A Systematic Expository Study of the Bible
SPECIAL STUDY: THE GREAT TRIBULATION
The world has known times of trial and tribulation. The Jewish holocaust issuing out of the Nazi insanity was one. Japanese occupation of neighbouring nations, American invasion of Vietnam, Soviet overrunning of other nations etc. have all brought times of acute suffering on segments of the world.
Individual men have suffered in the hands of despots for political or religious reasons as many untimely graves behind the iron curtain can testify. These trials and troubles as horrible as they were, are incomparable with the coming great tribulation.
All men in the world suffer trials and troubles at various times in their lives (Matthew 7:24-27; 1 Peter 5:8,9), but the Great Tribulation that comes after the rapture will be a time of terrible suffering on earth, the darkest of times. The nature or character of this time is that of wrath (Zephaniah 1:15,18; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9; Revelation 6:16,17; 11:18; 14:10,19; 15:1,7; 16:1,19); judgement (Revelation 14:7; 15:4; 16:5,7; 19:2); indignation (Isaiah 26:20,21; 34:1-3); trial (Revelation 3:10); trouble (Jeremiah 30:7; Zephaniah 1;14,15; Daniel 12:1); destruction (Joel 1:15; 1 Thessalonians 5:3); darkness (Joel 2:2; Amos 5:18; Zephaniah 1:14-18); desolation (Daniel 9:27; Zephaniah 1:14,15); overturning (Isaiah 24:1-4, 19-21) and punishment (Isaiah 24:20-21).
THE PERIOD OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION
Daniel 9:4-27; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; Matthew 24:15-22; Mark 13:14-20; Revelation 11:2, 3; 12:6, 14; 13:5
The Tribulation will cover a period of seven years called Daniel’s “seventieth week” in Daniel’s prophecy (cf. Genesis 29:27). The first half of this period is one of relative peace and security. The last half of the period (32 years) will be severe because of the wrath of the Antichrist who shall break his covenant with Israel in the “midst” (middle) of the “week” (Daniel 9:27).
THE PURPOSE OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION
Matthew 24:21, 22, 29; Revelation 9:16; 13:1-10; Mark 13:19; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12; Daniel 8:23-25
The time of the Great Tribulation is called the time of Jacob’s trouble because it affects the nation of Israel severely. It is a time when the Antichrist will take possession of the world for a reign of terror. The Antichrist contrary to popular belief is not a system or organisation but a person – a supernatural, diabolical being, in the form of a man, who will blaspheme and proclaim himself to be God. The purpose of the Great Tribulation is majorly two fold:
1. To prepare the nation of Israel for her Messiah (Christ) Deuteronomy 4:30, 31; Jeremiah 30:7; Ezekiel 20:37, 38; Daniel 12:1; Zechariah 13:8, 9.
2. To pour out the judgement on unbelieving men and nations. Revelation 3:10; 6:12-17; 16:8,9; Isaiah 26:20,21; Jeremiah 25:30-33; 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12
THE PARTAKERS IN THE GREAT TRIBULATION
Isaiah 24:1; 26:21; Joel 1:15; Zephaniah 1:18; Revelation 6:16,17; 11-18; 14:7,10,19; 15:4,7; 16:1,7,19
This period is peculiarly the time when God’s wrath and judgement will fall upon the earth. Added to these will be wrath from Satan and the Antichrist. All true saints would have gone in the rapture but the “sinning saint” who is self-deceived and all other sinners left in the world will partake of this great indignation.
How shall we escape if we neglect
So great salvation! (Hebrews 2:3).
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