By Nathan Jones
On June 4, 2014, I was interviewed by Vic Batista, senior pastor of the Miami-based Calvary Chapel Aventura on his radio program "The Truth Will Set You Free" via TWave Radio. "Pastor Vic" (as he likes to be called) was born in the Dominican Republic and is as active in planting churches and helping orphans there as he is in southern Florida, reaching out with the Good News of Jesus Christ to both the English and Spanish speaking audiences.
In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" episode, we discuss what the Day of the Lord is, what it entails, and how we can have hope. The first half of the discussion is in English, while the second half is translated into Spanish.
Scoffing at Jesus' Return
Second Peter is a very important passage concerning the Day of the Lord — the Tribulation — because the Bible also tells there that there are those who will be coming scoffing saying, "When is His coming?" Right, Nathan? There in verse 4, would you be able to read for us 2 Peter 3:4?
Nathan: Sure. "Above all you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, ‘Where is this coming He promised? Ever since our ancestors died everything goes on as it has been since the beginning of creation.'"
That's the thing about Bible prophecy, Vic. Even though God tells us how history is going to end and how He's going to set up His Kingdom and rule and reign, people are all like, "Jesus was 2,000 years ago. It's been too long. He's not coming back." But, they forget this wonderful thing about God in that He keeps His promises 100% of the time.
Vic: We know that the Lord is coming back because He said He would. There has always been scoffers and people who keep on saying that Jesus will never return. But, the Word of God is true and it will come to pass.
Nathan: Yes, it will. There are nearly 500 verses in the Old Testament and one in every 25 verse in the New Testament which talk about Jesus' return. In the Bible, 109 specific prophecies were fulfilled by Jesus by His coming the first time. So, if we know that 100% of Jesus promises about His First Coming came true, we can be 100% sure that Jesus' Second Coming promises will also come true.
Vic: Amen, great point, Nathan.
Vic: This is an incredible subject — The Day of the Lord. For some people it's a very scary subject for them because some people are not well versed in the Bible and some are thinking like, "Man, is this really going to happen?"
But, we are saying that there is still time for people to turn to the Lord. The doors are still open. God has a plan for humanity. He loves you. If you don't know the Lord personally, He wants you to call on the name of the Lord.
Nathan, for those who don't have a personal relationship with the Lord, they are likely a little bit fearful. How would you be able to encourage them to start their relationship with Jesus Christ?
Nathan: I would encourage them to surrender their life to Jesus Christ. If you want to know God, and you want to know true peace, and you want to get rid of the guilt from your sin, the Lord Jesus offers salvation. He did so by dying on the cross for you. He gave His life as payment for the punishment of your sins. You were the one who was supposed to die, and I was the one who was supposed to die, but Jesus died on our behalf. And, when we accept that gift and we believe it in faith, then Jesus' forgiveness comes on us and we are made new inside. The Holy Spirit comes to live in us and then we are guided by Christ.
We now become heirs of the promises that Jesus gave that we will be exempt from the wrath to come. When we are forgiven by the love of the Lord, we'll get to live with Him in Heaven, which will actually as 2 Peter reads the Lord will reform this earth and Heaven will come down to earth as the New Jerusalem. That will be the eternal city where we will live forever. I recommend to anybody who has accepted Jesus as Savior to read Revelation 21 and 22 to get to know what our future home is like.
You can have all these promises made by God by opening your heart and praying, "Dear, Jesus, please forgive me of my sins and be my Savior." The Lord will forgive you. He'll transform you, and you'll have a new life and relationship with Him.
Vic: Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! What a wonderful word of encouragement, knowing that the Lord is coming soon.
Living a Worthy Life
Vic: I think once saved that we also notice that our lifestyle should change. We should live being Christ-like, just the way we read in 2 Peter 3:13. One of the encouragement there in verse 14 says, "Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found in Him in peace without spot and without blame."
Nathan: We have all been kids at one time. You probably remember either getting caught with your hand in the cookie jar, or like me breaking a window hammering bugs, or something like that. All of the sudden your parents walked in and they caught you in the act. You looked up like, "Oh, no!" You had that look on your face that every parent recognizes in their kid at some point.
