End Times - Putting the Pieces in Place
Chapter 3: Tribulation or Wrath?
1 Thessalonians 3:4 (NKJV) For, in fact, we told you before when we were with you that we would suffer tribulation, just as it happened, and you know.
1 Thessalonians 1:10 (NKJV) and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.
As mentioned in the first chapter, all events of the Great Tribulation occur before any events of the Wrath of God. Therefore, the first step necessary for understanding end-time events is to get a clear understanding of the difference between the Great Tribulation and Wrath of God. Unless this difference is clearly understood, it is virtually impossible to understand end-time events. Therefore, the purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of the major differences between the Great Tribulation and the Wrath of God. (Each of those time periods are covered in detail in following chapters.)
The Great Tribulation
An important clue to remember when studying end-time events is that the Great Tribulation is demonic in origin. It includes the persecution and killing of many people by Satan's emissary-the Beast. The Beast (also called the Antichrist) will reign during the Great Tribulation. He will demand worship and conquer many countries. The Great Tribulation will be a time of intense evil. The source of the Great Tribulation is Satan (Rev. 13:2-4). Satan's purpose for the Great Tribulation is to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10). A major characteristic of the Great Tribulation is the deception of those who do not love the truth (2 Thes. 2:9-12).
The Wrath of God
The Wrath of God is godly judgment against evil. This judgment takes the form of seven plagues poured out against the Beast and those who worship him. These seven plagues are administered by the angels of God. The purpose of the Wrath of God is to punish the Beast and his followers (Rev. 14:9-10). The major characteristic of the Wrath of God is severe punishment of those who do not belong to God.
The Great Tribulation and the Wrath of God are two separate events coming from two different sources for two different purposes. The Great Tribulation is a time of intense persecution. It is instigated by Satan through the Beast in an effort to deceive people and cause them to worship him instead of Jesus. The Wrath of God is a time of judgment which will be poured out upon the world by God. Its purpose is to punish the Beast and those who have taken his mark during the Great Tribulation.
The differences between the Great Tribulation and Wrath of God have been summarized in this chapter. More details about each of these time periods are given in later chapters.
Unless otherwise stated, all Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. NKJV indicates quotations taken from the Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. KJV indicates quotations taken from the King James Version of the Bible. Numbers associated with Greek (italic) or Hebrew (upright) words refer to the corresponding words in the Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, by James Strong, S.T.D., LL.D.
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God bless you.
If you have questions or comments, please contact Sonny Bowman.