COLLEGE OF THE OPEN BIBLE
The Great Tribulation. In no other period of time in human history (past, present, and future) will there be so much suffering and destruction as during the seven years known as the Great Tribulation as outlined in Revelation chapters 6 through 19. Amid all the destruction around the world today, we are reminded that the Great Tribulation could very well be in the immediate future and will be a time of judgment on the nations of the world beginning with Israel.
Note: The Judgment Will Be:
The purpose and pursuit of the Great Tribulation is to exact judgment on the unbelievers and their hostile rejection of Jesus Christ. The Church, which is made up of all born again believers will not enter the Great Tribulation, seeing that we are saved from the wrath to come (Romans 5:9).
The Great Tribulation commences with the Rapture of the Church. Simply put, the Tribulation could very well start NOW! However, The Great Tribulation will not mean the end of the world as we know it. The end of the world as we know it today will be realized at the battle of Armageddon... a great, future war that will be fought at Mount Megiddo (present day Palestine) that will conclude the seven years of great tribulation. This will be the most devastating of all wars humanity will experience. All of the events during the Great Tribulation will gravitate to this decisive and grave moment when Jesus Christ returns and defeats and destroys the enemy. No one can predict when this will happen with certainty. Only that it will happen (Matthew 24:36)
When the tribulation concludes, will those who will be preserved enter the millennial in their human bodies?
The judgment of the Gentiles at the end of the tribulation is expounded in Matthew 25:31-46. The redeemed Gentiles will receive this invitation: "Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:" (v.34). They enter into the kingdom age alongside the redeemed Jews. This explains the kingdom of Daniel 7:14 that is made up of "all people, nations, and languages" and the "many nations" that come to Jerusalem as seen in Micah 4:2.
The redeemed (both Jew and Gentile) who go from the tribulation into the kingdom age will still have human bodies. During which, they will produce children and dramatically increase the population on the earth (see Jeremiah 30:19-22; Ezekiel 47:22). Although those brought into the millennial are sealed by the covenant and their sins are forgiven, their offspring will be born with a sin nature since they are still physical descendents of Adam.
This explains a number of things about the kingdom age. It will require the full enforcement of the law of the kingdom as seen in Matthew 5-7. Even with this strict enforcement, nations will at times rebel and will need to be brought into line by the withholding of rain (Zechariah 14:16-19). Christ as king will rule with a rod of iron (Psalm 2:7-9). Finally, at the end of the millennial age the devil will gather an immense army of rebels against the Lord (Rev. 20:7-9). Obviously, they will be deceived into thinking they will subdue and even destroy Christ and His kingdom.
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Sincerely, Dr. Arthur Belanger
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