Dispensational Days. There are three time periods referred to in scripture as “days”. They provide a simple yet helpful was to organize world history: not only past and present, but future as well.
- “The day of man” (1 Cor. 4:3) began with Adam and continues on until the Appearing of Christ. It is characterized by man having his way in this world, while God does not step in publicly. Paul would not give any credulity to the way he was judged by man’s day. It is really “the night” (Rom. 13:12) if we view it from God’s standpoint!
- “The day of the Lord” refers to the thousand-year Millennium. It will begin at the appearing of Christ (1 Thess. 5:2; 2 Thess. 2:2) and will continue until the heavens and earth are dissolved (2 Pet. 3:10). There are a number of names for this “day”:
- “The day of the Lord” (1 Thess. 5:2; 2 Thess. 2:2; 2 Pet. 3:10) has to do with the Lord’s authority being established on the earth though judgments.
- “The day of Christ” (1 Cor. 1:8; Phil. 1:10; Phil. 2:16) has to do with the display of Christ’s glory from the heavens.
- “That day” (2 Tim. 1:18; 2 Tim. 4:8; 2 Thess. 1:10) or “the day” (1 Cor. 3:13) is a reference Paul used to refer to the day of Christ, specifically to the appearing when rewards for faithfulness will be distributed. Note: rewards will be assessed at the judgment seat of Christ, but distributed at the appearing. He calls it simply “the day” or “that day” because there is no other day that can compare to it!
- “The day of the Lord Jesus” (1 Cor. 5:5; 2 Cor. 1:14) is also a reference to the appearing of Christ, but in the aspect of the fruit of judgment or chastening. When judgment is brought in, the term “Lord” is used instead of “Christ”. The fornicator in 1 Cor. 5 would be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus if he was subjected to the destruction of the flesh in this life. The Corinthian saints would be Paul’s boast in the day of the Lord Jesus as a result of the corrective ministry of 1 and 2 Corinthians.
- “The day of God” will begin when God makes all things new in the eternal state. It is God’s day because all things will be according to His mind, and He will finally have His rest. It is also called “the day of eternity” (2 Pet. 3:18) because it is a day that will never end!