There is a curious pattern to be found in the New Testament. The twenty-seven books are divided into three groupings of nine books. There are nine books addressed to Jews and Jewish subjects (Matthew to Galatians). Then there are nine books addressed to Gentiles and Gentile churches (Ephesians to Philemon). These are followed by nine more books addressed to Jews and Jewish subjects (Hebrews to the Revelation). Within the third group is the phrase “The Day of Christ.”
The “Day of Christ” is different from the “Day of the Lord.” The Day of the Lord is an Old Testament phrase which refers to the day of the Lord’s great and justified wrath. The Day of Christ is a separate event that is named only five times in the New Testament, and only in the nine books addressed to the Gentile church. (I Corinthians 1:8, Philippians 1:6, 1:10, 2:16, II Thessalonians 2:2) These are all writings of the Apostle Paul, and from the context of these passages it is clear that the apostle was speaking of the Rapture, the day the Lord Jesus returns for His Church.
“Now we beseech you, brethren, by (or concerning) the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.” – 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2
“For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” – Philippians 1:5-6 (After the Day of Christ we will not be here to perform the good work.)
“Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.” – Philippians 2:16 (On the Day of Christ when we all receive our rewards from the Lord Jesus.)Paul was looking forward to the day when he would appear before the Lord Jesus at the “bema seat.” The bema was the platform upon which Olympic athletes were rewarded for their victory, not for punishment. Paul was looking forward to rewards for his labors.
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” – 2 Corinthians 5:10 [judgment seat – bema – Strong’s G968]This will all occur on the Day of Christ:
How I look forward to the Day of Christ! Praise His name!