What Does Acts 2:20 Mean?

The sun will be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and remarkable day of the Lord comes;

Acts 2:20(HCSB)

Verse Thoughts

On the day of Pentecost, when faithful believers were united together in one place; filled with the Spirit; baptised into the body of Christ and started proclaiming the wonderful works of God in many languages, Jews and Jewish proselytes from around the world were amazed to hear the gospel in their own tongue, and were perplexed. They wondered what had happened and some even mockingly suggested that they were drunk!

Filled with the Spirit of God, Peter stood up to explain that it related to a prophetic word, given by Joel, which he called 'The Day of the Lord". Certainly the Spirit of God had been poured out, in great measure, on this little remnant of believing Jews, as Joel had indicated. All who believed in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ and obeyed His instruction to remain in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit was given, were filled with the Spirit and rewarded with spiritual gifts on that unique day - as Joel prophesied.

Peter explained that whoever would turn to the Lord and call on His name for salvation would be saved. However, not every part of Joel's prophecy was fulfilled on that day, for national as well as individual repentance was necessary. Although many individual Jews believed on Christ and were saved by grace through faith, the full and complete fulfilment of Joel's prophecy was postponed and is still future - "when all Israel will be saved".

So what is the Day of the Lord, about to which Joel and many holy men of God refer - and what 'day' are we currently living in? Well, the moment Adam sinned, his fellowship with God was broken and could be labelled the 'day of man' or the day when Satan, the prince of the power of the air began his demonic rule. But a "day'" - a special "day"  is coming, when God Himself will once again intervene in history and bring all things back under His sovereign authority.

One part of Joel's great prophecy, which describes supernatural signs in the heavens together with wonders taking place on the earth has yet to be fulfilled and in Acts 2:20 we read, "The sun will be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and remarkable Day of the Lord comes"

As we search God's Word, we discover many references to this remarkable day. Some scriptures describe it as a terrible day of darkness when God's wrath is poured out on an unbelieving world while other passages describe the glories of a coming kingdom of peace and prosperity, when Christ comes in power and great glory to rule the earth with a rod of iron and is crowned as King of kings and Lord of lords.

We recognise that passages describing the days of deep darkness refers to Daniel's 70th week (the first 7 years of the Day of the Lord), which will occur after the Church has been raptured into heavenly places, when Christ comes in the clouds for His people... while the 1000 year reign of Christ refers to those passages of peace and hope, when the lion lies down with the lamb and the earth is filled with His glory. This is the second part of the Day of the Lord, to which Joel is referring.

Joel tells us that BEFORE that great and remarkable day of the Lord comes, the sun will be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood. Will we who believe in Christ see the sun go dark and the moon turn to blood? Maybe. But we will not suffer God's wrath during the Great Tribulation for Christ took the punishment on our account God's wrath was poured out on Him instead of us, and there is no condemnation to those that are in Christ Jesus. However, we will certainly participate as kings and priests in the remarkable Day of the Lord, during the glorious reign of Christ - for He has promised and His promises never fail.

In the same way that Jesus said that... for all who believe on Him, Elijah has already come - in the person and work of John the Baptist, it could be concluded that for all who have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ... the sun has already turned to darkness and the moon to blood - for we read, "about the sixth hour, there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour," - for we are not appointed to wrath. 

For the unbeliever the entire prophecy of Joel is future. As we read in Revelation, the sun will be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and remarkable day of the Lord. The sun will be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood before the time of tribulation, which is sometimes called Daniel's 70th week and Christ 1000-year sovereign reign on earth - but first God's wrath will be poured out on a God-hating, Christ-rejecting sinful world. 

National Israel will finally acknowledge Jesus as Lord and call out to Him for salvation. He will come in great power and glory to save His people and every eye will see  Him - and then the word of the Lord through the prophet Joel will reach its full and final completion:

FOR...In the last days, says God, that I will pour out My Spirit on all humanity; then your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. I will even pour out My Spirit on My male and female slaves in those days, and they will prophesy. I will display wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below: blood and fire and a cloud of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and remarkable day of the Lord comes; then whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You that You told us the end from the beginning and that we have a greater understanding of Your plan of redemption - for both those that are called by Your name AND for those that reject Your precious offer of salvation. Thank You that by faith I have the indwelling Holy Spirit and am not appointed to wrath - knowing that Christ bore my sins in His body on the cross... so that by faith I have been forgiven of my sin; have passed from death to life and am a member of Christ's Body. Thank You for the prophecies of holy men of God like Joel and that the full and final fulfilment of His amazing prophecy will be realised when Israel finally repents of their sin; recognises Christ as their Messiah and calls on His name for salvation - at the end of the great tribulation. Give me a heart for the unsaved and use me to tell forth the glories of Your wonderful name and amazing plan of redemption. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.

Choose a Verse from Acts 2


Acts 2:20 Further Study

Never miss a post