Summary: The Lord will return and crush His enemies.
The Day of the Lord, Zechariah 14:1-9
The great “Day of the Lord” will be the topic of our discussion this morning. The blessed hope of the redemption of God’s covenant people will be our primary concern today. That terrible Day of Judgment when the nations of the earth will be nations of the earth will be mighty hand of God will be a part of this discussion.
As I go to my text this morning it is with great fear and trembling as I handle this most precious of the doctrines of the Church.
For today we peer into the future through the lens of the prophecy of Zechariah, gazing to that great and terrible day when the Lord shall consummate this present age, ushering in a millennial reign of Christ on earth when we shall know Him perfectly, when all that is broken will be healed, and when the sin-sickened creation of God which all around us groans under the weight of sin’s curse shall be restored. The great reformer Martin Luther once wrote, “I hope that the day is near at hand when the advent of the great God will appear, for all things everywhere are boiling, burning, moving, falling, sinking, groaning.”
Indeed, all things are boiling, burning, moving, falling, sinking, and groaning. We look forward to the consummation of this age when all shall be restored to its former state, before sin brought about the curse which we now know.
The coming of Christ again need not be as it is for many, a means of hopeful escapism. No. Never let it be that we who are called to be salt and light in this world – we who are called to transform this world for Christ – would allow ourselves the ease of escapism through the vehicle of prophecy!
The promise of His coming fuels our passion and zeal for building His kingdom now. The promise of His coming and the knowledge of the consummation of this age (the current dispensation of redemptive history) are to inform us that the time is short: repent, believe, live for Christ, evangelize, win others to Christ, promote missions, and be reconciled to God and men!
We live for Christ today filled with the blessed hope of His return! We long for Christ return because we are filled with love Him and a desire for His glory to be known fully and manifest completely in this world!
The “Day of the Lord” is the blessed hope of God’s covenant people and it is a terrible reality for those who reject Him. This is entirely because His love is as an unquenchable fire which burns so brightly, so hotly, that it refines all that is consistent with it and burns away to nothing all that is inconsistent with it.
For believers the fire of God’s love is dazzling beauty, radiant, intensely warming. For unbelievers it is an unquenchable destroying fire which burns so strongly that it cannot be extinguished.
It is to that end that we proceed this morning. My aim will be to exposit the text, explaining the details of the great battle of Armageddon, albeit in a concise way, and then offer a few points of practical application for us in the “here and now” of the Christian pilgrimage today.
Everyone has heard of “Armageddon.” The idea of the last great battle of the ages and the end of the earth, or at least the end of the earth as we currently experience it, is a common theme. It is made popular in secular and religious books, films, and other forms of popular media.
What is it? Allow me to first say that it is not in any fashion, in any way, a biblical notion that it will occur in 2012 at the end of the Mayan calendar.
In an article which appeared in the USA Today in 2007, in the wake of several books and films about the supposed end time predictions of the Mayan Indians of Central America, author G. Jeffrey MacDonald writes,
“Authors disagree about what humankind should expect on Dec. 21, 2012, when the Maya's "Long Count" calendar marks the end of a 5,126-year era. Journalist Lawrence Joseph forecasts widespread catastrophe in Apocalypse 2012: A Scientific Investigation into Civilization's End. Spiritual healer Andrew Smith predicts a restoration of a "true balance between Divine Feminine and Masculine" in The Revolution of 2012: Vol. 1, The Preparation. In 2012, Daniel Pinchbeck anticipates a "change in the nature of consciousness," assisted by indigenous insights and psychedelic drug use… [He goes on to write] … University of Florida anthropologist Susan Gillespie says the 2012 phenomenon comes "from media and from other people making use of the Maya past to fulfill agendas that are really their own."