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What do people mean by the "great tribulation?"

This is a definite period of time in the future when God will deal with the Nation of Israel in bringing them back to Himself.

Jesus said, "For then shall be GREAT TRIBULATION, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." Matthew 24:21. This period of time is described in many books of the Bible, but especially in the Books of Daniel and Revelation. Daniel 9:24-27 gives us the time. It seems quite clear that it will be seven years long. In the first three and one half years, there will be a "prince" of the old Roman Empire who will make a deceitful covenant with Israel. He will break it and persecute them terribly for the next three and one half years. This can be read in Revelation 11 and Revelation 12. It will be a terrible time for the inhabitants of the earth. There are twenty-one judgments mentioned in the Book of Revelation. Each one seems to be worse that the other. One speaks of the time of five months when men will seek death but not be able to find it. (Revelation 9:5-6).

We are living in a time when, "God is not willing that any should perish, but that all come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). But then, His offer of salvation will be closed to many. The believers of our day will not be here during the tribulation. The rapture of the Church will take place next, then the manifestation of the antichrist and the ushering in of the terrible day of His wrath.

How important it is to be saved! For you to linger in your sins could mean eternity in hell. Jesus can come at any moment. What are you doing with Him?

All comments and questions to: Harold Smith

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Updated July 2009, by Shelly Allen