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Will the church go through tribulation?

Submitted: 5/4/2009
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Question: Will the church go through tribulation? Please send me a brief description with biblical references about this truth.

Answer: In John 16:33 Jesus said, 'In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.' In Acts 14:22 Paul said, 'We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.' And in Romans 5:3-4 Paul wrote, 'We also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.' We therefore conclude that going through tribulation is part of the Christian experience. As Paul said, it is by enduring tribulation that we develop perseverance and character.

In Matthew 24:21, Jesus spoke of a time when the level of tribulation will be stepped up. He said, 'For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.' He described what He meant by saying, 'Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake' (Matthew 24:9). Clearly this is a time when there will be great persecution of believers. Jesus went on to say,
'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. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other' (Matthew 24:29-31). This is the coming of Jesus Christ and the Rapture (the catching away of all believers, both living and dead). Jesus specifically stated that this will happen 'immediately after the tribulation of those days.'

If you are asking whether the church will go through this time of 'great tribulation,' the answer is yes. The object of tribulation is always the church. You may also be interested in our articles called 'Night of Broken Glass' and 'The Rapture: As We See the Day Approaching.' Both can be found in the Apostolic Free Library on this website.