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The Day of Christ

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)

Even before Paul’s revelation on the road to Damascus Paul’s faith in the true God was well founded upon the rock of God’s Word. Paul a Scriptural scholar of His day studying under the supervision of the leading teacher Gamaliel. (Acts 22:3) Paul knew the Scriptures and more than that he had a solid faith in the Word of God. Paul’s life was committed to serving the Lord God with all his heart. “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” (Deuteronomy 6:5) After the ascension of Christ and the Apostles were sent out to preach the gospel and the coming Kingdom of God, Paul viewed their work as a perversion of the Jewish faith. Paul was responsible for the persecution of many a follower of the way. Then on the road to Damascus the Lord Jesus revealed Himself to Paul and appointed him as an Apostle. Paul’s whole perspective changed and he became a devoted follower of Jesus Christ and spent the remainder of his life as a missionary and planting Churches. Paul had complete confidence in his Lord Jesus Christ and knew that his future glory was secure in the hand of Jesus. “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” (John 10:29) Paul who bore the past feelings of being the Chief of sinners for his work against the followers of Christ now had found the truth through Jesus Christ. Jesus, who was the Son of God, God in the flesh, and came to save that which was lost and testify to the Truth of His Father, God. (Luke 19:10 John 18:37) Paul was held in bondage to the sin in his life and though he did his best to keep the law, the law cannot save him. Jesus as the Lamb of God paid our sin debt by His sacrifice on the cross. Jesus is the essence of God and He is the truth, (John 14:6) and He came to testify to the truth and the truth sets us free from the bondage of sin. “And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:32)

The confidence that Paul has is that in every believer God has begun a good work. This is the work of our salvation. By our acceptance of God’s free gift of salvation through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ on the cross as a propitiation for our sins, we will have eternal glory with Him in heaven. This is not a commitment of trust, obedience, service, and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that should be taken lightly. Jesus warns us of not being fully committed to the Kingdom of Heaven. “But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62) If the Christian has not fully committed himself to find his life through Jesus, (Philippians 1:21) then one must question if that person is truly a believer. The problem for many is that they cannot fully submit and live in the Spirit with Jesus sitting on the throne of their life and yet not be tempted to crawl back up upon the throne themselves. I can understand, as this is a constant battle for myself. We shall always be at war with self. We must repent from this foolishness every time it creeps into our lives. God has begun His work to prefect us in the Spirit and we must know that we can never be perfected in the flesh. “Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Galatians 3:3) We have heard the truth, we have accepted the truth, we strive to live in the truth, and we have been sealed by the Holy Spirit as a pledge towards the inheritance to come. (Ephesians 1:14) If we do not forsake this power that has been given to us, then we can walk in faith with Him who intercedes for us to God Almighty. “Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:25)

Let us not confuse ourselves with the “Day of Christ” with the meaning of “Day of the Lord.” The “Day of the Lord” most certainly will be a terrible day for most of mankind. “Alas for the day! For the day of the LORD is near, And it will come as destruction from the Almighty.” (Joel 1:15) It is a day when God will purify the earth by fire driving out all sin as the fire purifies the dross from gold. No man knows when that day will come and sadly most men will be unprepared for its happening. “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.” (2 Peter 3:10)

The “Day of Christ” is when the Church will be called up to be with the Lord. It will be a glorious day for the Christian and also will be the beginning of the end for the present world. When Jesus left he promised that He was going to prepare a place for His believers in heaven. “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2) This promise is not only for those who are alive but also those who have died in Christ. Jesus was resurrected from the grave and on that day those who have died in Christ will be resurrected as He was. On that day all believers will receive their glorified bodies. (1 John 3:2) “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16) This is the eternal hope of the Christian to enter into the gates of heaven praising God and rejoicing that our journey is over and we now have found our rest in the Promised Land. The day is coming quickly and the justice of God will prevail. “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.” (Revelation 22:12)

Where are you today? Are you living here on earth in the flesh and a slave to the desires of the flesh? Will you have no advocate in heaven to justify your life? Will you stand alone and hear those horrible words, “Depart from Me?” (Matthew 25:41) Are you having a good time here sitting on the throne of your life? You better think hard and long because if you leave here without the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ life will not be something that you will desire in the world to come.

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

Durant Bible College, May 22, 2014

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