THE APPROACHING DAY
Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Both the Apostles Paul and Peter write of a renewed effort in the believer’s personal godliness with the observance of the approaching day of Christ’s return. 2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. 14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. 15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
Therefore it is evident that to have this strong influence upon the christian soul one must have some understanding of the approaching day of Christ’s return. Failing to have this awareness has great detrimental affect not only upon the soul inattentive of this coming event, but also upon those who are influenced by them! Luke 12:40 Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not. 45 But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; 46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. 47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
Although it is not given to mankind, nor to the angels, to have knowledge of the exact day and hour, yet we are to be aware that a specific time of reckoning is ahead. Matthew 24:33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. 35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. 36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
And we are given instruction regarding two men whose days are typical of the last day. And as ‘history does repeat itself,’ we can use their days as a guide for properly judging ours. Ecclesiastes 1:9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. 10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us. And these two men are revealed to us by our Lord himself! They are Noah and Lot.
Luke 17:26 And as it was in the days of Noe, (Noah) so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. 27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; 29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. 30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
And Lot’s day also included the day of Abraham. Genesis 18:17 And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;18 Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him. 20 And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; 21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know. 22 And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD.
These men knew the day was to rapidly approach. But the population in their days “knew not.” Matthew 24:38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Therefore coming to be aware of this day was either by the revelation of the Lord, or by the actual falling of the judgment upon them in the event itself. Which of these two categories do we fall in? Which of these two categories do you feel that America lines up in? Have you been made aware of the approaching day by the Spirit and the word? Romans 13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. John 15:15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
Carefully consider the following passage in regards to our nation. Romans 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
Let us now also consider some of the many verses which instruct us concerning the approaching day. Philippians 4:5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
James 5:8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
1 Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. Had you ever realized just how much the sanctification and spiritual purification of your own heart was dependent upon your awareness of the approaching day?
And do you realize just how much of a blessing it is to have a firm belief in the approaching day when all religion around you has become unsound and even harmful? And while even some who are still therein seem to outwardly prosper? Psalm 37:7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. 73:11 And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High? 12 Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches.
Psalm 62:5 My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.
Isaiah 8:17 And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him.
Have you come to realize that your daily strengths do not come from a physical source, but of the spiritual? And that the spiritual strength is strongly dependent upon the faith that the Lord shall come to claim us for his own? Isaiah 40:29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. 30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: 31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
This requires faith! Psalm 121:1 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. 2 My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. To “lift up the eyes” is to have one’s heart set above the natural, visible realm to become aware of things spiritual and invisible. Be careful to do this now, for the rich man waited too late to do so! Luke 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
And faith is had in connection to the word of God! So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17) Therefore these verses, applied by the Person of the Word to our hearts, establishes our souls in heavenly and eternal matters. We become affixed into a heavenly mindedness. Ephesians 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
And then our heads are lifted up to meditate on eternal things as we see the approaching day. Luke 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
The awareness and expectation of this blessed event provides us with the greatest of blessings. Luke 12:37 Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. 38 And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.
For only those who sincerely expect the Lord’s return shall have a total and final cleansing of all sin. Hebrews 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. That is, he shall return without any more provision for those who yet remain in their sin. But he shall bring in a final and complete salvation by glorifying all those who are looking for him. 1 John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
And what have we now learned concerning the approaching day? We have learned that there were two previous ‘days’ that give us an insight into how that day shall be. In both the days of Noah and the days of Lot none but those chosen of God were looking for him. The rest of the population had their interests turned to nothing but the satisfying of their carnal desires! They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; Luke 17:27,28.
There was no true or accurate consciousness of God whatever. And that had a most detrimental affect upon the entire human race, having been formed in God’s image. For when you change the image of the Person of the Creator, you redefine those formed in that image! Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
Therefore the approaching day is scheduled for “an hour as ye think not.” Matthew 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. 43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. 44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. So how many do you know who are expecting him?
Pastor Gene Breed
February 25, 2021