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Jesus Teaches the Day of the Lord

I’ve been posting about the end-times from Jesus’ perspective.  It’s the section of Scripture found in Mark, chapter 13.

Jesus has just finished telling His disciples how to prepare for future events.  He’s warned them in general of the things they need to watch out for.  He also told them about the destruction of Jerusalem.

At this point in His teaching, the Lord is going to explain the connection between His coming and the end of the age.

“But in those days, following that distress, ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’”
Mark 13:24-25

Jesus prefaces this section by telling the disciples that these things will happen in the days following the events surrounding the destruction of Jerusalem.  Please realize that this is from God’s perspective.

2,000 years is “just following” to an eternal being.  Remember, He warned His disciples that they would not see the events connected with His return (Luke 17:22).

The Lord is making reference to Isaiah 13:10 and 34:4.  He describes a sign dealing with the sun, moon, and stars.  Notice how the prophet Isaiah describes it.

See, the day of the LORD is coming – a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger — to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it.  The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light.  The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light.
Isaiah 13:9-10

This sign is described throughout both the Old and New Testaments as the “Day of the Lord”.  Whenever the Day of the Lord is prophesied, the same word pictures are always used.  In both the Old and New Testaments, we’re told that the sun and moon would be darkened, as the heavens themselves are shaken.

Notice that this sign is described in such a way as to make it reliable no matter which side of the earth you’re living on.  If your location is in the daytime, you’ll see the sun darken. If it’s night, you’ll see the moon and the stars affected.

The important thing is that we know what to look for.  It’s the sign of the Day of the Lord.  We need to understand its place in the order of end-time events.

In my next post, we’ll see exactly where Christ placed this day in His timeline.  The way I look at it, if His teaching is different than mine, then I’m the one who needs to change my thinking.

Question: Where does the Day of the Lord fit into your last-days’ timeline?

© 2018 Nick Zaccardi

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Posted by on July 6, 2018 in Return of Christ

 

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Looking Forward to the Resurrection

Cloud2I’m posting about Paul’s teaching on the Second Coming of Christ found in First Thessalonians. He was answering some questions that the church had. The first was about believers who die before the resurrection.

We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.
I Thessalonians 4:14

Because of the foundation of the teaching of Jesus Christ Himself, we know that Paul is talking about the day when Jesus returns. He’s speaking here about the Last Day, the Day of the Lord.

We remember how Jesus taught that on that day, when He returns, every eye shall see Him. This passage reminds us that on that day, He’s going to bring with Him those who have died in the Lord. All the saints that Jesus referred to as being gathered from one end of heaven to the other will be there.

According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.
I Thessalonians 4:15-18

In other words, those who have already died in Christ have a better place in the resurrection than we do because they’re the first to be called. At one point our church had a Christian Academy. Every morning we had opening exercises for the children.

At the end, my wife, Cheryl, (who was the Principal) always said, “O.K. ladies, you’re dismissed, young men, please wait.” The young men were not to precede the ladies in leaving the sanctuary. Sometimes it was very hard for them. Sometimes you could see that their legs just didn’t want to stay still. I think that’s what it’s going to be like for us.

The Lord returns, but we’ve got to wait for those who’ve passed on before us. The Scripture says here that we’re not going to precede those who’ve died in the Lord. There’s a divine order to the resurrection.

Obviously, it’s going to take place in an instant. It’s not like we’re going to have to wait around for an hour. But in that instant, when we’re resurrected, the dead in Christ are going to be resurrected first.

Paul is calming their fears that those brothers and sisters who have passed on before us will not be missing out on anything.   They have a good place in the resurrection.

This should be an encouragement to each of us. What we see of the material world is not all that there is. We have a hope that goes beyond the natural. We should be looking through an eternal perspective.

Question: How should our future hope affect our present way of living?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

 

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The Return of Christ – Who do You Believe?

Cloud2In my last post I talked about the Day of the Lord. That’s the day that when Christ appears to rule over the earth. Every eye will see Him as He establishes His millennial kingdom. The Lord explained to His disciples exactly when this would take place.

“At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.”
Matthew 24:30-31

Here’s the verse many Bible teachers love to ignore. This is the statement that Christ uses to bring all His other teachings into perspective. Are you going to ignore it, or are you going to believe what Christ Himself taught?

This day may be called many things: “The Day of the Lord”, “The Day of the Son of Man”, or “The Day of Christ”. Whatever you want to call it, it’s the day Christ returns to the earth to claim His rightful throne.

