Day of the Lord

In saying, "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day," the apostle John appears to have been transported in some manner into the future where he witnessed the end of human history and was instructed to "write in a book" what he saw.

Because John's Greek expression "kyriakē hēmera" (Lord's Day) is not the same as "hēmera kyriou" (Day of the Lord), there is some dispute about whether the Lord's Day here is the same as the Day of the Lord. Some scholars believe that the reference to the Lord's Day is Sunday or perhaps Easter.

In the context of the whole Bible and the subject matter of Revelation, John's statement of "BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him" (Rev 1:7) seems to indicate that John knew that being "in the Spirit on the Lord's Day" was being a witness to God's eschatological judgment.

Introduced by major and minor prophets and influenced by God's intervention in Israel's early conflicts, the phrase "Day of the Lord" was used to place an emphasis on the swift and decisive nature of God's victory over His enemies (Isa 13:6, 9; Ezek 30:3).

However, most of the Day of the Lord prophecies of the Old Testament were directed towards nation of Israel for their blatant disregard of their covenant commitments (Amos 5:18-20; Joel 1:15; 2:1; Zeph 1:7-18). While the Old Testament "Day of the Lord" was a message of punishment, God used His prophets to bring His people to repentance and return to their covenant relationship with Him. Moses indicates that God's curses were precisely designed to teach the nation of Israel how to live a holy life (Deut 30:1-5).

Throughout the Old Testament, the "Day of the Lord" was in context of YHWH; however, with the exception of his reference to Joel's prophecy in Acts 2:20, the apostle Peter spoke of the "Day of the Lord," "Day of Judgment," and the "Day of God" synonymously in the context of Jesus Christ (2 Pet 2:9-10; 3:3-18).

The apostle Paul describes the second coming of Jesus Christ as sudden and unannounced. It will herald a time of punishment for non-Believers for their guilt of sin and a time of confirmation for those who placed their faith in Jesus Christ as atonement for their sins (1 Cor 5:5; 1 Thes 5:1-6). Paul writes of this terrible day to inform Christians that judgment is in the future, and encourages them to remain steadfast and continue growing in their faith (Phil 1:6-11).

The New Testament does not use the phrase "Day of the Lord" as a call to return to a covenant relationship; instead, it is a warning that Final Judgment is coming. For Believers, it meant be stay faithful and not be deceived by false teachers. For non-Believers, it was a call to place your faith in Jesus Christ for the God is "patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance."

This is an exerpt from: The Day of the Lord.