The Future Salvation of Israel
“The Coming Day of the Lord” # 2 Zechariah 1:1-6
Old Testament Reading – Daniel 11:36-45
New Testament Reading – Luke 21:7-28
The Future Salvation of Israel
“The Coming Day of the Lord” # 2
Wayne J. Edwards, Pastor
When Satan rebelled against God and was cast out of heaven, he not only led a third of the angels to join with him, but by seducing
Adam and Eve to sin against God, Satan introduced the spirit of rebellion into the world. Therefore, every person is born with that sin nature – the desire to rebel against God.
- From that point forward, humanity has been involved in that conflict between God and Satan, and as the Bible documents, that conflict can surface between individuals, families, tribes, nations, and even groups of nations.
- That conflict will continue to infect every aspect of our society until Jesus comes again – i.e., there will never be true peace on this earth until the Day of the Lord, when Satan is defeated and the curse of sin is removed.
- This is why Jesus said there will always be wars and rumors of wars, nation against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
- In the Old Testament, the Day of the Lord is referred to as that eschatological day of judgment that will bring deliverance.
- In the New Testament, the Day of the Lord is referred to as the triumphant day of Christ’s return to earth in all of His glory.
“If you had no devil to tempt you, no enemies to fight you, and no world to ensnare you, you would still find in yourself enough evil to be a painful trouble to you, for the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.”
From cover to cover, the Bible is the story of God’s revelation of Himself to mankind.
- In Hebrews 1:1, the writer said, “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets.”
- A prophet was a person God called to deliver God’s message to God’s people at a specific time in history.
- In most cases, they were instructed to write their messages down, for as the Apostle Paul said in Romans 15:4, “Whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.
- The Bible identified the prophets as “major” and “minor” in view of the length of their writings.
- The four major prophets listed in the Bible are: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel.
- The twelve minor prophets are: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.
- John the Baptist is was the last Old Testament prophet.
- In Hebrews 1:2, the writer said, “In these last days, God has spoken to us through His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds.”
- There was a time when the prophets were necessary, for God sent them to warn His people of His impending judgment or to appeal to them to repent of their sins and to return to their first love for Him.
- But when Jesus came, He was the final prophet, the final priest, and the final king, and since we have the written record of His earthly ministry, including His promise to return, we no longer need human prophets. As Daniel said, the future has already been written down, and everything God wants us to know about the future is written in His Word.
In Zechariah 1:1, the prophet identified himself as the author of his prophecy, which was written between 520 and 470 B.C.
- Zechariah was burdened for God’s people because of their propensity toward sin and the hardness of their heart.
- God had sent many prophets to warn and correct His people, but since they had not listened to Him, He had stopped sending them, and that silence from heaven lasted 400 years.
- The four key verses are:
- Zechariah 1:3 – “Return to Me, and I will return to you.”
- Zechariah 7:13 – “When I called, they did not listen, so when they called, I would not listen.”
Zechariah 9:9 – “Your King comes to you, riding on a donkey” – a prophecy of the Lord’s first coming.
- Zechariah 13:9, – “I will refine them…they will call on My name, and I will answer them, for they are My people, and they will say, the Lord is our God” – a prophecy of the Lord’s second coming.
The theme of Zechariah’s prophecy is that Yahweh plans to live again with His people in Jerusalem. He will save them from their enemies and cleanse them from sin.
Throughout the Bible, the KEY to receiving an outpouring of God’s eternal blessings is to RETURN to God’s submission.
- The Hebrew word for turn or return is “teshuvah,” which means to go back to that from which we strayed.
- The people to whom Zechariah was speaking had returned to the land they so dearly loved and they were rebuilding the Temple they so dearly loved, but they had failed to fully return to God, who so dearly loved them.
- God used Zechariah’s voice to call His people to repentance, to love Him with all of their heart, soul, mind, and might, so they would not make the same mistake as their fathers had made 70 years earlier.
- While repentance and faith are the two essential evidences of having been saved, to be able to walk with the Lord in the evil of this world, yet in the light of His Word, means we must continually confess our sins, repent of those sins, and return to our first love for Him.
1. Returning to the Lord reminds us of the wrath of God to be avoided – Zechariah 1:2 – “The Lord has been very angry with your fathers.”
- God had allowed their forefathers to be taken as captives to Babylon because they had forsaken their first love for Him and sought happiness in perverted sexuality. (Micah 2:1)
- Zechariah said God began to get angry, then He became angry, and then He expressed His anger. (Hosea 4:9-10)
- Since sexual orgies and prostitution were common to the culture in Babylon, God sent His people to live among the Babylonians – not as citizens, but as slaves, and said their children would grow up in that ungodly culture until they repented of their sins and returned to Him.
2. Returning to the Lord opens the channel of God’s blessings – Zechariah 1:3 – “Therefore, say to them, Thus, says the Lord of hosts: Return to Me, says the Lord of hosts, and I will return to you.”
- True repentance requires an open confession of all known sin and an honest effort to make a full restitution and achieve a full reconciliation with those affected by our sin.
- In Acts 3:19, Luke said the evidence of true repentance is that we experience a “time of refreshing” that can only come from the Lord.
- God did not call His people to return to their rules of religion but to their personal intimate relationship with Him, and then He would return unto them.
3. Returning to the Lord is what we should learn from the history of God’s people.
- In Zechariah 1:4-6, the prophet gave his hearers three warnings about heeding God’s call to repentance.
- There is a warning of disobedience – “Don’t be like your fathers.”
- There is a warning of delay – “Where are your fathers, and where are those prophets? Do they live forever?”
- There is a warning of divine discipline – “According to our ways and according to our deeds, so He has dealt with us.”