He makes it perfectly clear. All nations will mourn. They – all nations – will see Him. This is the day He comes to establish His kingdom. In His teachings to the disciples He has referred to it as His day, the day Christ comes to reign on the earth. But wait! What else happens on this same day?

The Lord makes that clear as well. He sends out His angels to gather His elect – the church. There will be a trumpet call. The angels will then gather us from the four winds, meaning those of us who are living on the earth at the time of His appearing. It also says that they will gather us from one end of heaven to the other. That means those believers who have already died before this day.

That makes this the resurrection day as well – the last day of the age. According to Christ Himself, the Day of the Lord and the Resurrection Day are one and the same. Look at how the Gospel of Mark records it.

“But in those days, following that distress, ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’
“At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.”
Mark 13:24-27

The Scripture makes it very clear that the elect, those committed to Christ, will be gathered up upon that day. This is the same day that Christ appears to all nations to take His rightful place as the Ruler of the earth.

How does that sit with what you’ve been taught? Jesus teaches that the Resurrection Day and the Day of the Lord are the very same day. Now the choice is up to you. Who are you going to believe? A man who comes saying there’s a seven-year wait between the two, or the Living Word of God Himself? As for me, I chose to believe Christ.

Question: Why is the belief in the seven year wait so popular?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2014 in Return of Christ, The Church

 

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The Sign of the Day of the Lord

OrbitI’m posting about the end-times from Jesus’ perspective. It’s the section of Scripture found in Matthew 24, Luke 21, and Mark 13.

Jesus has just finished telling His disciples how to prepare for future events. He’s warned them in general of the things they need to watch out for.

He also told them about the destruction of Jerusalem. That’s a fairly long section and I’m not going to talk about it in this series. Hopefully I’ll get to it in some later series.

At this point in His teaching, the Lord is going to explain the connection between His coming and the end of the age.

“Immediately after the distress of those days ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’”
Matthew 24:29

Jesus prefaces this section by telling the disciples that these things will happen immediately after the events surrounding the destruction of Jerusalem. Please realize that this is from God’s perspective.

2,000 years is immediate to an eternal being. Remember, He warned His disciples that they would not see the events connected with His return (Luke 17:22).

The Lord then makes reference to Isaiah 13:10 and 34:4. He describes a sign dealing with the sun, moon, and stars. Notice how the prophet Isaiah describes it.

See, the day of the LORD is coming – a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger — to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it. The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light.
Isaiah 13:9-10

This sign is described throughout both the Old and New Testaments as the “Day of the Lord”. Whenever the Day of the Lord is described, the same word pictures are always used. In both Old and New Testaments, we’re told that the sun and moon would be darkened, as the heavens themselves are shaken.

Notice that this sign is described in such a way as to make it reliable no matter which side of the earth you’re living on. If your location is in daytime, you’ll see the sun darken. If it’s night, you’ll see the moon and the stars affected.

The important thing is that we know what to look for. It’s the sign of the Day of the Lord. We need to understand its place in the order of end-time events.

In my next post, we’ll see exactly where Christ placed this day in His timeline. The way I look at it, if His is different than mine, then I’m the one who needs to change my thinking.

Question: Where does the Day of the Lord fit in to your last-days timeline?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2014 in Return of Christ, The Church

 

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The Return of Christ – Asking the Right Question

Question MarkIn my last post I started a series on the Return of Christ. I reviewed what the disciples had learned from Jesus up to this point.

Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call attention to the buildings. “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”
Matthew 24:1-2

The disciples are just like many of us – impressed by the massive structures man has built. It’s easy to look at the outside of things. We get the impression that the grander the work, the closer to God the ministry is. This is far from the case sometimes.

This is what Jesus was trying to relate to His disciples. They thought that these impressive structures were a sign of God’s favor. That may have been the case at one time.

At this time, because of the nation of Israel’s rejection of the Messiah, they were opening themselves up to destructive forces that would someday level these incredible buildings.

As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
Matthew 24:3

This question shows us incredible insight into the disciples’ thinking process. They liked to get Jesus alone when there were no crowds around to interrupt. That’s when they learned the most. Now, they needed some answers.

Many teachers, when they deal with this verse, explain that the disciples didn’t know what they were saying because they were clearly asking three different questions in one. That statement shows a lack of understanding about what Christ had already taught His disciples. Actually the disciples knew exactly what they were asking.

Throughout Jesus’ ministry He spoke of the end of the age when the righteous would rise to receive their reward. He also talked about the day of His coming, the Day of Christ, when He would reveal Himself to the nations.

