The Tribulation, The Millennium, The Rapture, Jesus’ Second return and The Day of The Lord – These are end time events that all believers in Jesus The Christ believe will happen but there is much disagreement and misunderstanding about them and the timing of them. This writing will present all the views on each major category mentioned above. Please pray and ask that God will grant you a peace and comfort in whichever one you choose to embrace. The scriptures reveal much about each of these events but is only allowing us to see them darkly through a glass in this life. (I Cor. 13:12)The clear understanding of these truths is not necessary for salvation and that is why we are not given clear understanding of them in the scripture. All that we should know and understand has been clearly presented to us and that is that Jesus died for our sins and we are to be ready at all times to receive Him when He does return.(Jn.3:16, Matt. 24:44). Now I will present existing views of each in the order stated above.
The Tribulation:This word occurs 22 times in The KJV and is first mentioned in (Deut.4:30) It is referenced to by Daniel and we are assured of it’s coming by Jesus in (Matt. 24:21. Most Theologians agree that this will be brought on by the Anti Christ during the last 7 years of this earth’s existence and will be in two phases. Phase one of 3.5 years is referred to as the Tribulation and phase two of the same length is referred to as The Great Tribulation. This breakdown is drawn from the words of Daniel as stated in ch.9 vs.27. This 7 year Tribulation will be experienced by all inhabitants of the world. It’s central focus will be against Israel and all Christians. (Rev.13:17) .
The word Millennium is a word that does not appear in the Bible but is discussed more than the Bible itself.
It means 1000 years and is derived from (Rev. 20:4) There are also three views on this as discussed below.
View 1.Amillennialism named for its denial of a future, thousand-year, physical reign of Jesus The Christ on the earth, as espoused in the Premillinal and some Postmillennial views of the Book of Revelation, chapter 20:1-6 By contrast, the Amillennial view holds that the number of years in Revelation 20 is a symbolic number, not a literal description; that the millennium has already begun and is identical with the church age (or more rarely, that it ended with the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD); and that while Christ’s reign is spiritual in nature during the millennium, at the end of the church age, Christ will return in final judgment and establish a permanent physical reign.
View 2. Premillennialism is the belief that Christ will literally reign on the earthfor 1,000 years at His second coming. The doctrine is called Premillennialism because it views the current age (Church Age) as prior to Christ’s kingdom.
Premillennialism is largely based upon a literal interpretation of Revelation 20:1-6 which describes Christ’s coming to the earth and subsequent reign at the end of an apocalyptic period of tribulation.
View 3. Postmillennialism is an interpretation of chapter 20 of the Book of Revelation which sees Christ‘s second coming as occurring after the thousand year “millennium”.
Although some postmillennialists hold to a literal millennium of 1,000 years, most postmillennialists see the thousand years more as a figurative term for a long period of time
Postmillennialism also teaches that the forces of Satan will gradually be defeated by the expansion of the Kingdom of God throughout history up until the second coming of Christ. This belief is that good will gradually triumph over evil.
The word itself is another not to be found in the bible but is of Much discussion.
It comes from the Latin word “Rapare” which means to take away or to snatch out. The bible reference to it is found in (I Thess. 4:16-17) and it says “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
The Rapture is a belief that is almost exclusively confined to conservative Protestants. It involves Jesus Christ returning from Heaven towards earth. In violation of the law of gravity. Saved individuals — both dead and alive — will rise up in the air and join Jesus in the sky.
Many don’t believe in it and among those that do believe in it there are three views or beliefs as briefly explained below.
The views of the timing of the rapture are directly related to the last 7 years of time which is refereed to as the Tribulation.
- 1. The pre Tribulation view believes the rapture will occur before the beginning of the 7 year tribulation.
- The mid tribulation view believes it will occur in the middle of the tribulation which is the beginning of the Great tribulation.
- The post Tribulation view believes it will occur at the end of the 7 year tribulation.
As you can see there is much disagreement among believers but one thing is Sure and that is that it will happen.
WILL YOU BE READY?
Jesus’s Second Return:
This too is believed by Most evangelical Christians .
