The Day of the Lord vs. The Day of Christ

Another conversation that needs to be had is on the confusion regarding the Day of the Lord and the Day of Christ. I may sound like a broken record at this point as I once again call into question pre-trib eschatology. But the simple fact of the matter is that pre-trib interpreters complicate this topic by insisting that there is a difference between the Day of the Lord and the Day of Christ. They consider the Day of the Lord to be God’s day of wrath, and the Day of Christ to be the rapture of believers. The reality is that these labels reference the same day. I intend to prove that here with scripture.  

My first point is the most profound point of them all. It took long periods of prayer and fasting to come to its realization. It comes in Q & A format, and is as follows: 

Question – Who is the Lord?  

Answer: Jesus Christ 

Question – Who is Christ?  

Answer: The Lord 

Can you believe that?! Jesus Christ is the Lord, and the Lord is Jesus Christ! Just because the New Testament Authors sometimes call the Lord, “Christ”, doesn’t mean that they are talking about a different day. There is a time coming that is, in fact, the Day of the Lord. It is the Day of Christ. I know you already get the point, but still, bear with me and my corny analogies before we get into the evidence that requires a little more brain power than this. Picture this: My full name is Bradley. However, I go by “Brad” most the time. My birthday is in March. You could say, “Bradley’s birthday is coming up in March”, and it literally makes ZERO difference if you decided to say, “Brad’s birthday is coming up in March.” It’s still… my birthday, no matter what you call me. Again, I’m sorry that this point was so complicated and probably flew over many people’s heads, but it had to be said. Let’s not complicate scripture. 

Scripture is complicated, however, when we detach the Day of the Lord from the rapture and insist that there is a separate “secret rapture” before Daniel’s 70th week begins. That is just simply not found in scripture. I’ve gone over this countless times before in previous posts. I will lightly run through that again as we bring these two days into one. As for right now, I do want to examine the scriptures regarding both the Day of the Lord and the Day of Christ. I will give credit to the fact that most of the time when the Day of the Lord is mentioned, it is referred to in more of a negative sense; implying wrath. And whenever the Day of Christ is mentioned by Paul in the New Testament, it often has a more positive reflection; implying the redemption of believers via the rapture. But that line is a lot more blurred than scripture is given credit for. As you will begin to see here, these two tones are actually two sides of the same coin. Consider Isaiah 13 when lined up with Mattew 24. Isaiah 13:9-11 says, 

Behold, the day of the Lord is coming, Cruel, with fury and burning anger, to make the land a desolation; And He will exterminate its sinners from it. For the stars of heaven and their constellations Will not flash forth their light; The sun will be dark when it rises and the moon will not shed its light. Thus I will punish the world for its evil and the wicked for their iniquity; I will also put an end to the arrogance of the proud and abase the haughtiness of the ruthless.  

There are cosmic disturbances recognized with the Day of the Lord. The sun, moon and stars will not shine. Following this, we see that the wicked will be punished. Those same cosmic disturbances are seen in Matthew 24, but connected to the rapture of believers. Matthew 24:29-31 says,  

“Immediately after the tribulation (not wrath) of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.  

I added in there that the tribulation is not God’s wrath because biblically that’s not how tribulation is defined. When read alongside Isaiah, it would also create problems in the sequence of events. These cosmic disturbances in Isaiah take place at the Day of the Lord, marking the beginning of God’s wrath. However, Matthew 24 says “immediately after the tribulation” we see these cosmic disturbances. If God’s wrath is the tribulation, then this doesn’t make sense. This shows that the Great Tribulation is a separate event than God’s wrath. When we link the cosmic disturbances seen in these passages, the wrath of God (as seen in Isaiah) and the redemption of believers (as seen in Matthew) align. In Matthew’s account we do, however, get a glimpse of how the world responds to His coming. It says they will mourn. While they mourn, believers in Christ are celebrating as they are gathered unto Christ. The mournfulness of the world and the celebration of the righteous are two sides of the same coin on the Day of the Lord. 

This argument is further strengthened when we look at 2 Thessalonians 2:2. This passage mixes up and muddies the argument that these are two separate days. It says,  

“Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come.” 