The problem the disciples had was that the Lord never related these two events to each other. Were they two different events, or do they happen simultaneously?

To top it all off, now Jesus is talking about the temple being destroyed – something He had never mentioned before – and they wanted to know how it all fit together. They knew exactly what they were asking.

“Lord, You’ve told us about the resurrection. You’ve told us about Your coming, and now You’re telling us about the destruction of Jerusalem. Please, Lord, tie it all together for us. How will we know when these things are about to happen?”

One thing’s for sure – I’m glad they asked. After studying Christ’s teachings, I had the exact same question. I’m even more grateful that Jesus answered the question – in detail.

It’s the Lord’s answers that I will be posting about in this series.

Question: What would you have asked Jesus concerning His return?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2014 in Ministry, Return of Christ

 

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The Return of Christ – His Perspective

Cloud2As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
Matthew 24:3

Periodically, I like to post about the Return of Christ. This is a subject that many people are interested in. Unfortunately, few look at the big picture. Instead, they have their own favorite sections of Scripture.

One of these is the portion of Jesus’ ministry that’s recorded in Matthew 24, Luke 21, and Mark 13. This is where most people who study the Second Coming of Christ like to start. It’s where Jesus gives His most comprehensive end-time teaching.

The problem is that if you start here, you have none of the foundational knowledge already laid down by Christ as He taught His disciples. At this point, Jesus had already been teaching the disciples for about three years on the subject. Of course, they had many unanswered questions and a couple of loose ends, but the Lord didn’t start them from scratch with this teaching.

I’ve gone through all of Christ’s teaching on the subject in my posts over the past couple of years. To review them you can read my old posts listed under the Return of Christ category heading or click on the links below.

Let’s review what the disciples knew up to this point. They had learned that there was a time period called this age that started with Christ planting His kingdom on earth. On the last day of this age, the resurrection and reward of the righteous will take place.

However, for an unknown period of time before the resurrection a separation would take place causing a visible distinction between God’s kingdom and Satan’s. Click here to see my series on this teaching of Christ.

Jesus’ followers also knew that there was going to be a special day, called the Day of Christ. It would be a day when Jesus was going to be revealed to the nations as the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

The agenda for this day is as follows: First, the righteous are taken to a place of safety. Then salvation would be closed. At that point, calamity such as the world has never known will fall on the inhabitants of the earth. By the end of the day, the unrighteous will have been swept away, leaving the saints to rule and reign in the kingdom of the Messiah. Click here to read my series on this subject.

It was with this background that the Lord gave the disciples His most detailed teaching on His return. In my next post I’ll start talking about what Christ taught in this section of Scripture. Prepare to receive it. This teaching is life changing!

Question: Why is the Second Coming of Christ such a popular topic among believers?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2014 in Return of Christ

 

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Noah and the Day of the Lord #returnofChrist

Rain SignI’ve been posting about how Jesus compared the last days to the days of Noah in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 17.  Noah obeyed God and built the ark to save his family.  When the rain was about to fall, God told Noah and his family to enter the ark.

At that point, when all were safe inside, God shut the door.  That was it, there was no turning back.  No one could leave, and no one else could enter the ark of salvation.  This is an important point in the principle Jesus is trying to get across to His disciples.

When all these things had taken place, the judgment of God fell upon that ancient world.

Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died.  Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; men and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds of the air were wiped from the earth.  Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.
Genesis 7:22-23

Now it’s important for me to ask you another question.  According to the Scripture above, who was left?  The answer is simple yet ignored.  It clearly states that Noah and everybody in the ark were left.  Who was wiped away from off the face of the earth?  Every person and animal not in the ark.

It’s so clearly stated that you might ask why I’m emphasizing this issue.  There’s a very important reason.  Most of the people, who interpret this section of Scripture, rip it from its context, reverse it, and say that Noah was taken and the rest were left.  We’re not going to do that today.  I believe this verse as written and refuse to do any scriptural gymnastics to try and make it say something that it doesn’t.  A parallel passage of Scripture is Matthew 24:39.

“…and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away.  That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.”
Matthew 24:39

Even in His comments concerning the flood Jesus makes it abundantly clear that it was the sinners that were taken and Noah who was left.  This is a very important concept to grasp.  It goes against most of the teaching in the church today.  Yet it’s vital that we agree with what Christ says no matter what a man teaches.

Question: Does this challenge or confirm your beliefs about the second coming of the Lord?  How?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2013 in Return of Christ

 

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