The Day of the Lord I Thessalonians 5:1-11
The day of the Lord comes as a thief in the night. The day of the Lord is used 19 times in the Old Testament and 4 times in the New Testament. This phase is always used in conjunction with judgment and doom. Paul says the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night. Just as a sleeping person is unaware that their house is being robbed, so shall the day of the Lord arrive on those who are in spiritual sleep. The world will not be expecting the return of Christ. The day of the Lord will surprise the ungodly just as a person is surprised when doom arrives only the day after he thought all was at peace and all was safe. The coming of Christ will not be announced.
1Thessalonians 5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. 11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
Paul says to the Thessalonians, that they were not in darkness that "this Day" should overtake them as a thief. They were not in darkness; they were of the light. They should not be sleeping or drunk but should be watching. Both those who are sleeping and those who are drunk, are unaware when a thief breaks into the house. The day of the Lord will not overtake or surprise a true Christian, for a true Christian will be sober, watching, and looking for His return. So, what will happen on that "Day"?
Next, Paul tells them in verse 9 they have not been appointed to wrath. What is being referred to when Paul says wrath? Is this God's wrath poured out on the earth during the tribulation, or is this the eternal wrath of God which awaits all those who reject God's salvation? Paul is not specific. We will have to let other passages of scripture help to answer these questions, but in my opinion, this is a very important subject to study and understand.
So, when does the day of the Lord take place? Christendom is divided when it comes to answering this question. First, some will say "Day" refers to the coming of Christ at the end of the tribulation. This would mean then that Christians will go through the tribulation and the rapture will take place just before the Battle of Armageddon. Another would say, this passage is an exhortation for all believers to be ready for the rapture which takes place just before the seven years of tribulation starts. This would mean then that Christians would not be on the earth during the tribulation. Finally, others will suggests that the churchs goes through half of the tribulation, but it is raptured out before God begins to pour out his wrath on mankind during the last portion of the tribulation. What do you think?