The Tribulation (or “Great Tribulation”) is described as a short period during which Christians will be persecuted and purified by their strength and belief in the second coming of Jesus Christ. Since there are three different views on the Tribulation, let’s examine each one.
Futurists believe the great tribulation is to come. A seven year span is prophesied as being a time of great suffering during which billions of people will die. A popular question among futurist believers continues to focus on the number of people who will die during the tribulation. The answer to that question can be found in the bible, in the book of revelation.
“I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.” (Revelation 6:8)
“The four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind.” (Revelation 9:15)
“The horses and riders I saw in my vision looked like this: Their breastplates were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur. The heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke and sulfur. A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that came out of their mouths.” (Revelation 9:17-18)
Considering the current population of the earth, if the tribulation was upon us today only one out of every three people would survive. More than 4.3 billion deaths would arise from the above described prophecy over a seven year period that would end with the second coming of Jesus.
Preterists believe the tribulation already took place around 70 AD when Jerusalem and it’s temple was destroyed by the Romans. The preterist view focuses on prophesies in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 applying the tribulation to Romans rather than the whole world. Further more, preterists view Matthew 24:34 as a clear sign the tribulation took place among a generation that lived within the first century.
“I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.” (Matthew 24:34)
Since scripture does not prophesy another temple will be built in Jerusalem, preterists claim all tribulation prophesies were fulfilled in the first century.
The historist view is similar to the preterist placing the tribulation starting in the first century around 70 AD. However, historists apply the judgment to the Jews rather than the Romans focusing on scripture from Matthew and Luke’s gospel which they believe to be the beginning of the tribulation.
“For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.” (Matthew 24:21)
“Dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” (Luke 21:23-24)
Historists believe the tribulation continues throughout the centuries ending in 1948 with the restoration of the nation of Israel or, at the return of Jerusalem to Jewish control in 1967. Rather than a single being, the historist view sees the papacy, Islam and other cults as the Antichrist.
No matter which view, the one thing all Christians agree on is the tribulation is part of God’s great judgment over all the earth.
“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:34-36)
Prepare yourselves for Christ’ second coming. Be sure you live a life of faithful service and that your home is in order. Be thankful for all God has given you and for His forgiveness of your sins. Pray for His strength as you walk in Jesus’ footsteps toward heaven. Be hopeful you will be raptured and never the great wrath of the tribulation. Let’s pray.
We praise you for your Grace
And for your blessings in our lives,
For your guidance and your patience
And for your ever present love.
God we pray that you will continue to look after us
And provide for us all we need in this life,
We pray that you will spread your light onto our friends,
Our families and all those who seek you.
Lord we anxiously await your return
And look forward to eternity spent with you in heaven,
And ask you to shine your light bright upon us in this life
So we never succumb to the tribulation’s suffering.
Thank you Lord father for all that surrounds us!
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre