Eschatology: The Tribulation (2)

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
There are three varieties of belief about this topic of tribulation (Pretribulation, Midtribulation, and Posttribulation).

Pretribulation
Pretribulation has to do with the rapture of the church before a tribulation. Until the 19th century, believers thought in terms of the rapture and the Second Coming of Jesus as the same event. It occurred after the tribulation. In the 19th century a swing to Dispensational Theology appeared. Dispensational Theology had its roots in J.N. Darby, a Plymouth Brethren minister. He introduced into the church the idea of the coming of Jesus in two stages: one for his saints at the rapture and one with his saints at the Second Coming at the close of the tribulation. According to his interpretation of prophecy, there was a seven-year period of time that was the 70th week predicted by Daniel (9.24-27). With the church removed, God would resume his dealing with Israel.

Midtribulation

The midtribulation rapture of the church became popular in the mid-fifties. The modification, which this view brings to the pretribulation rapture, was the limitation of the wrath of God upon the world as described in Revelation 16-18 to the first three and a half years of the tribulation period.

Posttribulation
Posttribulation is the view that believes that the people of God who face persecution are the Church. They believe that there is no internal evidence in the Bible and Revelation to indicate that the seven churches equal seven time periods and that there is no indication that John’s rapture is the Church’s rapture.

I think that it is fair to say that “being dogmatic” about a tribulation is clearly not helpful. It also occurs to me that since Scripture does not make it a “banner topic,” so to speak, that it would be a much more enabling concept to figure out “how to live” now rather than trying to figure out “when the tribulation is going to happen.” Actually the former does not really do one much good in the scheme of things while the latter seems to be the emphasis of Scripture.

P.S. It is dangerous to believe anything that someone else tells you is correct. It may also not be valid to look at the Bible as a book that must “prove” something. The concept of “proof” may be wholly a concept of the Enlightenment Project.

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