There was a day that Isaiah longed to see when he writes in Isaiah 64:1,2 Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your presence—as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil— to make your name known to your adversaries, and that the nations might tremble at your presence! Well, his prayer is finally answered at the climax of this current era, when all speculation will be answered about who Jesus really is, for Jesus will return in full view, and just as Isaiah prayed, His name will be made known to His adversaries, and the nations will tremble at His presence. When will this happen? This has been the subject of great debate since Jesus ascended from the Mount of Olives in Acts 1. But even outside the church, the world seems to have a fascination with some sort of apocalypse, an end of the world scenario which is the fashion of so many books and films. Astronomers point us to the signs in the heavens, with such phenomena as planet alignment, blood moons, comets and precession of the equinoxes, whilst archaeologists and historians bring us artefacts like the Mayan calendar which some argue has significance and implications today. Many religious leaders have made predictions of dates which have come and gone over the centuries, the fact is, despite the abundance of predictions for the end of the world, in all these things, we are still here. But there will be a day like no other, when the heavens shall be rolled back, and lightning will split the sky. And unlike the arrival in obscurity of Jesus’ First Coming, when He comes again as the Son of Man riding on the clouds, His glory shall be seen throughout the whole earth. What a day that will be. Jesus describes in Matt 24:29 how the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, the stars will fall from heaven and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. This parallels Joel’s prophecy and is called the ‘Day of the Lord’. Joel 2:31 [ESV2011] “The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes.” This passage in Joel we find being fulfilled on the opening of the sixth seal. Here’s what Rev 6:12-14 [ESV2011] says “When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, 13 and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. 14 The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.
So quick recap: When Jesus comes as the Son of Man on the clouds to gather His Elect, this is known as the Day of the Lord when the Sun will be darkened and the moon will become like blood. But listen to what happens next continuing from verse 15
15 Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, 16 calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”
I’d like to highlight this very important point. Did you notice it says how everyone will try to hide away from Him who is seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb? Why? Because the great day of their wrath has come. Let that point sink in for a moment. The day of wrath comes on the Day of the Lord, which is the same time when the Elect are Gathered. That means that those who have been raptured have escaped the wrath of God. Surely it can’t be that simple can it? What about all the trumpets and bowls? Something doesn’t add up, have we missed something here? Do we need to go back to the eschatological drawing board and start again? How can the Elect, go through the great tribulation and still escape the wrath of God which is so clearly a part of Revelation? Well, I’ll answer these questions next time. Thanks for listening.