7 Year Tribulation
What Will Happen on Earth During the Tribulation?
Things will be far worse than today (2 Thessalonians 2:7).
Completion of the Rapture will usher in the seven-year period described
in Revelation 6—18. For the first 3½ years, conditions will worsen;
God’s anger will burn against the wicked; and signs of Christ’s coming
will appear. During the last 3½ years, the “lawless one”—the Antichrist—will be empowered to sit at the center of the Tribulation’s evil as he personifies Satan.
What Will Happen in Heaven During the Tribulation?
Christians will be in heaven. God will be seated on the throne, surrounded by a rainbow of emerald greens. Twenty-four elders representing the church-age saints will sit around the throne. Before the throne will be a sea of glass. Around the throne, there will be four living creatures, singing praise to the One on the throne. All heaven will worship the glorified Christ, the Creator of the world. God’s judgment of the physical earth will soon follow, but before He does, the Church will worship earth’s Creator in heaven. Thunder, lightning, and voices proceeding from the throne will signify the impending judgment (Revelation 4:5).
Will Christians Escape the Tribulation?
Yes, Christians will escape the seven-year nightmare of the Tribulation (Revelation 3:10).
I believe the Bible clearly teaches that the Church will be raptured, or transported to heaven, before the Tribulation begins. This will be accomplished through the personal, bodily return of the Lord to remove His waiting Church from earth and to reward them according to their works. This will take place before the judgments of God are poured out upon the unbelieving world.
What Natural Disasters Will Occur During the Tribulation?
The sun will turn black, the moon will turn red, and great earthquakes will be common.
Revelation 6:12 says, “Behold, there was a great earthquake.” It continues, “The sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood.” When Jesus died on the cross, the whole earth darkened at midday. When Egypt was judged, there was a blackness of night. When the Lord descended at Mt. Sinai, the mountain was shrouded in black clouds. Likewise, darkness will fall at the onset of the Tribulation period.
The stars will fall out of the sky.
The stars of heaven fell to the earth.
The word “star” here is the Greek word aster and it refers to luminous bodies in the sky other than the sun and moon. Clearly these “stars” are not the distant stellar objects we know as stars. More likely, this refers to a cluster of asteroids that will pummel the earth.1
The mountains and islands will move.
Every mountain and island was moved out of its place.
When the asteroids strike the earth, it is possible that the earth’s crust will be so disturbed by the impact that great segments of it will actually begin to slip and slide over the earth’s mantle. According to Dr. Henry Morris, those living in the regions above such shifting will observe the heavens appearing to move in the opposite direction, as if they are being “rolled up.”2
The ocean will become blood.
As Revelation 8:8-9 explains, a great mountain burning with fire will be cast into the sea. The sea will become blood, and one-third of all sea life will die. In addition, one-third of all ships will be destroyed. The far-reaching implications of these judgments are beyond our understanding. Someone has reasoned that the oceans occupy about three-fourths of the earth’s surface, so the extent of this judgment will be staggering. The pollution of the water and the death of so many sea creatures will vastly affect the balance of ocean life. This will happen to one-third of the saltwater bodies of the world.
The water will become poisoned.
Next, freshwater supplies will be affected. They will become bitter and cause many people to die (Revelation 8:10-11). The instrument of judgment will be a great star known as “Wormwood.” This literal star or meteor hurtling through space will sideswipe earth, turning one-third of the earth’s water into a deadly poisonous liquid. Rivers, springs, and wells will all be affected.
When Will the Rapture and Tribulation Occur?
Jesus could come tonight! You may hear people argue that the Rapture cannot occur until the whole world has heard the Gospel; therefore, we need to preach the Gospel to every creature until the “last person to be saved” is brought into the kingdom, at which time Jesus will return for His Church. This cannot be true. If there is anything yet to happen before Christ’s return, then there is no such thing as the “imminent return” of Jesus Christ. The command to take the Gospel into the whole world is pressing upon every generation. However, the condition of the Gospel going to the whole world is not a condition of the Rapture, but of the Second Coming of Christ.
Will People Be Saved During the Tribulation?
Assuming there are no believers on earth at the beginning of the seven years of the Tribulation, this is a good question. However, Scripture indicates there will be two witnesses and 144,000 sealed Israelites who will proclaim the truth during the Tribulation (Revelation 11, 14). In addition, Dr. Henry Morris suggests a “silent witness” because “millions upon millions of copies of the Bible and Bible portions . . . will not [be] remove[d] and multitudes will no doubt be constrained to read the Bible in those days . . . [and] will turn to their Creator and Savior.” These blood-bought believers will begin to warn others of even more severe judgment to come. They will preach repentance and judgment and they will be killed for their message
What is the rapture?
There are many Christians who believe that the second coming of Jesus Christ will be in two phases. First, He will come for believers, both living and dead, in the “rapture” (read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17). In this view, the rapture—which is the transformation and catching up of all Christians, dead or alive, to meet Christ in the air—will be secret, for it will be unknown to the world of unbelievers at the time of its happening.
The effect of this removal, in the absence of multitudes of people, will, of course, be evident on earth. Then, second, after a period of seven years of tribulation on earth, Christ will return to the earth with His church, the saints who were raptured (Matthew 24:30, 2 Thessalonians 1:7, 1 Peter 1:13, Revelation 1:7). He will be victorious over His enemies and will reign on the earth for 1,000 years (the millennium) with His saints, the church.
>> Signs of the end of the world? Read this Biblical wisdom from Billy Graham and Franklin Graham.
After 1,000 years, living unbelievers and the wicked dead now raised to life will be judged at the great white throne judgment. They will then be cast into the lake of fire, while the saved will live forever with Christ in a new heaven and earth (Revelation, chapters 19-22). >> Be ready to meet Christ by giving your life to Him today.
Many other evangelical Christians believe that Christ’s return and the rapture will not occur until the seven years of the tribulation have ended. As far as the latter view is concerned, the rapture will not be secret, since it will be part of Christ’s visible and triumphant return to end this present evil age (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17). At this point, interpreters differ as to whether there will be a literal thousand year reign of Christ on earth or whether the white throne judgment and the new heaven and earth will immediately appear.
All Christians do not agree on every detail of what will occur in the final events of this world’s history. Some of these events and their order of occurrence have simply not been made clear in the Bible. What is important is that all Christians hold in common that Christ will ultimately return bodily, visibly, and gloriously to reign and rule with His resurrected and transformed saints forever and ever. The details of this great event will be made known in God’s own time.
>> Are you rapture ready? Read more in this Bible study from Anne Graham Lotz.
Will Christians go through the tribulation?