ROK-22 - The Day of the Lord and the Centrality of Christ to Everything

We have come this morning to the next doctrine in Revelation 6. We have come to the Day of the Lord & Christ's Centrality to Everything.

All of human history, all of God's Word the Bible, and the entire universe in which we live centers upon Jesus Christ, God the Son.

Paul overflowed in wonder at Christ's glory in Romans 11:36 (NKJV) when he said:

For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

Jesus Christ is Central to Everything in Life

Only as we allow Christ to be at the center of everything we consider, will everything make sense.  Jesus is the only way to find meaning in life. Note what Paul says:

“Of Him”: all that has life, all that exists whether time, space, energy, or any form of matter is only “of Him”.

“Through Him”: the only way out of sins penalties is through Him; and the only way into God’s favor is “through Him”.

“To Him”: everything is headed for an appointment. To Him has been given all authority in the Universe and on Earth. All that matters is what anything means “to Him”.

Jesus Christ is Central to Everything That Exists

First we can note the three dimensions of Christ: of Him, through Him, and to Him.

  • The Doctrine of Creation: Jesus Christ the Creator is the One who starts everything as He framed the entire universe, seen and unseen, by speaking everything into existence; and He continues holding it together (Col. 1:15-17).
  • The Doctrine of Redemption: Jesus Christ the Redeemer is the One who came to die for sinful humans. He was born as the exact image of Almighty God, who as Jesus reminds us, if we see Christ, we have seen the Father (John 14:9).
  • The Doctrine of the Second Coming: Jesus Christ the Lord is the One who when He returns, comes in blazing, blinding, fiery fury, pouring out the pent up wrath of a Holy, Just, Merciful, and Loving God. All of history centers upon this final moment. And that is where we have come this morning.

The first two events are history

Creation bears Christ's signature by the laws of the universe that show not the chaos of chance and evolution, but the cosmos of creation, with its immutable laws.

Redemption fills the history books of humanity. Even calendars around most of the world finds His birth as the dividing line between BC (before Christ) and AD (the year of our Lord). Today millions profess His Name, and bear His image.

The last event is coming

It is called all the way through the Bible by the name: “the Day of the Lord”. That event is the end of life as we know it; the ultimate event. That is what everything is heading towards, either knowingly (us the redeemed), or unknowingly (the lost).

Please open to Hebrews 1:1-3 as we look at who exactly this is, that is coming.

Who Jesus Christ really is and what He has done will define what we can expect will happen when He returns in the Day of the Lord.

Hebrews 1:1-3 (NKJV) God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

Look at the Lord Who is Coming

The verses before us that we just read are one long sentence in God's Word; one sentence with seven clear and awesome references to Jesus Christ. Maybe more than any other sentence in the Bible, we have before us Christ's resume.

Look at what God has said. This is the One who is coming to end history. Listen to how powerfully God describes His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

  1. Inheritor of Everything: whom He has appointed heir of all things,
  2. Creator of Everything: through whom also He made the worlds; 3 
  3. Radiator of God: who being the brightness of His glory and
  4. Character of God: the express image of His person, and
  5. Sustainer of Everything: upholding all things by the word of His power,
  6. Purifier of Sins: when He had by Himself purged our sins,
  7. Ruler of Everything: sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

Jesus Christ is the Lord of All

In these seven phrases God says as clearly as can be said that Jesus Christ is central to everything.

Jesus Christ started everything as Creator.
Jesus Christ entered the physical world as the Creator-Redeemer.
Jesus Christ will end everything as the Creator-Redeemer-Judge.

For just a moment think about the scene we have been looking at in Revelation 6, through the lens ofHebrews 1:1-3.

All of History is Headed Toward the Day of the Lord

History is headed somewhere. Unlike the chaotic randomness of evolution that cosmic accident that spontaneously started everything that is heading nowhere. One ultimate event is left in God’s eternal plan. That event is the Day when the Lord-the-Creator, who is also the Lord-the-Redeemer, steps back onto the Earth as the Lord-the-Judge. That event is so big we have to back up to try to comprehend the immensity of what such an event will mean.

Go back to our Hebrews 1:1-3 elements.

The Inheritor of Everything is coming: Jesus Christ is whom Almighty God “has appointed heir of all things”.

Col. 1:16 declares that all things were created by Him and for Him. As Creator Jesus possesses everything. Then God reveals that as Redeemer, we redeemed humans are Christ's “glorious inheritance” (Eph. 1:18); which means that saints are worth more to Christ than all the rest of the Universe. The One who inherited everything thinks we are His real treasure. Not the stars or galaxies or numberless angels: just us purchased and washed sinners.

That truth pondered is enough for delirious joy, because Paul reminds us that “all things are ours” because we are “of Christ, and Christ is of God” (1 Cor. 3:21-23). But it goes on. This resume of Christ also explains that:

The Creator of Everything is coming: Jesus Christ is also the One who “made the worlds”.

Think what that means.  The current genius among humans is the 71-year old Cambridge based, theoretical physicist named Stephen Hawking. This human who thinks with super-computer like, mental capacity, has written what sums up human comprehensions of the vastness of our Cosmos, in his best-selling book, A Brief History of Time. Here is what he wrote:

“Our galaxy is an average-sized spiral galaxy that looks to other galaxies like a swirl in a pastry roll and that it is over 100,000 light-years across”—which in travel terms is about six hundred trillion miles wide. He says, “We now know that our galaxy is only one of some hundred thousand million that can be seen using modern telescopes, each galaxy itself containing some hundred thousand million stars.”1

Most astronomers calculate that the average distance between these hundred thousand million galaxies (each which is six hundred trillion miles across and contains those one hundred thousand million stars) is three million light-years!

Now add to those incomprehensible numbers what Edwin Hubble calculated, based on the Doppler effect, that all red-spectrum typed galaxies are moving away from us. Plus it has been observed that nearly all galaxies are red. Thus, Hawking concluded, as the apex of human scientific thought, that the universe all around us is constantly expanding.2

Some astronomers have estimated that the furthest galaxy is eight billion light-years away—and is racing away at two hundred million miles an hour. All of this scientific observation is just a reminder of how amazing it is for us to actually know and love, the One who sparked all of that.

Jesus Christ created every speck of matter and energy in every one of those thousands of millions of immeasurably macro-sized galaxies out there in this Cosmos.

Jesus Christ also created every tiny form of matter and energy residing within and around the atoms that build our physical universe, with all of the equally immeasurable micro-sized quarks, leptons, neutrinos, and electrons

Jesus Christ did all of that with a word, in an instant, and from nothing.

That is the One we know, we love, and whose voice we can hear each time we open this Book He has given to us. This is what He told us:

John 1:3 (NKJV) All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

1 Corinthians 8:6 (NKJV)  yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.

So, the Day of the Lord is when the Inheritor of all things, and the Creator of all things returns. When He does one of the observations this world makes is that:

The Radiator of God is coming:  “who being the brightness of His glory”.

The moon reflects light, but the Sun radiates light. Jesus is God, and as the Son radiates the glory of the Infinite and Almighty God. Jesus Christ blazes with the brightness of the Sun. He causes earthlings to have to turn away and hide. When He comes Paul describes (2 Th. 1:7-8, NKJV) that:

2 Thessalonians 1:7b-8 (NKJV) the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Character of God is coming: “the express image of His person”

The word “image” in Greek is character. Character is a representation of reality. Jesus Christ really displays what God is like.

When we listen to Jesus in the Gospels, we can hear God talk. When we watch Jesus, we know just how God treats people.  If you have seen Jesus Christ, you have seen the Father (John 14:9).

The Sustainer of Everything is coming: “upholding all things by the word of His power”.

Jesus is actively holding together everything He spoke into existence. The glue of the Universe is its Creator. We can speak as long as we want and nothing uncreated will be created. But the One who spoke all into existence, sustains everything. That means at any moment He can help us in time of need.

The Purifier of Sins is coming: “when He had by Himself purged our sins”.

The greatest danger, the most toxic influence, the most horrible substance in the universe is sin. It is so powerfully bad that it instantly radiated out and held the universe in bondage, and infected every human but one.

Nothing is worse than sin. Nothing is as fearful as having and holding on to the one thing that merits eternal wrath-filled destruction.  But by one sacrifice on the Cross the only antidote, the only hope, the only payment was made. No one but Jesus Christ could do that, in six hours on one Friday in Jerusalem, two thousand years ago.

The Ruler of Everything is coming: “sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high”.

When Jesus sat down it meant that the work of salvation was finished. Jesus paid the price and earned the right to redeem us, and ever lives to intercede for us. He has opened the way to the Father, and is preparing a place for us. But He is going to rise from the Right Hand of Almighty God, empty Heaven of every angel and every saint, and come back to finish the plan of God.

The Cosmic Quake of Christ's Return at the Day of the Lord

When the Inheritor of Everything, the Creator of Everything, the Radiator of God’s Glory, theCharacter of God, the Sustainer of Everything, the Purifier of Sins, returns as the Ruler of Everything:the Universe begins to shake, the Earth begins toquake, and every human with sin staining their lives begins to crawl for cover, burrow for holes to hide, and cry out in the fear that will forever consume them in torments as an Angry God returns.