Likewise, how is the Lord going to find you when He comes back? When He comes back to Rapture the Church, how will He find you? Will you be living a life that is blameless and spotless as 2 Peter says? Or, will He find you engaged in things that would just break His heart to find you destroying your life with different sins?
Give your life to Jesus Christ and in doing so make Him Lord of your life. Set Him up in charge so that He can help you live a life that pleases Him. That means staying away from sin. Get out of the pornography. Stop lying. Get out of the gambling halls. Don't do the things that will destroy your life, but do the things that please the Lord. And, while you're doing that, share the Gospel with as many people as possible because the Lord is coming back and we want people to accept Jesus and be saved and go to Heaven along with us.
Vic: What an excellent and wonderful word of encouragement! We as Christians are called to live lives that are pleasing to the Lord, especially as we see the Day of the Lord is approaching. What an encouragement for us to be found busy about the Lord's business.
Vic: Nathan, anything else you want to add as we talk about the Day of the Lord?
Nathan: One thing about being a believer in Christ is that we can grasp hold of the promise of 1 Thessalonians 5:4 which says, "But you brothers are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief." For the unbelieving world, when the Day of the Lord comes and the Rapture right before that, they are going to be very surprised. People will scream out. "What just happened?" But, as believers in Christ, we have the Bible which tells us that we don't have to fear the future, because we have a great future ahead of us. The Lord will take us up to Heaven. We'll spend eternity with Him, and that will be a wonderful thing.
So, get in your Bible and get to know God's Word, because His Word is a lamp to your life and it guides you so you understand the future, and that's what gives us hope. Christians have hope.
Vic: So true. As we look at the world around us and see all the terrible things that are happening, it's just tragic. All the sadness sometimes causes people lose hope. But, there's always hope, right Nathan, when one turns to Christ and to His Word?
Nathan: Oh, yes, Jesus Christ is all about giving hope and love. He died so that we would have hope and His love, and we should grab hold of that hope and accept it in faith and give our lives to Jesus Christ. That's the only way to have true life, and that's through Jesus Christ.
Vic: That's right. That is awesome! We have a wonderful promise there in 2 Peter 3 talking about the Lord. He promises that He is coming back. He is coming soon. We even see many signs all around us of His coming. So, I encourage people to get ready for Jesus' soon return.
Nathan, I know the Day of the Lord is a deep subject we're talking about here, that Tribulation period. But, you also shared with us how we may be able to escape that terrible coming time, and that's through starting a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Caller: On the coming of the Lord, Jesus said He would come in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye. What does that verse mean?
Nathan: You asked about what "in the twinkling of an eye" means when the Lord returns? The event when this is happening it is called the Rapture of the Church. It occurs before the Tribulation comes on this world. At the Rapture, Jesus comes back in the clouds and takes everyone who has accepted Him as Savior, we'll call them the Church, everyone from Pentecost up to the day He returns, and He takes them off this earth and brings them up to Heaven.
That particular reference can be found in 1 Thessalonians 4 and 1 Corinthians 15, which reveals a lot about what the Rapture is like. When the Rapture comes, it's going to happen like a snap. It's going to be immediate, as fast as the twinkling of an eye. It happens so fast that you're here one second and then you're gone the next. It happens really quickly.
We know that as we are being raptured up to Heaven our bodies change. We'll get our eternal, glorified bodies. And, just before that happens, just in that twinkle of an eye, those who have died in Christ over the last 2,000 years, they will be resurrected and they too will receive their glorified bodies.
And so, we will be with Jesus up in Heaven during that whole Tribulation time period. We'll spend it with the Lord. He's then going to have a great party called the Wedding Supper of the Lamb. He's going to give out judgments based on our works here on earth so that we'll be rewarded for our works done while in this life. And, we'll be with Jesus as He prepares to come back at the end of the Tribulation for His Second Coming. We are the armies that follow Jesus back to this earth as Jesus conquers His enemies.
I recommend checking out 1 Thessalonians 4 and 1 Corinthians 15 to read up more on the Rapture, or go to website at lamblion.com. Just put "rapture" in the search box and you'll pull up a lot more information about the subject.