The phrase “the day of our Lord” has immense significance in both testaments and should be of vital importance to Christendom in the modern world. Even though the global Christian community no longer has prophetic ministries today like ancient Israel and the first century C.E., we do have a relevant need for the understanding of what this phrase meant, how it was used, and what that meant for believers. This short treatise unpacks these three elements regarding “the day of our Lord” in the biblical text and ends with a stark warning to the United State of America.
So just what does this phrase mean? “This expression, used by OT prophets (as early as the eighth century BC prophet Amos), to signify a time in which God actively intervenes in history, primarily for judgment. Thus ‘the day of the Lord’ is also called ‘the day of the Lord’s anger (Zep 2:2 KJV).” In laymen’s terms, one can read the day of the Lord as a time when God interceded into the material world to exact His wrath for unrighteousness, disobedience, and ubiquitous sin. In most cases, this term meant impending doom for ancient Israel, and that judgment was carried out in the Old Testament biblical text with various destruction, exiles, and punishments to the various nations that disobeyed God’s commands.
In addition, “the day of our Lord” has eschatological implications as well: “The occasion of God’s final intervention in human affairs to punish sin, restore the faith of his people and establish his rule over the nations. It is linked with the Messianic hope and will be fulfilled at Jesus Christ’s return. This future consummation is anticipated in historical acts of judgment and, although its time is unknown, it will be heralded and accompanied by signs and by great upheavals in nature.” In this sense, “the day of our Lord” was meant for the end times, the apocalypse, the final judgment of all mankind where Jesus Christ returns to sort out humanity and judge the living and the dead (John 5:26-29).
The expression “the day of our Lord” was used in both the Old and New Testaments with particular relevance to sin, disobedience, and judgment. This is important to understand concerning modernity and the awful state of affairs that America has allowed itself to succumb to. In the Old Testament, the expression “day of the Lord” occurs eighteen times in prophetic literature, most often in the books of Joel and Zephaniah. It is not found in Daniel. A similar expression that stands close to it is “on that day,” which occurs 208 times in the Old Testament; half the occurrences are in the prophets. In the New Testament, equivalent expressions, such as “day of Jesus Christ,” are found in 1 Corinthians 1:8; 2 Corinthians 1:14; Philippians 1:6, 10; and 2 Peter 3:10, 12. “Day of the Lord” appears in 2 Thessalonians 2:2.
Here are the specific passages that the Old Testament prophets use that utilized the phrase, and concept of, the day of our Lord:
- Isaiah 16:6&9 – “Wail, for the day of the Lord is near; as destruction from the Almighty, it will come!” “Behold, the day of the Lord comes, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger, to make the land a desolation and to destroy its sinners from it.”
- Jeremiah 46:10 – “That day is the day of the Lord God of hosts, a day of vengeance, to avenge himself on his foes.”
- Ezekiel 13:5; 30:3 – “You have not gone up into the breaches or built up a wall for the house of Israel, that it might stand in battle in the day of the Lord.” “For the day is near, the day of the Lord is near; it will be a day of clouds, a time of doom for the nations.”
- Joel 1:15; 2:1, 11, 31; 3:14 – “Alas for the day! For the day of the Lord is near, and as destruction from the Almighty it comes.” “Blow a trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord, is coming; it is near,” “The Lord utters his voice before his army, for his camp is exceedingly great; he who executes his word is powerful. For the day of the Lord is great and very awesome; who can endure it?” “The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.”
- Amos 5:18, 20 – “Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord! Why would you have the day of the Lord? It is darkness, and not light,” “Is not the day of the Lord darkness, and not light, and gloom with no brightness in it?”
- Obadiah 1:15 – “For the day of the Lord is near upon all the nations. As you have done, it shall be done to you; your deeds shall return on your own head.”
- Zephaniah 1:7, 14 – “Be silent before the Lord God! For the day of the Lord is near; the Lord has prepared a sacrifice and consecrated his guests.” “ The great day of the Lord is near, near and hastening fast; the sound of the day of the Lord is bitter; the mighty man cries aloud there.”
Notice that these proclamations deal with impending doom and judgment for sin, disobedience, and unrighteous action amongst ancient middle eastern nations.
Regrettably, the phrase “the day of our Lord” has been hijacked by charismatic evangelicals and primarily used for the second coming of Jesus Christ. Most Christians associate this term with the book of Revelation and the return of the Messiah. This is not only unfortunate but theologically misguided. Too many Christians in the modern age are consumed with the end times and eschatological storylines. What this does is pass over current events that portent the coming judgment of America.
The hard truth, and theological inevitability, is that the United States of America is ripe for judgment and worthy of the wrath of God. Judgment for America is coming, and the day of our Lord will be exacted for the sinful nature of American society and its betrayal of the God-fearing foundation laid forth by the founders. America has become a Godless nation where sin is ubiquitous, the conscience is stifled, guilt is abnormal, evil is normalized, and holiness is queer. America is no longer a Judea-Christian nation when mainstream culture allows and encourages the following behavior: abortion is sanctified, no-fault divorce is normalized, same-sex marriage is blessed by Ecclesiastical leadership, parents are transitioning their children, men and women are interchangeable, addiction is excused as victimization, and society would rather shut down Churches over liquor stores. It should not take a theologian to portend the coming judgment.
I do not pretend to be a prophet and I acknowledge that the prophets and apostles of the Old, and New, Testament no longer exist, despite what televangelists claim. This is why the scriptures and sound theology are so important.
The days where Jeremiah stood naked proclaiming repentance is no longer needed; the Bible tells us how society should act and how humanity should interact with one another. It also outlines evil and immoral actions that will give rise to the righteous anger of God that calls down His wrath on those who refuse to follow His ways. Individually, people can, and will, get away with wickedness in this life only to be judged in the next (Matthew 5:45). No nation has ever lasted, in its decadence, without the eventual interaction and intercession of God’s judgment. From Egypt to Israel, from the Assyrians to the Babylonians, to the Greeks and the Roman Empire, and on and on to the end of time; nations will rise, worship false Gods (idolatry), and elevate man over God, and self-implode. This is a theological certainty that the book of Revelation warns us about.
The problem here is how the American Church is culpable in this endeavor. The unbelievable shift of some American denominations from conservative theology to the progressive liberal movement is astonishing. It is one thing for secular society to follow bad doctrine but to have an unholy alliance with many mainstream Churches is inexcusable. Pastors more interested in increasing pews counts or vying for political power are corrupting the congregation into worshiping politicians, false social justice theology, and evil behavior under the guise of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Those people will be judged most severely (Matthew 18:6).
The time is now for normal laymen and laywomen to speak up and out in their congregations to correct or push back on bad theology. Urge your pastors to address these issues warn congregants of getting too enthralled with a declining American society. I am not advocating bowing out, just the opposite, it is time to rise up and fight against the immoral behavior of the culture that now engulfs our society. Where are the voices? Where are the advocates of God’s divine order? Where are the defenders of child abuse? R-Rated Religion was created to advocate these points of view and speak the truth to power, unfortunately, that power is based on Satanic worship where God is no longer allowed a voice in the American parlance. This will no doubt, ultimately invoke the day of our Lord concerning American idolatry, greed, sexual depravity, and disobedience.
 Martin H. Manser, Dictionary of Bible Themes: The Accessible and Comprehensive Tool for Topical Studies (London: Martin Manser, 2009).