What will the Great Tribulation be like?
Did you know there are two kinds of tribulation? Normal and Great! So what’s the difference?
The most effective way to know what tribulation will be like is to find out what ‘tribulation’ means, and the best person to tell us is Jesus.
As he was detailing to his disciples what the end-times would look like, he paused and made this most remarkable comment.
For this is a time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written (Lk.21:22).
He did not call the end-times a time of ‘evil’, but a time of ‘punishment’, the kind of punishment already written in Scripture which people in his time could read. What was he talking about? What was written?
Jesus went on to explain how the final judgment of God would work, and the measuring tool which would be used on those God judged.
Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses on whom your hopes are set (Jn.5:45).
What did he mean? We know 'punishment' has to do with being judged, but what does it have to do with tribulation, and what does Moses have to do with it? Isn’t he Old Testament?
According to Jesus, 'punishment', 'tribulation' and the 'Law of God' are all the same thing!
Moses wrote the Law, and Jesus showed through his teaching, and through personal example, that tribulation is the name given to the receiving of the punishments (curses) for sin, written about in the Law of Moses.
Punishment for sin, otherwise called 'the curses of the law', and generally termed 'tribulation', has been happening since the Garden of Eden.
Moses wrote the Law of God so people could plainly see the difference between the rewards and punishments, blessings and curses, of obedience and disobedience.
Sin is still sin and it's punishment hasn't changed!
You might be surprised to know that the end-time tribulation, written in the Book of Revelation, is a mirror image of the punishment of God for sin written in the Law of Moses.
Most Christians these days, because of false teaching, believe tribulation has nothing to do with the judgment of God. They believe it is a period of time rather than punishment for sin.
They also incorrectly believe this period of time has somehow been delegated to Satan, though how and when that would have happened no one can explain.
Jesus said: All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me! (Matt.28:18)
To believe Satan has any control we have to believe Jesus has lost control. That God took the authority he gave his Son back off him and handed it to Satan. Did that happen? No!
Totally false teaching!
False teachers who promote this incorrect impression of Christ and tribulation have a lot to answer for. Their teaching has made believers ineffective.
Instead of standing with Christ to ‘fight the good fight’, Christians now let the evil happen, believing all the horror they see is unavoidable; that it is merely part of the prophesied Satan controlled ‘tribulation’. It is not!
Tribulation has never been ‘evil’, and evil still needs to be overcome!
The truth is we are not waiting for a specific time of tribulation to begin, for tribulation has been with us from the beginning of human history. In fact, Adam and Eve were the first humans to feel the effects of tribulation (trouble) because of sin. This is why Jesus also said,
In the world you will have tribulation, but don’t worry, I have overcome the world (Jn.16:33).
Everyone in the world has been, and will be, affected by the consequences of sin, whether they believe in God or not.
Jesus went to the Cross to save those who believe in him from direct tribulation!
Christ died to save mankind from 'the curses of the Law', the judgment of God written in the Law of Moses, and because of his death and resurrection, those covered by his blood and filled with his Spirit are protected from the direct judgment of God (tribulation) still being poured out on the world for the breaking of God’s Law.
Until Heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. (Matt.5:18)
This is not new doctrine! This is old doctrine! This is the doctrine that has been believed for nearly 2000 years but recently replaced by false ‘end-time’ teaching.
So why then are the last days known as Great Tribulation?
The last days began with Christ (Heb.1:2). The time described in Revelation as the Great Tribulation is nothing more than a description of the tribulation experienced after the death and resurrection of Christ, as opposed to the tribulation experienced prior to his death and resurrection, which was just normal tribulation.
Great means more widespread, not more horrible!
Before Christ died, people could only be judged by God for one thing, the sin of breaking God’s Law. The stress of living with the consequences of that sin was bad enough for God to send Christ to redeem the world.
However, since the death and resurrection of Christ people are now judged for three things; the sin of breaking God’s Law, rejecting the sacrifice of Christ and blaspheming his Spirit. No one is immune to the effects of these judgments.
Anyone who rejected the Law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot…and insulted the Spirit of Grace? (Heb.10:28-29)
The truth is not complicated!
Rejecting the sacrifice of Christ, blaspheming the Spirit, and breaking God’s Law, carry consequences, and those consequences are known as ‘Great Tribulation’.
It was the judgment of God for sin, written by Moses, which Jesus faced at Calvary. It is that same judgment, written by Moses, the world has been experiencing for a long, long time and will continue to experience to the end of days.
The major difference in judgment, shown to us through the Book of Revelation is that because of the sacrifice of Christ none of the judgments of the Law of God, written by Moses, can now fall on the redeemed.
This is what we saved from!
This is what salvation is about!
This is why we rejoice in our salvation!
This is the good news of the Gospel of Christ!
An excerpt from REVELATION, Isn't it about Jesus? © Monica Bennett-Ryan
For a more detailed explanation of the difference between the two tribulations, see:
REVELATION A love story : the hero | his bride | her rescue © Monica Bennett-Ryan
Once all the hype and 'additions' are removed from it, the Book of Revelation is easy to understand, even for a child.
the freedom Christ won for his redeemed at Calvary,
how protected we are from the curses of the Law God is pouring out on the world for sin,
how cleverly Satan has been outwitted and outplayed by God,
how to use the powerful rewards given to those who overcome evil the way Christ overcame,
who controls the four horsemen and why they are holy and not evil,
plus much more.