The Day of the Lord: The Wrath of God on Earth
Wrath Not New
The great majority of people in this world have no clue or concept of the devastating destruction that will soon be affecting this entire earth – what God calls the Day of the Lord. The majority is ignorant of God's fiery wrath which will be directed towards all the sinners on Earth at that time.
But God's wrath is nothing new, for God has been judging guilty sinners ever since Adam and Eve. He has given us many examples in the Bible to warn us that He does not excuse, tolerate, or put up with sin. He punishes those who reject Him, hate Him, or ignore Him, whether it's individuals, families, cities, countries or the whole world.
Romans 1:18 tells us: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness. And we read in Psalm 98:9: ‚Ä¶ the LORD ‚Ä¶ cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity.
The End Times
We are living in the end times, and it is obvious that this world is spiritually and morally decaying – that most people are not lovers of God, but lovers of sin and self. Pride, lying, hate, violence, anger, selfishness, immorality, and rebellion inundate the world, and it's getting constantly worse.
Soon, in God's perfect timing, the Antichrist ¬¨– the man of sin (2 Thessalonians 2:3) will be revealed, promoting lawlessness and thereby fueling God's judgment all the more. Taking note of all the people who have rejected His offer of mercy and having taken the mark of the beast, God will have no choice but to judge the entire Earth. However, this time it won't be with a flood, but with fire (Revelation 14:9-13).
That the unredeemed of the world are ignorant of what will soon take place is tragic. They are and will be mocking Christians, laughing at us, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? (2 Peter 3:4). However, they have no idea of His coming wrath, and how catastrophic and deadly it will be, for It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:31); ‚Ä¶sudden destruction cometh upon them (1 Thessalonians 5:3).
Believers and Unbelievers
You might be asking, What about the Christians?
In the near-future, all people living on Earth will see the skies suddenly become dark – this is the sign of the end of this age, the sign right before the onset of the Day of the Lord (Acts 2:20). Then Christ will appear and gather, glorify, and bring all believers to Himself, and then to Heaven.
Luke 17:36 tells us that the one shall be taken, and the other left. However, the hearts of unbelievers who are left behind will be failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken (Luke 21:26).
These sinners will be scared to death and say to the mountains, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb (Revelation 6:16). For about 30 minutes these trapped sinners will be worrying about what's going to happen, and then the first Trumpet will blast, signaling God's wrath has begun on Earth (Revelation 8:1-7).
The Day of the Lord
This wrath of God – this Day of the Lord – is the Trumpet and Bowl Judgments of Revelation Chapters 8, 9, and 16. However, this day is not referring to a 24-hour day, but to a time period beginning sometime after the midpoint of Daniel's 70th week.
It will not occur quickly as did the Noahic Flood, but will be painfully prolonged and altogether righteous – a series of hell-on-earth-type judgments which will afflict all unbelievers. A third of the earth will be destroyed by fire; all unbelievers will be tormented by demonic locusts for five months; a third of mankind will be suddenly killed; all people will be covered with sickening sores and then scorched with fierce heat; a great earthquake will flatten the cities; and 100-pound hailstones will pound the people.
And there is much more: Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth (Revelation 8:13). Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it (Isaiah 13:9).
The Day of the Lord has been promised by God – it is certain to come. The Day of the Lord is the righteous judgment of God – don't complain. The day of the Lord will be totally unexpected by unbelievers: For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night [for unbelievers; believers will know about it] (1 Thessalonians 5:2). The day of the Lord will devastate the earth – this world, as we know it, will come to an end (Zephaniah 1:2).
The Proper Response
How should you be affected by the wrath of God which is coming upon this earth?
1) Never think God is wrong in these judgments: Thou art righteous, O LORD, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus (Revelation 16:5).
2) Be thankful. It is only because of Christ's mercy – because Christ suffered the wrath you deserved – that you will escape God's wrath on earth, and His wrath in Hell.
3) Fear God. Be holy. Why do sinful things for which God's wrath is coming upon this world? Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins (Revelation 18:4).
4) Warn people about this wrath – this bad news – and tell them the Good News of Jesus Christ. Tell them that forgiveness of sins can be granted when they repent of their sins and believe that Christ died for them. Tell them to turn from their sin and to trust in Christ before it's too late!
Steven J. Hogan has been a pastor-teacher for the past 25 years, and at Hope Bible Church of Tampa since 2003.