2 Timothy 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. (KJV)
There are many things that can be said about this passage. The Dispensationalists tell us that only they are looking for this appearing. Interesting, since John who had just been shown the effects of the last days upon the world and upon God’s people through the unleashing of Satan himself, and his wrath, and this outpouring which was before Jesus is seen as Coming; yet, he states “even so come Lord Jesus.”
So what is “that day” of which Paul speaks in this verse? Dispensationalists tell us that it is a long day of the Lord or day of Christ, and that it includes the Tribulation and the messianic kingdom.
Isaiah and Joel both tell us that this day of the Lord follows a failure of sun moon and stars to give their light. Jesus tells us that this failure of sun moon and stars to shine is following the Tribulation not before it, as Dispensationalists see it. So this is the coming that one day the entire church will look for. In fact Paul confirms this.
2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; (KJV)
So as Jesus stated Tribulation is coming before “that day”, which is His coming on the “day of the Lord”.
Hebrews 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. (KJV)
This again changes nothing. A Rapture passage — yes, because that is what happens when Jesus appears a second time, after the Tribulation. According to Mark 13, men will be gathered from the Four corners of the heavens and the earth. This is definitely depicting the Rapture.
James 5:7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. 8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. 9 Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. (KJV)
Here the Dispensationalists try to tell us that because this passage states that the Lords coming draweth nigh, and because the judge standers at the door, that this makes His coming imminent. So they teach that His Coming was imminent from the time of this writing. But Paul also tells us that we know the times and seasons of this coming, and that knowledge cannot come without signs. And those signs are all for the second coming, in a generation that sees certain things.
1 Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: (KJV) AND 1 Peter 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; (KJV)
So again the pattern is to try and cause us to see two events, differing from one another. Here we have the appearing of Messiah, and the Revelation of Messiah. So let’s examine the two terms in light of each verse.
The first tells us of the trial of ones faith. It suggests endurance until the end as Jesus put it (the time of His appearance) that our faith might be presented with praise and honor to the Lord when He comes or makes His appearance.
The second verse speaks of our hope to the end when He is revealed. We have already seen in this study that appearance is attached to His second coming. It is used often, Revelation not so much. So what is it’s meaning? The book of Revelation is opened telling us that it is the revelation of Jesus Christ, but obviously Peter is not speaking here of the book, nor is he speaking of the things being revealed about the person of Christ, but he is speaking about His future revelation to us. So when does that happen? Paul in this next passage links it to the day of the Lord. Listen:
so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:7-8 NASB
So, when is the day of the Lord? We saw earlier above that Paul tells us in 2 Thessalonians 2, that it will not come until after the Antichrist is revealed. Again the same pattern that Jesus described — Tribulation, then His coming, His appearance, His Revelation, whatever you want to call it. It occurs after The Tribulation.
We believers are called by many names, Jesus is called by many names, His Coming is called by many terms, but they are one and the same coming.