There are two views on it also. One view is that Jesus’ second coming to set up His Millennial kingdom will occur separately from the rapture of the church.
The post tribulation view which I believe, teaches that The Rapture and Second Coming of Jesus are simultaneous events. They are different but happen at the same time
Although it is not directly stated, but in the pre- and mid-tribulation rapture views, Christ must return half way for a secret rapture before His Second Coming, at the end of the Tribulation period. To the best of my knowledge a separate half return secret rapture of Jesus is nowhere taught or referenced to in scripture. The following scriptures will establish strong support for my view.
The belief is that God’s Elect from all ages dead and alive will be transformed from mortal bodies into immortal glorified bodies at the Second Coming of The Christ as stated in (I Cor. 15:51-54) and that this will be at the end of the age. As stated in (I Thess. 4:16-17)
These events, I believe, will come at the conclusion of what is referred to as the 70th Week of Daniel, the final seven years of this present age which will be in two 3.5 year periods referred to as the Tribulation and The Great Tribulation. This view was held by many of the early Church Fathers and has been held by some Christians since that time. The doctrine of the Post-Tribulation Rapture is today being embraced by a growing number of evangelical Christians.
This teaching stresses the importance of Christians being prepared to be faithful witnesses under great persecution as warned by Jesus in
(Matt. 24:21) and prophesied by John in (Rev. 13:10-17). It is important to understand that this Tribulation period is from The Anti Christ and is Not The Wrath of God upon the un believing world which believers will escape as promised in (Rom. 5:8-9) God’s Wrath is for the children of dis-obedience. (Col. 3:6).
Those that go through Tribulation will stand before the Throne of God and will serve Him in His Temple (Rev. 7:9-15).
Post tribulation Note:
In Matt. 24:29-31 Jesus is quoted as saying that the Rapture would occur after the Great Tribulation of believers.
The Day of The Lord:
This phrase appears 22 times in the Bible and is first mentioned in Isa. 2:12
It is a special phrase used to refer to a period of time when God directly intervenes in human affairs—in judgment. It is not clear if it is a 24 hour day or longer.
It probably won’t be on Sunday, which is referred to in modern times as the Lord’s Day
If (Isaiah 34:8) is to be taken literally we have an indication of the length of time it will cover
Isaiah 34:8 KJV
“For it is the day of the Lord’s vengeance, the year of recompense for the cause of Zion.”
When will it happen? Good question
It’s timing is clearly given to us by Jesus Himself in
(Matthew 24:29-30) which says;KJV
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
“Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”
This will be just after The Rapture and I believe we who are alive to be raptured will see these events from the sky. The battle of Armageddon will be fought and won by Jesus and He will set up The Millennial Kingdom that we will be a part of according to (Rev. 20:4)
This presentation of the terms and views of end time events would not be complete without including the Judgments. There are two of them and they are The Judgment seat of Christ and The Great White Throne Judgment.
The Judgment Seat of Christ:
The judgment seat of Christ, involves believers giving an account of their lives to Christ. The judgment seat of Christ does not determine salvation; that was determined by Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf (1 John 2:2) and our faith in Him (John 3:16).
At the judgment seat of Christ, believers are rewarded based on how faithfully they served The Christ. Some of the things we might be judged on are how well we obeyed the Great Commission, how victorious we were over sin, and how well we controlled our tongues. The Bible also speaks of believers receiving crowns for different things based on how faithfully they served The Christ (1 Corinthians 9:4-27)
This judgment will be at the
end of the Tribulation in preparation for the millennial kingdom.
The Great White Throne Judgment:
The great white throne judgment is described in (Revelation 20:11-15) and is the Final judgment prior to the lost being cast into the lake of fire. We know from (Revelation 20:7-15) that this judgment will take place after the millennium
NEW Term: PRETERISM
Preterism is a variant of Christian eschatology which holds that most or all of the biblical prophecies concerning the End Times refer to events which have already happened in the first century after Christ’s birth. Because of its claims that Ancient Israel was supplanted by the Christian church at the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70,
I hope this has given you some new insight into these terms
Rev. George Pryor Th.M.