‘The Day of God’ is the name of two ‘Day of the Lord’ events.
Day of the Lord—In prophecy, this is any day of climactic judgment or blessing by the Lord. The tribulation years are one example of the day of the Lord.
- The Day of Christ—Refers to Jesus’ judgment seat, which occurs after Jesus raptures the Church and before the end of the seven-year tribulation, which ends when Jesus returns physically to earth (Philippians 1:6, 10; 2:15). The Bible only mentions it three times and the Apostle Paul also calls this event Christ’s ‘Bema Seat.’
- The Day of God—Refers to the destruction of the current heavens and earth, which leads to the creation of the New Heavens and New Earth, which begins the eternal state (2 Peter 3:12-13) or to the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:14).
The Bible Mentions ‘the Day of God’ Twice
- “For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, who go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty” (Revelation 16:14).
This “great day of God Almighty” refers to gathering all the world’s armies for the battle of Armageddon. This ‘Dav’ is near the end of the tribulation, immediately before Jesus returns to earth to defeat the opposing armies. This ends the tribulation years and is the beginning of Jesus’ Millennial reign over the world on David’s throne.
- “While you are waiting for and desiring the coming of the day of God, in which the heavens will be destroyed by fire and the elements will be consumed by intense heat?” (2 Peter 3:12).
In his third chapter, Peter encourages his readers to remember the sure promise that the Lord will return both to save them and to bring in eternal righteousness after judging evil. Holding to this promise practically affects how they live their lives in this world (2 Peter 3:11-13).
Where is the Promise of His Return?
Scoffers had come in to ask why the Lord hadn’t returned yet and to question, based on the delay, if He would ever return. But these scoffers ignore certain truths (2 Peter 3):
- The creation truth of how God commanded dry earth to rise out of the water (v 5).
- The historical truth of the destruction of the earth by water in Noah’s flood (v 6).
- The predicted future destruction of the earth by fire for the damnation of the ungodly (v 7).
- Their ignorance of God’s view of time (v 8)
- Their ignorance of God’s purpose in the delay: that all may come to repentance (v 9).
- That the ‘Day of the Lord’ will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night (v 10).
Peter emphasized the intensity of this ‘Day,’ which destroys the current creation. Its abruptness, loudness, heat, and fiery end (v 10).
This preceding context helps us deduce this Day’s timing and purpose:
“But, according to His promise, we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13).
Before this Day of God can Happen
Before this ‘Day’ can happen, God must judge evil to bring in everlasting righteousness. We can deduce that this ‘Day’ occurs between the Great White Throne judgment, which is the final judgment of the wicked (Revelation 20:11-15), and the creation of the New Heavens and Earth, which begins the eternal state (Revelation 21, 22).
The timeline of the “Day(s) of God” is:
- The seven-year tribulation
- Jesus’ return to earth for the battle of Armageddon (the first ‘Day of God,’ ends the tribulation.
- Jesus’ Millennial Reign (1000 years)
- The Great White Throne judgment of all the wicked dead
- The destruction by fire of the current heavens and earth (the second ‘Day of God’)
- God creates the New Heavens and Earth
- The eternal state where righteousness reigns and God dwells with humanity on the New Earth
The Bible designates two incidents as the ‘Day of God.’
The first event in time is a reference to the battle of Armageddon. The second is the destruction by fire of the current heavens and earth. The Apostle Peter reminds his readers that the pre-flood world was destroyed by the waters of Noah’s flood, which prefigured the coming destruction of the current heavens and earth. After this second ‘Day of God,’ God will create the New Heavens and Earth and dwell with His people forever.