SPECIAL TOPIC: The Day of the Lord

This corresponds to an OT phrase referring to God or His Messiah breaking into history to set up the new age of righteousness (cf. Isa. 2:12; Joel 1:15; 2:11,31; Amos 5:18; Zechariah 14). In the OT God's coming could be for blessing or for judgment. For believers it will be the culmination of salvation (i.e., resurrection) but for unbelievers the consummation of judgment.

The eschatological emphasis of a special coming day when humans will meet Jesus (as Savior or Judge) goes by several designations in Paul's writings:

1. "the day of our Lord Jesus Christ" (cf. 1 Cor. 1:8)

2. "the day of the Lord" (cf. 1 Cor. 5:5; 1 Thess. 5:2; 2 Thess. 2:2)

3. "the day of the Lord Jesus" (cf. 2 Cor. 1:14)

4. "the day of Jesus Christ" (cf. Phil. 1:6)

5. "the day of Christ" (cf. Phil. 1:10; 2:16)

6. "His day (Son of Man)" (cf. Luke 17:24)

7. "the day that the Son of Man is revealed" (cf. Luke 17:30)

8. "the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ" (cf. 1 Cor. 1:7)

9. "when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven" (cf. 2 Thess. 1:7)

10. "in the presence of the Lord Jesus at His coming" (cf. 1 Thess. 2:19)

In the OT the writers saw two ages, an evil age and a coming age of righteousness, the age of the Spirit (see Special Topic: This Age and the Age to Come). God would intervene in history through His Messiah (see Special Topic: Messiah) to set up this new age. This event was know as the "Day of the Lord." Notice that NT writers attribute this to Christ. His first coming, the Incarnation, was foretold in many OT texts. The Jews did not expect a divine person, just a divine intervention. The two comings of the Messiah, one as Suffering Servant and Savior, one as Judge and Lord, were not obvious to OT people.

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