My View Of The End Times 3
The Great Tribulation and the Day Of The Lord
In this article, I would like to explain two very important points –
1) The Great Tribulation and the Day Of The Lord (DOTL) are not the same event.
2) The Day Of The Lord begins immediately after the Rapture.
1) It’s a common belief that the Great Tribulation and the Day Of The Lord are the same thing but Scripture makes it very clear that they are different events and occur during different time periods. In the last article on Matt. 24, we saw the following sequence –
- The Antichrist appears, v.15, and brings about the Great Tribulation, v.21.
- Then the Cosmic Sign appears and Jesus returns to rapture His people, vs.29-31.
- Then the nations mourn because they know that the Day Of The Lord has come v.30.
This same sequence can be seen when we compare Matt. 24 with Acts 2:20 –
- Matt. 24:21 tells us that there will be …………. Great Tribulation.
- Matt. 24:29 then says that there will be a …… Cosmic Sign in the heavens.
- Acts 2:20 also mentions this Cosmic Sign
and says that AFTER that sign ……………….. the Day Of The Lord comes.
Both of these sequences show us that the Great Tribulation and the DOTL are different events, separated in time by the Cosmic Sign. Further proof that the Day Of The Lord occurs after the Cosmic Sign can be found in the likes of Rev. 6:12-17 and Isa. 13:9-12.
So, the Great Tribulation comes before the Cosmic Sign and is a period of the Devil’s wrath against Jews and Christians. Rev. 12:7-17 and Rev. 13:1-10 tell us that during the End Times the Devil is cast from heaven to earth and is filled with great wrath. He gives his power and authority to the Antichrist who then makes war against the saints, persecuting and killing Christians until Jesus returns to rapture them. Many Christians will fall away during that time.
On the other hand, the Day Of The Lord comes after the Cosmic Sign and is a period of God’s wrath against sinners and, as I will show next, it does not begin until after the persecuted Christians have been raptured from the earth. So, Christians won’t endure God’s wrath because they won’t be on the earth. Isa 13:9 tell us that God’s wrath during the Day Of The Lord is only against sinners: “See, the day of the LORD is coming – a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger – to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it.”
2) The Day Of The Lord begins immediately after the Rapture. The following passages all show the connection between these two events:
- In 1 Thess. 4:15-17, Paul is talking to the Thessalonians about being “caught up” in the Rapture then two verses later, in 1 Thess. 5:1-2, he says, “about times and dates [of the Rapture] … the Day Of The Lord will come like a thief.” In these verses, Paul associates the Rapture with the DOTL.
- Next, 2 Thess. 2:1-2 say, “Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come.” Once again, Paul associates being gathered in the Rapture with the DOTL.
- Then, as mentioned in the last article, Matt. 24:30-31 say, “… all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky … And he will send his angels … and they will gather his elect …” The Rapture and the DOTL are again connected.
- Lastly, Luke 17:26-35 tell us that, after Noah entered the Ark, the flood came and destroyed the unrighteous. Likewise, after Lot had left Sodom, fire and sulphur destroyed the unrighteous. Then v.30 says that it will be “just like this” when Jesus returns, that is, after the righteous are taken to safety (in the Rapture) sinners will be destroyed. So the Rapture comes first then the DOTL.
From these four passages, we can see that as soon as Jesus raptures the elect to safety, the Day Of The Lord will begin and God will pour out His wrath on sinners … just as He did in the days of Noah and the days of Lot.
Summing up, the Great Tribulation and the Day Of The Lord are different events, separated in time by the Cosmic Sign. The Great Tribulation is a period of the Devil’s wrath against Jews and Christians while the Day Of The Lord is a period of God’s wrath against sinners and it begins immediately after the elect are raptured from the earth.
In the next article I’ll compare Matt. 24 with Rev. 6-8 and the well known Rapture passage of 1 Thess. 4:15-17 to show that these passages are all talking about the one and only return of Jesus. Amen.
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