There are many translations of 2 Thessalonians 2:2 that say “the day of Christ,” but the earliest and most reliable manuscripts actually read “the day of the Lord.” This passage equates the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, with the Day of the Lord. This is no mistake by Paul. The terms, “Christ”, and “Lord” are interchangeable. 

This interchangeableness continues all throughout Paul’s letters as he is seen using variations of these terms to describe this singular Day. In 1 Corinthians 1:8, Paul says,  

“He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ”  

Is this talking about the Day of the Lord or the Day of Christ? Paul is very misleading if these are two very different days. In 2 Corinthians 1:14 Paul also says,  

“…you will come to understand fully that you can boast of us just as we will boast of you in the day of the Lord Jesus.” 

Again, same argument and same confusion if these are two different events. We would have to assume that Paul is confused about this distinction of these two days and his ignorance is causing him to confuse and mislead his audience by blending the terms. Not a chance! But that’s what we’d be left to think if we insist that these are two different days.  

Paul’s apparent “confusion” continues in 1 Thessalonians 5 where he implies that believers can expect to be here when the Day of the Lord begins. In chapter 5:1-6, he says,  

“But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.”  

This passage directly states two sides of the same coin. To the unbeliever, the Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night. And they will not escape. “BUT YOU, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief”. Paul then goes on to tell us to not sleep, but watch and be sober. Why are we told to “watch” for the Day of the Lord if we are never going to see it? Why is Paul telling believers to watch for the Day of the Lord if there is this separate day, the Day of Christ, that we actually should be watching and waiting for, coming prior? If we are raptured before the Day of the Lord, Paul MAKES NO SENSE. Rather – assuming Paul knew what he was talking about – we should understand that for the unbeliever, yes, this Day will be terrible, but for the believer in Christ this Day will be our redemption! We wait and watch for this Day with all joy and gladness! That is the clear message Paul is writing here.  

I said before, the hard claim pre-trib interpreters make that the Day of the Lord is strictly the wrath of God, is not quite as bold as you may think. There are definitely a good handful of passages that suggest otherwise. Here are some rapid-fire examples: 

 Jeremiah 30:7-8 says, 

“Alas! for that Day is great, There is none like it; And it is the time of Jacob’s distress, But he will be saved from it. ‘It shall come about on that day,’ declares the Lord of hosts, ‘that I will break his yoke from off their neck and will tear off their bonds; and strangers will no longer make them their slaves.” 

That does not sound like wrath. That sounds like freedom! That sounds like salvation! We will be saved! We will be set free from the yoke of flesh and our chains will be broken. This reference to the Day of the Lord highlights the hope believers have in it. We look forward to this day because we will be made new.  

Isaiah 11:11 says, 

“Then it will happen on that day that the Lord Will again recover the second time with His hand The remnant of His people, who will remain, From Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, And from the islands of the sea.”  

On the Day of the Lord, the Lord will gather together all those who call upon his name and trust him as Lord and savior. He will gather them from all across the world, from every nation and people group. This gathering of God’s people is alluded to throughout scripture as the “harvest.” Joel 3:12-14 attests to this while also referencing the Day of the Lord. It says,  

“Let the nations be aroused And come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat, For there I will sit to judge All the surrounding nations. Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, tread, for the wine press is full; The vats overflow, for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.” 

We see here in this passage both sides of the coin. The Day of the Lord is both a day of rejoicing for the righteous, but it is a day of devastation and wrath for the wicked. On the Day of the Lord, the harvest is ripe. The fullness of God’s people has come to be. And at the same time, the wine press of the world’s wickedness is full, prepared for God’s wrath. The day of the Lord is the day of decision. Many will be cast aside as goats to the left, but some will be called and gathered unto Christ forevermore.  

 In Acts 2, we see an example where the Day of the Lord is described alongside the hope of our salvation upon that day. Acts 2:19-20 says,  

“And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 

These are unmistakably the same cosmic disturbances as we saw before. Everything lines up. The Day of the Lord is tied to the salvation of believers in Christ. We are saved! But woe unto the wicked unrepentant world who have rejected Christ because to them, this day will have them running for the hills to hide themselves from God and His wrath upon them. In Revelation 6:12-17 we again see the other side of the coin. It says, 

“I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” 

We see the same cosmic disturbances in Acts 2 as we do here in revelation and elsewhere already mentioned. The sun and moon are darkened. The stage is set. However, this mention ties it to the wrath of God upon the wicked. Immediately following this event in Revelation, in chapter 7, the image is complete. We see the sealing of God’s people and the multitude of believers in Christ appearing in Heaven. Revelation 7:9-10 says, 

“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” 

Believers are saved and gathered unto Christ immediately before the wrath of God is poured out. And when I mean immediately, I mean immediately. Revelation 8:1-2 makes this very clear. After seeing this multitude in heaven, chapter 8 is very specific about the time in-between. It says, 

“When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.” 

