Today we begin the pulpit series from the Epistle to the Philippians – “Christ is all.” The key words are “rejoice” and “joy.” The goal of Paul’s joyful endeavors for the Gospel is “the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3:14). The end is meeting Christ face to face. “The day of the Lord Jesus” and “the day of Christ” are unique to the writings of the Apostle Paul (Phil 1:6; 1:10; 2:16).
Elsewhere in the Pauline epistles, we have “the day of our Lord Jesus Christ (1Cor 1:8; 2 Cor 1.14), “the day” (1Cor 3:13) and “the day of the Lord” (1Cor 5:5). Paul also called the day of Christ “that day” in his last letter (2 Tim 1.18; 4.8).
These expressions refer to the gathering of the Church to Himself (John 14:2-3). The Day of Christ refers to the Church, the Body of Christ exclusively. Paul called it our “blessed hope” (Titus 2.13). The Day of Christ is the Rapture. There will be the resurrection of the Church, in which we receive eternal bodies. This truth is for the encouragement of Body of Christ that is going through
Rejections and persecution for the sake of the Gospel.
On the other hand, the phrase “the day of the Lord” (also called “that day”) is common throughout the Old Testament. The prophets referred constantly to the period of God’s wrath poured out on the “dwellers of the earth” during the Great Tribulation. The Lord Jesus Christ, Paul, and Peter also referred to the period of God’s wrath. That period or “day” is a time of terror, darkness, and wrath. These two days are often mistaken as one.
The table below shows three differences:
|Day of Christ||Day of the LORD|
|For the Church (the Body of Christ)||For rejectors of Christ|
|A day of blessing and reward||A day of judgment|
|A heavenly hope||An earthly despair|
Hold forth the Word of Life
The epistle of Philippians urges us believers to live for Christ alone (Phil 1:21). We are to hold forth the Word of Life, the Gospel (Phil 2:16). Those who believe in Jesus Christ will receive the gift of Eternal Life. We can do the will of the Heavenly Father by studying the Holy Scriptures. The Holy Spirit will give us understanding if we are willing to be instructed by Him. Then we can live a life that is worthy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Phil 1:27).
Partner, Participate & Preach
We can partner in the Gospel, by giving financial support for those who preach the Gospel.
We can participate in the Gospel by praying for those who are engaged in preaching the Gospel.
Most importantly, we can proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to:
– those who have not heard the Gospel
– those who have heard and not yet believe
If we are not proclaiming the Gospel, who will hear and believe?
By partnering through giving, participating by praying and proclaiming the Gospel, we show that we love the Lord Jesus Christ who has shed His precious blood and suffered and died for our sins. By identifying with Christ, we will also be prepared and not be ashamed when for the Day of Jesus Christ when He gathers the Church to Himself. Each new believer added to the Body of Christ will hasten the Day of Christ. Maranatha!
Elder Yoong Yuen Soo