This passage is talking about the great and terrible ‘Day of the Lord’ which starts with the 70th week of Daniel and continues throughout the entire 1000-year-long reign of Christ.
Though it is still future, the ‘Day of the Lord’ will begin with the 7-year Tribulation, when the world will experience the full force of God’s wrath being poured out on a Christ-rejecting, God-hating, sinful world. But it will continue throughout Christ’s glorious Millennial kingdom, when peace and prosperity reigns and the earth is filled with the glory of God as the waters cover the sea.
Joel is one of many prophets who gives a shocking description of the Great Tribulation. He describes how God is going to use the enemies of Israel to punish His chosen people and chastise them for many centuries of their national apostasy and unbelief. But despite their shocking idolatry, the Lord graciously entreats them to repent of their sin, turn back to the Lord, and rend their hearts inwardly and not simply give a pretence of religiosity.
God in His grace gives Israel and the nations, the opportunity to be saved from His righteous wrath by calling on the name of the Lord… for we read that “Whoever calls on the name of the LORD will be delivered.” This is the promise of God to all who trust in Christ for salvation both during the Church Age and during the Great Tribulation. Everyone who calls out to Him for their deliverance, both now and during that future time of ‘Jacob’s Trouble’ WILL be saved.
There are over 60 references to the ‘Day of the Lord’ in the Old Testament which all point to this exact season when God’s wrath is poured out on the world for 7 years… for their rejection of Christ and continuing unbelief. And although we read that many will be slain during this time of great distress and terrible trouble, we also read “on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, there will be those who escape,” through the supernatural power of the Lord: “For they are the remnant whom God, Himself has called and saved.”
As Christians, we live in the dispensation of grace and although all who call on the name of the Lord Jesus during this Church Age are saved by grace through faith in Him – this particular prophecy specifically relates to Israel and the coming Great Tribulation period when all who call on the name of Jesus will be saved from God’s terrible wrath. A multitude without number will call on the name of the Lord – but will be slain for their faith in Christ during this time of trouble, while those who are saved to the very END of the Tribulation will become citizens in Christ’s Millennial Kingdom.
It is following this terrible time of ‘Jacob’s Trouble’ – when God’s wrath is poured out on an unbelieving world – that Christ will rule and reign on earth. For then God will pour out His Spirit on ALL flesh – the Spirit of God will be poured out on every single person who believes and they will enter into the Millennial Kingdom of Christ.
Pentecost was not the fulfilment of this prophecy as many teach, although there are certain similarities… for God’s Spirit was indeed poured out at Pentecost on the 120 obedient followers of Christ as they waited, as instructed, for the coming of the Holy Spirit. However, the complete and final fulfilment of this prophecy of Joel is yet future… and states clearly that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord during this time of ‘Jacob’s Trouble’ will be saved.
The book of Revelation tells us that there will be a multitude without number who call on His name and will be eternally saved… despite being beheaded for their faith during the Great Tribulation – and together with the Church age believers, these martyred saints will rule with Christ for 1000 years.
However, a remnant of believing Israel and certain believing Gentiles, will be saved THROUGH this terrible time of Tribulation and they will enter into the Millennial Kingdom of Christ to have children and re-populate the earth. Praise God that ALL who call on the name of the Lord will be saved. Both the martyred saints and the little remnant that survives to the end of this time of terrible Tribulation will be saved because they called on the name of the Lord. Praise His holy name.
Thank You, Heavenly Father, for Your faithfulness to Your people, Israel, and also to Your Church which is the Body of Christ. Thank You that despite Israel’s apostasy, You have not forsaken Your people, Israel, but have promised that whoever calls on the name of the Lord Jesus will be saved. Thank You for Your mercy and grace, both in this Church Age and in the coming time of Jacob’s Trouble. Praise Your holy name, AMEN.
32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.