Eschatology: The Tribulation (1)


Question
Do you feel the Tribulation has already happened or do you feel it is yet to come? I have been doing some deep research in the word and I feel that it is to come, but I am searching for the truth, and if you have proof I will believe any answer you give me. I am from a biblical church and my pastor feels that the Tribulation is yet to come. I also do because of the proof he has given me. But if you have proof to prove it the other way, then please write.

Answer
The idea of a tribulation is always a “hot” topic. Usually there is more “heat” than “light” on the subject. The following is a brief description that might be of help.

Reflecting apocalyptic language of the OT, especially Daniel, the book of Revelation (see Revelation, Book of, in present volume) is the most extended depiction of tribulation in the NT, even though the word thlipsis is used only a few times. Although the reference in Revelation 7:14 to the great tribulation (cf. Mt 24:21) has caused unnecessary theological debate in terms of establishing the precise time and character of this tribulation in some futuristic eschatological schemes, Revelation 6-19 clearly reflects a series of graphically depicted events of tribulation before the return of Christ (Rev 19:11-21; see Parousia in present volume). This period is described in terms of the imagery of seven seals (Rev 6:1-8:1), seven trumpets (Rev 8:2-11:19) and seven bowls (Rev 15:1-16:21), all containing various disastrous events culminating in judgment. There have been numerous interpretations of how the seals, trumpets and bowls relate to each other, some interpreters seeing them consecutively and others with various degrees of overlap, some more and some less literally, but in any event in the end Babylon is destroyed (Rev 17:1-18:24), making way for the return of Christ. (Martin, Ralph P.; Davids, Peter H., “Tribulation” Dictionary of the Later New Testament & Its Developments)

To Be Continued…

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