Summary: The Day of the Lord reviewed and analyzed
The Most Prophesied Event in Scripture
When the Lord Jesus’ four disciples, James, John, Peter and Andrew, asked Him these questions:
"When shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world [age]?”
(Matthew 24:3b), He answered their question with simplicity and great clarity.
However, He addressed the second part of their question first ["the end of the world [age]”] because the events leading up to the end of the age are also the signs for His Second Coming. Both events, the end of this age and the Second Coming of Christ, begin on the very same day:
“And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it also be in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.”
The Lord is emphasizing “the same day” rescue of His people, then, immediate retribution. This has been His unchanging method through the ages. In other words, this present age, which is the age of grace, will end when the Lord returns to rescue His saints by rapture from Satan’s great tribulation, which is immediately followed by God’s Day of the Lord judgment. Jesus’ Second Coming will bring an end to this present age, which is also called the Church age.
Man’s time on earth started “In the beginning” (Genesis 1:1) when God created man (Genesis 1:27) and gave him “dominion…over every living thing” (Genesis 1:28) and therefore, the time since Creation could rightly be called the day of man.
Man’s day will be immediately followed by God’s Day, which is the eschatological Day of the Lord, “The Most Prophesied Event in Scripture”. In that day God will systematically re-take control of His planet through His righteous Day of the Lord judgments. In the process, these judgments will also accomplish His purpose of purging and purifying the earth from the ages-long effects of sin’s corruption (Psalm 102:25, 26; II Peter 3:10-12). This Day of the Lord judgment period will be preceded by these heavenly wonders:
"And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come."
(Joel 2:30, 31)
Joel, whose entire book focuses upon the Day of the Lord, is the first to write of this event indicating that these heavenly wonders will be the sign of the Day of the Lord for they will precede the Lord’s wrathful judgment in that day.
Isaiah also attests to these same signs in the heavens in connection with the Day of the Lord:
"Behold, the day of the Lord comes, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and He shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine."
(Isaiah 13:9, 10)
The prophet Amos speaks of the darkness during this future event:
"Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord: to what end is it for you: the day of the Lord is darkness and not light…Shall not the day of the Lord be darkness, and not light? Even very dark, and no brightness in it?"
(Amos 5:18, 20)
Zephaniah, whose book theme is the Day of the Lord, records this same darkness along with other defining characteristics:
"The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hastes greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness." (Zephaniah 1:14, 15)
The Lord Jesus Christ links these same heavenly wonders to the end of this age and His return to rescue the saints from Satan’s “great wrath” (Revelation 12:12) also called the Great Tribulation:
"Immediately after the [great] tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." (Matthew 24:29-31)