There Will Be Tribulation

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The Tribulation is a future time period when the Lord will accomplish at least two aspects of His plan: 1) He will complete His discipline of the nation Israel (Daniel 9:24), and 2) He will judge the unbelieving, godless inhabitants of the earth (Revelation 6 - 18). The length of the Tribulation is seven years. This is determined by an understanding of the seventy weeks of Daniel. The Great Tribulation is the last half of the Tribulation period, three and one-half years in length. It is distinguished from the tribulation period because the Beast, or Antichrist, will be revealed, and the wrath of God will greatly intensify during this time. Thus, it is important at this point to emphasize that the Tribulation and the Great Tribulation are not synonymous terms. Within eschatology (the study of future things), the Tribulation refers to the full seven-year period while the term “Great” Tribulation refers to the second half of the Tribulation.

It is Christ alone who used the phrase "Great Tribulation" with reference to the last half of the Tribulation. In Matthew 24:21, Jesus said, "For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall." In this verse Jesus is referring to the event of Matthew 24:15, which describes the revealing of the abomination of desolation, the man also known as the Antichrist. It also should be noted that Jesus in Matthew 24:29-30 states, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days . . . the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory." By this passage, Jesus defines the Great Tribulation (v.21) as beginning with the revealing of the abomination of desolation (v.15) and ending with Christ's second coming (v.30).



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