,” which is the first day of the week – Revelation 1:10). “The day of the Lord” will begin at the Appearing of Christ and will continue through the Millennium (2 Peter 3:8-10). Thus, it will last 1000 years. God has appointed this “day” at which time Christ will “judge the world in righteousness” (Acts 17:31). The Lord will publicly intervene upon the ways of man on earth with His warrior judgments (Isa. 30:27-33; Rev. 19:11-21; Isa. 63:1-6), and then will proceed with His sessional judgment (Matt. 25:31-40), and lastly with His millennial judgment (Psa. 101:3-7; Zech. 5:1-4).
There are two things that signal that “the day of the Lord” is “at hand” (about to begin):
•  The revelation of “the man of sin” (the Antichrist) and the “falling away” of Christendom after his delusions in the Great Tribulation (2 Thess. 2:3).
•  The attack of the King of the North (the Assyrian) on the Jews who will be gathered back in their homeland at the end of the Great Tribulation (Joel 1:15; 2:1-11).
“The day of the Lord” and “the day of Christ” refer to the same period of time (the Millennium); the former emphasizes the exercise of His judgment in the earth and the latter the display of His glory with the Church.

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