Summary: The Day of the Lord will be terrible and dreadful - Who can endure it?
Words of Warning – Prophecy of Joel
#2 - The Day of the Lord
* (Read Text) The last 2 line of verse 11 are worth having burned into our memory for recall (at any given moment). It says, “The day of the Lord is terrible and dreadful—who can endure it?” It is my belief that if you and I were to get our minds around this truth, that it would revolutionize our hearts & lives. To carry an honest concept about how God will deal with humankind at the end of time is to be sobered about the actual Day of the Lord.
* Let us not become listless about the prophet of Joel. For the 21st century American (particularly inside the church), we have come to expect our Sunday messages to tell us things like, “how to be happy” or ‘how to overcome fear, depression, pride, or the like.’ The message of Joel while offering words of warning to people and the wants of God, if heard in our spirits, will touch us in the deep parts of our souls and affect all these areas of our lives. That is what is meant by “Seek FIRST the Kingdom of God and ALL THESE THINGS will be added.” When we seek Him and His first, then the rest of our lives will come into line and focus of His best for us.
* Today, let’s get a picture and Biblical concept of the Day of the Lord, and then tonight we will follow with the next 5 verses which call us to “Get Ready.” Let’s consider 3 thought about the Day of the Lord.
1. Be reminded about the day - The Term the Day of the Lord occurs 25 times in 23 verses, including the books of Isaiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Zephaniah, Zechariah, Malachi, Acts, I & II Thessalonians, and II Peter and it is not speaking of only a one day, 24-hour, period of time.
a. it's coming – When I was a child, we played “hide and seek.” We counted to a specific number and then to the top of our voices declared, “Ready or not here I come!” Not wanting to humanize or disrespect our Heavenly Father, I submit that a countdown is in process. When we watch the countdown for the space shuttle, the end of a ballgame, or a wedding day, we know that when the countdown is over, something is going to happen. Here is what it will be; it will be the “Day of the Lord.” Just like coming to the end of a game is inevitable, coming to the end of this world is unavoidable. Ready or not, it’s coming.
b. it's near - Two times in our text we are told that this day is near. When a pastor says this, he will receive some sarcastic looks and even remarks. Never forget that Peter tells us ‘1000 years is like a day and a day is like 1000 years.” Putting God’s time table in place reminds us that it hasn’t been long since the world were spoken and it won’t be long until these words are consummated. The signs pointing to the second coming are increasing in number. Read the paper & become either excited or distressed, because the days are short. One of the reasons why I am so sure that the Day of the Lord is close is because ‘joy & gladness has been taken from the house of our God.”
The Day of the Lord – Pg 2
c. it'll be a surprise – The day of the Lord will be a surprise on many fronts. First, Peter tells us that this day will come as a thief. Think about the thief.
* The thief comes when you are not expecting Him. In Matthew 24, Jesus calls us to “be alert – since we don’t know when our Lord will come” and then goes on to say, “If the homeowner had known what time the thief was coming, he would have stayed alert.” The point is that ‘no one knows’ when the Day of the Lord is. No one but the Heavenly Father. He has the Holy countdown.
* The thief comes and takes something. God Himself will take the heavens, earth, the elements and all the rest of what we think is important to us. Multiple places in the Bible are we told that God will destroy all there is only to replace it with the NEW, the Perfect, and the eternal. Listen to this principle: “God will never take something without replacing it with something better.”
* Before leaving the thought of a THIEF, let me give us one more thing God will take from us. He will take our ‘secrets.’ You know what secrets are; they are those things you keep ‘from’ everyone else. The Bible tells us that what is hidden on earth will be revealed in heaven and what is revealed on earth will be hidden in heaven. Years ago in South Mississippi I remember an advertisement for a mechanic which said, “Pay me now or pay me later.” The point of his message was that every car needs to be properly maintained and it costs to maintain a car. However, if you choose not to maintain it, then you will face the pain of expensive repair. So (said the commercial) you can pay a little now or pay a lot later, BUT one way or the other, YOU WILL PAY.