March 24, 2022
The Day of the Lord is at Hand – Joel 1:1-15
THE DAY OF THE LORD IS AT HAND – Joel 1:1-15
The sermon Pastor Peter Jamieson delivered on March 20, 2022 focused on the return of our Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. Pastor Peter believes that our generation may very well be the generation that witnesses the end of all things and the return of Christ. As the Bible states, no one knows the day or the hour Jesus will return, but we ought to recognize the season at which He will appear. The day of His Coming is rapidly approaching.
Today, Pastor Peter addressed the congregation with a call to prepare: a call to reexamine our faith in the light of the times we live in.
Read Joel 1:1-15
The Book of Joel begins with the description of a plague of locusts that decimated Israel and turned it into a desolate wasteland. The elders and citizens of Judah were commanded by Joel to pay close attention to what he had to say, in order that they might convey to future generations the horrors of this great plague. It was very important that they never forget what happened. Then, Joel encouraged the people of Judah to engage in prayer and fasting as a means of seeking the Lord.
Read Joel 1:14
Joel warned that this devastating locust plague would have a destructive effect similar to the day of the Lord’s judgment. The Jews eagerly awaited the Day of the Lord, because they believed God would judge the nations at that time and restore Israel to her former glory. However, they were most likely unaware of the fact that God would also judge the nation of Israel at the same time and that only a remnant would be saved at His Coming.
As Pastor Peter mentioned earlier, we may very well be the generation that witnesses the end of this age, as well as the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is very good news for those who are prepared; however, it is not so good for those who are not.
Read Isaiah 13:6 and Ezekiel 30:3
The above verses indicate that the Day of the Lord is rapidly approaching and will take place as predicted. It will be a time of great weeping and wailing for all nations. The end of time is upon us.
Read 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3
In the words of Paul, the Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night. When the unconverted believe they are safe and secure, destruction will strike without warning and there will be no escape.
Read Matthew 24:32-34 and Matthew 23:33, 39
According to Matthew, the fig tree represents Israel. As Jesus approached Jerusalem, He noticed a fig tree and went up to it in search of fruit. Finding none, He cursed it. Upon their return the following day, the disciples were stunned by what they saw: The tree Jesus cursed had dried up and died. The fig tree has always been regarded as a symbol of Israel, and Jesus was emphasizing the fact that the people of old Israel had failed to bear fruit.
Just before He left the Temple and was about to be betrayed and arrested, Jesus stated that the Pharisees were evil people who would not be spared punishment in hell. Then he walked out and said, “You will not see me again until you are ready to proclaim, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord’”. When He left the Temple on that fateful day, it was left desolate. Until Jesus returns, God will not be present in any future temple.
Jerusalem was razed to the ground by the Romans in 70 A.D. Jesus prophesied that the city would be burned and the Temple would be destroyed stone by stone exactly 37 years prior to that event. Israel’s population was slaughtered, and the remaining survivors were scattered across the globe. Israel, as a nation, ceased to exist. The branches of Israel had withered, but on May 14, 1948, by the stroke of a pen, Israel was reborn as a nation after almost 2,000 years and granted its national Jewish status. Israel literally came into being in a single day. Jews returned to their ancestral homeland from all corners of the earth. It was a miracle of biblical proportions that had been unfathomable to the world. The prophet Isaiah foretold that it would take place, and it did.
Read Isaiah 66:8
In 2018, Israel celebrated its 70th anniversary during Donald Trump’s presidency. The Israelites minted a coin bearing his image, referring to him as the new Cyrus, for his contributions in bringing the Abraham Accords to fruition, after he relocated the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem for the official recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In 1948, Israel’s branches began to become tender. It is remarkable to contemplate what Israel has accomplished in this one generation (since 1948): It went from being a desolate country to becoming a global power! Israel has become the centre of worldwide attention! In Matthew 24:34, Jesus affirmed that all things would be fulfilled in that generation.
Psalm 90:10 indicates that the average lifespan of an individual or generation is between 70 and 80 years. Israel became a nation in 1948. It celebrated its 70th anniversary as a nation in 2018. The exact date of Jesus’ return is unknown, but if a biblical generation consists of 80 years, it is very possible that Jesus’ Coming is less than six years away! We may very well be that last generation that will witness and experience the return of Jesus Christ our Lord!
Read Joel 2:1
Joel describes the locust plague in chapter 1. Given its destructive nature, he likened it to the Day of the Lord. Suddenly, Joel’s vision shifted from something that has occurred in the past to something that will be taking place in the future. Upon seeing this, Joel cries out with an urgent warning, “Blow the trumpet in Jerusalem; shout a warning on my holy mountain. Let all the people who live in the land shake with fear, because the Lord’s Day of judging is coming; it is near.” Joel is warning us of impending doom. The unbelievers should shake with fear as the Lord’s Day of Judgment approaches. Pastor Peter is increasingly convinced, as he observes what is happening in the world, that we are that generation. Perilous times are upon us.
Read 2 Timothy 3:15
Paul did not refer to the unbelieving world in the above passage. Rather, he was referring to the character and nature of many within the church in the Last Days. In this verse, Paul stated that, before the Lord’s return, the church would become filled with people who are lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, gossipers, treacherous, reckless, conceited, blasphemers, opposed to what is good, loving pleasure rather than loving God. They will have an appearance of godliness, but will not have God’s power. If these characteristics describe us, we are not yet ready to meet the Lord.
