Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Matthew 24 (9) - Great Tribulation

There is common teaching that a seven year tribulation will follow a secret rapture of the Christians from the earth. The truth is that there is no place in either the Old or New Testament where a seven year tribulation is explicitly mentioned. Although this idea is popular, it has no basis in the scriptures.

Most Christians would be surprised to discover that the "greatest tribulation" has already occurred, when Jerusalem was besieged and destroyed by the Roman armies in AD 70. When prophesying this event, Jesus said,

How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers..... For there will be a great tribulation, unequalled from the beginning of the world until now - and never to be equalled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive (Matt 24:20-22).
The destruction of Jerusalem was an absolutely terrible event. Anyone who does not believe this should read the account by the Jewish historian Josephus. This means that the greatest tribulation which will ever take place on earth has already occurred.

Tribulation is actually a normal part of the Christian life. We are taught in the Bible that we should always expect tribulation.
In the world you have tribulation, but take courage, I have overcome the world. John 16:33 (NASB)
We must go through many tribulations to enter the kingdom of God. Acts 14:22
Tribulation will be a normal experience for Christians in every age. When they are true to Christ, they will be a threat to the world, and this will always bring opposition. The Greek word "thlipsis", which is translated as tribulation, affliction or trouble, literally means pressure. Our word tribulation comes from the Latin word for threshing sledge. It often refers to trouble in a spiritual sense, and describes the pressure that all Christians will experience if they live in obedience to Jesus.

No comments: