Ok, you Bible scholars. It's time to think "key word." There are certain words or phrases in the Bible that represent a certain event. Once you recognize the key word, you can then quickly place the context and meaning of a given passage of Scripture. When you see the phrase "the day of Jesus Christ," or "the day of Christ," to what event is the Bible referring.? Once you understand, you also gain a beautiful "eternal security" verse. This is not that difficult of a question, but you still get a week to work on it. Your thoughts and comments are requested by midnight, February 27. Pleasant thinking.
We picked up a new reader with this "thinking cap." Welcome to Doug Busby, who is a pastor in California. I heard from Martin Olson, John Dickinson and Ruth Klema with good responses.
Here, for what it is worth is how I would approach this topic. When you see "the day of the Lord," the Bible is talking about the second coming of Jesus Christ and a time of judgment. Other key words that refer to the second coming of Jesus Christ are "that day," "the day." When you see "the day of [our Lord Jesus] Christ," the Bible is talking about the rapture of the church and a time of reward and blessing of the saints.
The phrase "the day of our Lord Jesus Christ," occurs in 1 Cor 1:8; 5:5 (the day of the Lord Jesus); 2 Cor. 1:14 (the day of the Lord Jesus); Phil. 1:6 (the day of Jesus Christ), 10 (the day of Christ); 2:16 (the day of Christ) and 2 Thes. 2:2 (the day of Christ).
In the 2 Thes. 2:2, Paul augments the phrase in verse 1 as a time of our "gathering together unto him." All six of the passages are written to Christians and refer to the day of the rapture.
With this in mind, Phil. 1:6 becomes a beautiful "eternal security" verse. Phil 1:6, "Being confident of this very thing, that he (Holy Spirit) that hath begun a good work in you (now the Holy Ghost) will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." At the rapture, we and the presence of the Holy Spirit will be taken away. But, the Holy Ghost will remain in the believer until that day.
Understanding the difference between these two basic "key words" ("the day of the Lord" and "the day of Jesus Christ") can add new dimension to your Bible reading. They also give credence to the premillinial and pretribulation rapture of believers.
One more thought. Look at the 2 Thes. 2:2 passage. Notice how Paul is seeking to give comfort to the believers in Thessalonica. They were concerned that they may miss the rapture discussed in 1 Thes. 4:13-18. Paul assures them that "the gathering" (verse 1) called the rapture was at hand (verse 2 - "the day of Christ"). But they should not be concerned, because "that day" (verse 3, referring to the second coming seven years later) will not come until the tribulation period is first completed (which Paul then goes on to explain in verses 4 - 12).
A word of caution. It would be wise to use the King James Version when doing this "thinking cap" as several modern versions use the phrase "the day of the Lord" in 2 Thes. 2:2. Thus if you like to use the NIV, NASB and other modern versions, you could draw the conclusion that you as a believer will have to go through the tribulation. Not a pleasant thought.
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