The Day of the Lord is Coming
GOD “Now commandeth all men every where to repent: because He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead.” Acts 17:30-31.
This is a command from God, not to be lightly disregarded. It is universal, for it includes all men, everywhere. It is a solemn warning that the day is coming when every person will be judged by his personal relationship to Christ. And the pledge of its fulfillment is the fact of His resurrection, for Christ did not die in vain.
Salvation is personal and individual. Jesus did not die to save society, but to save sinners. He was made in the likeness of man that He might take the place of each one of us upon the cross and bear the penalty of our personal guilt. “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” II Corinthians 5:21
The historic fact that Jesus came once in accordance with prophecy is proof that He will come again in accordance with prophecy, for both advents are included in the same prophecy. Seven centuries before Jesus was born, Isaiah prophesied that He would come “To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God.” Isaiah 61:2. Isaiah saw the two advents in line, like distant mountain peaks, and could not distinguish the time interval between them. But when Jesus read His divine commission from this prophecy in the synagogue at Nazareth, He stopped with the words: “the acceptable year of the Lord,” and closed the Book. The “day of vengeance” awaits His second advent, when the world will be purged by fire.
At His second advent, Christ is coming for His own that they may escape God’s judgment on sin, for “our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:29. The present interval between these two advents is the day of grace in which we live, and choose our eternal destiny. His first advent brought salvation to sinners; He is coming again to take out of the world those who in their lifetime obeyed God’s command to repent, and received His beloved Son as their personal Saviour. God’s promise to believers in every age since Calvary is that: “The Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” I Thessalonians 4:16-17.
There can never be world peace because men must first be reconciled to God before they can be reconciled to one another. “There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” Isaiah 57:21. The world system is essentially evil because Satan is the prince of this world. Therefore it is written that: “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” I John 2:15. Christ is the Prince of Peace, for we are reconciled to God through the blood of the cross which covers our sin.
Salvation in Christ does not come by mental assent to His teaching or acceptance of a creed, but by personal experience of His indwelling presence. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” II Corinthians 5:17. Jesus said: “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3. We are born into this world individually, one by one; we are likewise born spiritually, one by one. It is a transforming experience, whereby we go to Calvary with our Lord, and henceforth see life from the standpoint of the Cross.
On the night of His betrayal, Jesus said: “I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine.” John 17:9. Christ is the Hope of the world in this age of grace, while He tarries and the Comforter abides, for: “There is none other Name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12. When God commands, and the appointed day is sure, in which all will be judged by their relationship to Christ, the question of supreme importance for each of us is: Will I be found on the victory side of the Cross when Christ returns for His own?