That is the Day of the Lord. That is what happens when the Lord returns, and that is what fills the pages of the Scriptures as a warning to all sinners to repent while there is time.

The spokesmen for God saw the coming Day of the Lord in the Old Testament. Their inspired doctrinal teachings on the day of the Lord give to us a description of the cataclysmic future judgments of God upon the wicked.

The words “Day of the Lord” are used explicitly nineteen times in the Old Testament: Isa. 2:12; 13:6, 9; Ezek. 13:5; 30:3; Joel 1:15; 2:1, 11, 31; 3:14; Amos 5:18 [2 times], 20; Obad. 15; Zeph. 1:7, 14 [2 times];Zech. 14:1Mal. 4:5; and used four times in the New Testament: Acts 2:202 Thess. 2:2; and 2 Peter 3:10.

The Day of the Lord is also placed into context as it is alluded to in Revelation 6:17; 16:14. The Scriptures further define another facet of the Day of the Lord by three times calling the Day of the Lord also the “day of vengeance” in Isaiah 34:8; 61:2; 63:4.

A brief summary of those 19 verses would be that God associates the Day of the Lord with:

Earth altering events that “come as destruction from the Almighty” 

Joel 1:15 (NKJV) Alas for the day! For the day of the Lord is at hand; It shall come as destruction from the Almighty.

Earth shaking seismic disturbances

Joel 2:1-2, 10-11, 31; 3:16 (NKJV) Blow the trumpet in Zion, And sound an alarm in My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; For the day of the Lord is coming, For it is at hand: 2 A day of darkness and gloominess, A day of clouds and thick darkness, Like the morning clouds spread over the mountains. 10 The earth quakes before them, The heavens tremble; The sun and moon grow dark, And the stars diminish their brightness. 11 The Lord gives voice before His army, For His camp is very great; For strong is the One who executes His word. For the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; Who can endure it?

Joel 2:31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.

Joel 3:16 The Lord also will roar from Zion, And utter His voice from Jerusalem; The heavens and earth will shake; But the Lord will be a shelter for His people, And the strength of the children of Israel.

Earth obscuring clouds and thick darkness

Zephaniah 1:14-15 (NKJV) The great day of the Lord is near; It is near and hastens quickly. The noise of the day of the Lord is bitter; There the mighty men shall cry out. 15 That day is a day of wrath, A day of trouble and distress, A day of devastation and desolation, A day of darkness and gloominess, A day of clouds and thick darkness,

All of these Old Testament prophets saw the Day of the Lord as events that strike deadly fear into humans. For example:

  • Joel wrote, “Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming; surely it is near, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness. … The earth quakes, the heavens tremble, the sun and the moon grow dark and the stars lose their brightness” (Joel 2:1–2, 10; cf. 2:31; 3:16).
  • Ezekiel wrote of violent weather accompanying the Day of the Lord (Ezek. 13:5–16),
  • Zephaniah described it as “a day of trouble and distress, a day of destruction and desolation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness” (Zeph. 1:15).
  • But for us as we study Revelation, we are going to examine what John recorded as the six specific and horribly frightening natural disasters that we will see as associated by God with the opening of the sixth seal.

God's Word says that the prophecies of the End of Days are to be a blessing to all who read and hear them (Rev. 1). What possible blessing is there in all this horrible wrath pouring out at the Day of the Lord? I can think of seven blessings. Can you?

Jesus Christ is Central to Everything in Life

Only as we allow Christ to be at the center of everything we consider, will everything make sense.  Jesus is the only way to find meaning in life. Note what Paul says:

“Of Him”: all that has life, all that exists whether time, space, energy, or any form of matter is only “of Him”.

“Through Him”: the only way out of sins penalties is through Him; and the only way into God’s favor is “through Him”.

“To Him”: everything is headed for an appointment. To Him has been given all authority in the Universe and on Earth. All that matters is what anything means “to Him”.

For us who sometimes feel we have worked all our life and still are falling behind, we can trust Him today to guard our Heavenly treasures as the Inheritor of Everything.

For us who feel helplessly weak, we can ask for grace from His Almighty power we are assured of today because He is the Creator of Everything.

For us who long to know our Heavenly Father who is perfect, and loving, and strong, we can know Him today as the Radiator of God’s Glory and the exact representation of the Character of God.

When our world seems spinning out of control and it seems like things are never going to get better, we can reach out and be calmed by Him today as the Sustainer of Everything.

When we fall into sin again, and fail to resist that temptation that so easily besets us, we can call out for cleansing today because He is the Purifier of Sins.

When right seems to be losing, and good is going extinct, and darkness is covering our world, we can kneel again in prayer because He willreturn as the Ruler of Everything.