Secondly, the Bible warns us that these are deceptive times for the church: a time in which false prophets and false teachers abound.
Read Matthew 24:5, 11 and 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12
False prophets and false teachers will rise up in the Last Days spreading lies and teaching false gospels that prey on the carnal appetites of those who reject the truth. These gospels sound good but lead people away from God and many into destruction. Time is running out. We need to get real with God, if we want God to get real with us.
Thirdly, the Bible warns of wars and rumours of wars in the Last Days. This is clearly evident in our present world. After the debacle in Afghanistan six months ago, there is now a war raging between Russia and Ukraine. China is also threatening to invade Taiwan. There are also ongoing wars and threats in the Middle East and against Israel. The war between Russia and Ukraine is the most serious since the Second World War. Christ’s return is imminent. Despite the fact that the unbelieving world has come to realize that the world will end, many Christians continue to live as if the world will last another thousand years. We must get serious with God! Repentance and service to God should be our priority! The time has come to obey the commands of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Read Matthew 24:6-7
A worldwide pandemic has been affecting the world for the past 2 ½ years. Unlike the Covid pandemic, the Black Plague of the Middle Ages did not shut down the entire world. With each passing day, as a result of high gas and oil prices and food shortages, an increasing number of people will experience famine.
Read Matthew 13:24-30 (NKJV) and Revelation 3:16-20
As described in the parable of the wheat and the tares, the Kingdom of heaven is like a man who has planted good seeds in his field. In the middle of the night, someone planted tares in the field and then left. Later, the man’s servants asked him whether they should pull out the tares. He dissuaded them from doing so because they would be pulling out the wheat along with the tares. According to the man, they should leave the tares to grow alongside the wheat until harvest time, at which point the tares would be removed and burned in the fire. Then, the wheat would be gathered and brought to the barn.
This is an End Time prophecy. The ground is the church. True Christians are represented by the wheat, while false believers are represented by the tares. The tares are false believers who attend church services with us; those who sit in our pews. Tares and wheat are virtually identical in the early stages of growth. They cannot be differentiated until they reach maturity. Wheat produces fruit, while tears do not. The Lord Jesus said that at harvest time, He would gather the tares and cast them into the fire to burn.
Parable two, the parable of the ten virgins, is comparable to the Kingdom of heaven. A group of ten virgins took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. The five virgins who took oil with their lamps were wise, while the others who did not were foolish. In the Bible, oil represents the Holy Spirit. At midnight, when the cry resounded and the ten virgins arose to meet the bridegroom, they trimmed their lamps, while the five foolish virgins were without oil. When they asked the wise virgins to share some of their oil with them, they were unable to do so because they had only enough for themselves. In response, the foolish virgins were advised to acquire their own oil at the market. Following their departure, the bridegroom arrived and invited the five wise virgins, who had oil in their lamps, to join Him at the wedding feast. This represents the rapture of the church. When the five foolish virgins returned from their journey, the others were nowhere to be found. They knocked on the door and pleaded with Jesus to let them in. However, when Jesus opened the door, He said, “I never knew you. Depart from Me.”
Five virgins were wise and five were foolish. According to this Scripture, 50% of the church lacks oil. The foolish virgins did not claim to have run out of oil. They never had any oil to begin with. They had never brought any oil along with them. Hence, these virgins were false. They were devoid of the Holy Spirit. They were self-deceived.
Read Titus 2:13
For the true Christian, this message is not one of doom and gloom. Rather, it is one of great hope and anticipation. It is the blessed hope of the church. This is the culmination of mankind’s history and the beginning of God’s eternal reign on earth.
Read Joel 2:28-32
In the final days, during what is known as the Tribulation or Daniel’s 70th week, the Lord will pour out His Spirit on His prepared church. God’s people will again display notable exploits, as in the early days of the Pentecost Church. During this time, we will prophesy, dream dreams, see visions, perform miracles, and the Lord will impart His Spirit on us, His church. We will triumph over Satan through the blood of the Lamb and the testimony of our faith. We will be empowered with His Word, it will be rooted deep within us, and we shall produce His fruit. There will be salvation for anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord. This is evident in Acts 2 when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the 120 Jews gathered together in the upper room on Pentecost and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. Peter, who had been anointed with the Holy Spirit, then delivered his most famous sermon which led to the conversion of 3,000 souls and the birth of the Church.
Read Acts 2:17-21
Peter stated that not only did Pentecost fulfill Joel’s prophecy, but it will also be fulfilled again during the final seven years of history before Christ’s return. As a Pentecost church, we will once again demonstrate Christ’s saving power. The Spirit of God will empower us to achieve victory. By the grace of God, we will be equipped to endure the Tribulation and reap the greatest harvest of all time.
Read Joel 3:1-2
Clearly, this refers to the battle of Armageddon that will take place at the return of Christ. In chapter 1, Joel uses the locust plague as an illustration of what the Day of the Lord would be like for those who are not prepared for it. Joel advises us to blow a trumpet to alert everyone to the fact that it is time to get ready. We are at the threshold of Jesus Christ’s return.
Read 2 Chronicles 7:14, Joel 3:14,18, and Isaiah 55:6-7
Paradise is waiting. Are you ready to meet the Lord?