Today continues an ongoing series of writings about the potential length of the Day of the Lord, the time period when God will punish the wicked and refine Israel so there is a remnant for the Messiah (Jesus Christ). In the previous two articles I explained why the Day of the Lord is highly unlikely going to be seven years long and analyzed what the phrase: “the Day of the Lord will come as a ‘thief in the night’” likely means.
There is a group of people who believe that the Day of the Lord will last 1000 years. Some within this group believe the Day of the Lord will coincide with the Millennium while others believe it’ll start at the end of the Millennium. The main passage people who believe the Day of the Lord will last for 1000 years is 2 Peter 3:3-13, which includes the statement: “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years”.1
(3) Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, (4) And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. (5) For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: (6) Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: (7) But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. (8) But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. (9) The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (10) But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. (11) Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, (12) Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? (13) Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” (2 Pet 3:3-13)
I briefly argue why the Day of the Lord is unlikely a 1000 years in length in this article.
The main issue I see with the argument that the Day of the Lord’s length is a thousand years relates to the timeframe surrounding the start of the Day of the Lord. The evidence I showed recently suggests that the Day of the Lord begins following the opening of the sixth seal (not at the start of the Millennium).
“For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” (Rev 6:17)
Another issue I have with the Day of the Lord being a 1000 years in length is that I believe the Bible would fail to be precise if it were true. I personally believe the Bible is inerrant and that events happen exactly in the amount of time that it states it is going to happen. Therefore, I believe that an event lasts exactly 1000 years long if the Bible says it does…not 1000 years and 1 day or 999 years and 364 days.
- One almost has to ignore all the other references to the Day of the Lord that relate to the time when God punishes the earth in order to have the Day of the Lord equal the length of the Millennium. For instance, the references to the Day of the Lord in Revelation 6:17 and Revelation 16:14 would almost not have to relate to the actual “Day of the Lord” for the 1000 year Day of the Lord position to be correct, which is difficult to argue since they naturally reference the Day of the Lord.
- I’ve seen one person devise a “dual” Day of the Lord theory where they claim there are two different time periods associated with the Day of the Lord: the day of vengeance (sixth seal to the pouring of the last bowl/vial judgment) and the Millennium. However, since the Day of the Lord most likely begins after the opening of the sixth seal it would have to be more than 1000 years long if it were to actually last from the time following the opening of the sixth seal to the end of the Millennium. The Day of the Lord would cover the time between the sixth seal and the start of the Millennium and then the entire Millennium (which is exactly a 1000 years long).
I currently believe Peter’s analogy where one day is a 1000 years to the Lord was used to illustrate that God’s perspective on time is different from our own instead of telling people that the Day of the Lord is going to be 1000 years long.
- People who believe that the Day of the Lord shall last 1000 years point to Revelation 20:11-12 and Revelation 21:1 as “proof” that heavens and the earth will be replaced (an event that Peter hints at in 2 Peter 3) following the end of the Millennium. However, there is group of people who argue using Isaiah 65:17-20 and other verses that a new heaven and new Earth are actually created at the start of the Millennium to replace a world heavily damaged during the Day of the Lord. ↩