Redemption of the believer is backed immediately by the judgement of the wicked. Exactly half an hour later, it’s go time. God’s got His people out. What more time does he need to waste? He’s got his angels of wrath lined up and ready to go. Ladies and gentlemen, the Day of the Lord and the Day of Christ are the same day. How can this be true? 

It can be true and is true because “when the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day.” (Matthew 24:37) I’m not dismissing the clear contextual evidence that the passage here in Matthew is referring to the severity of sin in relation to Noah’s day. But Noah and his salvation unto the ark serves as a picture of the rapture, saving he and his family from the wrath of God. When we take a look at this passage, we can see more about this rapture “type”. Genesis 7:13 says “on the very same day” that the rain began to fall on the earth, Noah and his family entered the ark. Another example where we see a rapture “type” is with the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Luke 17:29-30 says,  

“But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.”   

Even thus shall it be when? Answer: When the Son of man is revealed at his gathering of the Saints unto him. The SAME DAY Lot left Sodom and Gomorrah, God’s wrath was poured out upon the wicked. The SAME DAY the Lord shut Noah and his family inside the Ark, God’s wrath was poured out on the wicked. So too shall it be on the Day of the Lord. The Lord’s Angels will be primed and ready for the pouring out of God’s wrath. But the Lord will preserve his people the SAME DAY.  

The same day that there is redemption for the righteous, there will be judgement for the wicked. This is the pattern seen all throughout scripture. It will be a bold, extravagant event that all will see. There will be cheers coming from the mouths of believers in Christ, and there will be mourning and fear coming from the wicked. The Day of the Lord IS the Day of Christ.   

To finish up here, I want to show you one last Old Testament passage that God presented to us on the beauty of the greatest day of redemption; that is, the Day of the Lord. Isaiah 27:12-13 says, 

In that Day the Lord will start His threshing from the flowing stream of the Euphrates to the brook of Egypt, and you will be gathered up one by one, O sons of Israel. It will come about also in that day that a great trumpet will be blown, and those who were perishing in the land of Assyria and who were scattered in the land of Egypt will come and worship the Lord in the holy mountain at Jerusalem. 

Take note of the key words and phrases used here. On that day, the Day of the Lord, the Lord will begin his threshing. Threshing is the process of separating the grain and seeds from the chaff at the harvest. God is separating people on this Day. It says He will gather up people on this Day. A great trumpet will be blown on that Day. Those who are scattered and perishing will be gathered to worship the Lord on that Day. 

I know that a lot of people aren’t going to like this, but God gave us a picture of the rapture here in the Old Testament, and it’s stated that this happens on the Day of the Lord. The rapture is not a “gentile” event. Gentiles were merely grafted into the promises to faithful Israel. This plan of redemption on the Day of the Lord has always been God’s plan. If it wasn’t for God’s mercy and grace extending the promise over to the gentiles, we’d still see this rapture take place of faithful Israel take place on the Day of the Lord before God pours out His wrath, as it was in the days of Noah and the days of Lot. A secret rapture well before the Day of wrath does not follow God’s order presented plain and clear throughout scripture.   

“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.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 

The faithful to Christ will be separated from the chaff. We will be gathered up unto Christ at the sound of a trumpet from every corner of the earth we have been scattered to. We will be a perishing people experiencing persecution and great tribulation from the hand of our adversary, Satan, and his puppet, the antichrist. But we will be saved on That Day, and we will worship the Lord forevermore in the Holy Mountain.  

The Day of the Lord and the Day of Christ are simply two sides of the same coin. It’s always been this way. God is not confusing, it’s man who is confusing with our elaborate attempts to sound approved. I pray that this post challenged you and encouraged you. Thank you for taking the time to read. God bless! 

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