The word, tribulation means distress, affliction, or a pressing together. It is mentioned specifically as this word, 22 different times in the Word of God. It is mentioned as this exact meaning some 45 times in the Word of God. The tribulation as it relates to us is somewhat of a relief, but also a sad thought! It is a relief to think that we are saved from the tribulation, but it is sad to think that if the rapture were to happen, some of our friends and family might have to endure the tribulation period.
Tribulation: “A time of affliction and distress, especially the seven-year period of God’s judgment of the earth before the second coming of Christ.”
Sometimes, I feel we view eschatology as if it is not real, because of the way that we act. Remember, what you believe will dictate the way you behave. I am afraid that for many (myself included), our actions do not back up what we say we believe. You say I believe in the rapture of the church, but you are not regularly witnessing. This does not add up, and therefore begs the question, “do you really believe what you say you believe?”
Here is a quick timeline from now until the end of the Tribulation:
I. The church age- now until the rapture of the church
II. The Rapture of the church- This is the calling away of the believers.
- We do not know the time that this is going to happen.
- Matthew 25:13 says, “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of Man cometh.”
- I Corinthians 15:52 says, “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump:”
- There are three views of the timing of the rapture:
- Pre-tribulational View: The Rapture will take place before the tribulation period. This is the most accurate according to the Word of God. This is what I believe from what the Scripture says about us being saved from the wrath that is to come. I Thessalonians 5:9
- Mid-tribulational View: The Rapture will take place at the midway point of the tribulation just before the great tribulation.
- Post-tribulational View: The Rapture will take place at the end of the tribulation.
- The Rapture will kick off the tribulation period.
III. The events of the first half of the tribulation
- The Rapture will begin the tribulation period
- The church will be taken up to Heaven so no saved people will be left here on this earth!
- The antichrist will rise from a minor political leader to a world leader & the world will experience peace and prosperity. Many will follow the antichrist! He will deceive the world. Daniel 8:9-12
- A peace treaty will be signed with Israel by the Antichrist for 7 years- Daniel 9:27
- 2 witnesses will come onto the scene and prophecy- Revelation 11:3
IV. The events of the middle of the tribulation
- Antichrist will break the treaty with Israel– Daniel 9:27
- Satan is loosed out of the bottomless pit (Revelation 11:7) & goes to war with the two witnesses and wins. He kills them and leaves them on the side of the street.
- After 3 ½ days, God raises up the witnesses & they were called up to Heaven.
V. The events of the last half of the tribulation
- An image of the antichrist will be established and must be worshipped– Revelation 13:14-15
- All must have the mark of the beast & the ones who do not have it cannot buy or sell anything! They basically cannot function in society. Revelation 13:16-17
VI. Why is it important for me to know about the events of the tribulation
- To motivate us to share Christ with people– Matthew 28:18-20
- To encourage ourselves to live Godly in this present world– Titus 2:12