Tag Archives: Joel 2

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 146/260: Joel

Read Joel 2:28-32

The Church Foretold

Proponents of the doctrine of dispensational premillennialism teach that Jesus came to this earth to establish a physical kingdom, but when He was unexpectedly rejected by the Jews, He set up the church instead. The church, according to premillennialists, was a “plan B” of sorts, a stopgap measure until He could return to establish His kingdom at a later date.

This doctrine fails to recognize several important facts. First, Jesus never intended to establish a physical kingdom. He told Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here” (John 18:36). The very thought that man could prevent God from doing anything is ludicrous and must be rejected outright. Premillennialism falls flat on its face by suggesting such is even possible.

Second, premillennialism fails to recognize the church in prophecy. There are numerous Old Testament passages that point to the establishment of Jesus’ spiritual kingdom, the church. One of the most prominent is Isaiah 2:2-4, wherein the prophet says, “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow into it.” Isaiah foretells the establishment of the church as well as the universality of the church. The Lord’s kingdom would not be limited to Jews only; “all nations shall flow into it.”

Joel speaks of the amazing things accomplished through the gift of the Holy Spirit at the establishment of the Lord’s kingdom. “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days” (Joel 2:28-29).

When were these things accomplished? On the first Day of Pentecost following the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord. Peter says to the group of Jews gathered in Jerusalem, “But this”—what you are witnessing right now with your very eyes—“is what was spoken by the prophet Joel” (Acts 2:36). God knew what He was doing all along!

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 145/260: Joel

Read Joel 2:12-17

Don’t Just Go Through The Motions

“So rend your heart, and not your garments” (Joel 2:13). What a mental image! Tearing one’s clothes was an outward sign of contrition and grief, but if such actions are not accompanied with true inward emotion, what purpose does it serve? Jesus warns against such outward posturing without the proper inward renewal as He quotes Isaiah to the superficial Pharisees: “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:8-9).

A person can go through all the right motions on Sunday. He can say all the right words in prayer, sing songs that teach truth and do so without mechanical instruments of music, eat the bread and drink the fruit of the vine during the Lord’s Supper, turn to every passage of Scripture mentioned by the preacher, and give a large portion of his financial blessings every single Sunday, but if his heart is not in it, has he truly worshiped acceptably?

We may be tempted to remove emotion from our Christian duty because it can be blown out of proportion. There are certainly people who rely solely upon emotions and do not take into account the actual revelation God made through the inspired writers of long ago. It is dangerous to go to that extreme, but it is equally dangerous to remove emotion altogether. What did Jesus tell the Samaritan woman? “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24). To have one without the other is incomplete worship.

When we come to God, whether in worship or in repentance, we must have a humble heart of submission. “So rend your heart, and not your garments.” Our sorrow much not be outward only. We must humble ourselves to do whatever God says in His Word. For those who are coming to Him for the first time, confess your belief in the Son, repent of your sins, and be immersed to have those sins washed away. For those who are already a part of God’s family, when you stumble into sin, confess those to the Father and ask for His forgiveness.

Again, this is not something done for show. This is done with a humble, pure heart. Don’t just go through the motions. Do what He commands for the reasons He instructs.

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 144/260: Joel

Read Joel 2:1-11

Loving, Yet Uncompromising, Preaching

While there is some debate concerning the time of Joel’s prophecy, there is strong evidence that points to the pre-exilic period. Assuming the early date of the ninth century BC is correct, then Joel’s prophecies are either quoted by or alluded to by Isaiah, Amos, Micah, Nahum, Zephaniah, Obadiah, Ezekiel, and Malachi, and Joel is the first to write about “the day of the Lord” (Joel 1:15; 2:1, 11; 3:14).

One of the strongest lessons we can take from this short book is the importance of loving, yet uncompromising, preaching. “Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land temple; for the day of the Lord is coming, for it is at hand: a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, like the morning clouds spread over the mountains” (Joel 2:1-2a).

There is not a faithful gospel preacher, nor a zealous Christian, who does not love to talk about God’s grace, mercy, and love. However, if one ignores the many warnings in the Scriptures, telling others only of God’s love for mankind is telling only half the story. “Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God; on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off” (Romans 11:22)

There are times we may be deceived into thinking that negative preaching is not necessary because we do not see or realize the consequences of sinful activity. Inspiration discusses such a situation: “Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. Though a sinner does evil a hundred times, and his days are prolonged, yet I surely know that it will be well with those who fear God, who fear before Him. But it will not be well with the wicked nor will he prolong his days, which are as a shadow, because he does not fear before God” (Ecclesiastes 8:11-13).

Declare the love of the Lord! Proclaim praises for His grace and mercy! But do not neglect to warn those who rebel and disobey His commands. Do it in love, with a view toward saving the sinful through the blood of Christ (Ephesians 4:15; 2 Timothy 4:2-5).