Is there a difference between the Great Tribulation and the Great Day of the Lord? I believe the answer to this question is Yes. God did not say believers would escape tribulation, but, God did promise believers would escape His wrath. The position of a pre-tribulation rapture seems to include tribulation and wrath as one event. But instead, there will be a period of Great Tribulation and there will be the Great Day of the Lord. The Great Day of the Lord is when God's wrath will be poured out upon evil and the ungodly of this world. During the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord, only the remnant that is sealed by God is quaranteed protection and preservation (Revelation 7:1-8).
What prompted me to write this blog at this particular time is a comment made to one of my blogs expressing a belief many embrace. That belief involves a great revival / a great harvest of souls for Jesus shortly after the "rapture" takes place. I believe a great harvest of souls will take place before the rapture. I believe the "rapture" takes place when the period of great tribulation is cut short and Jesus comes to rescue His own (Jesus removes "The Church"- event commonly referred to as The Rapture.) The "Rapture" is described in Matthew 24:29-31. The result of the Rapture is told to us in Revelation 7:9-17. The Rapture occurs at the onset of the period of time referred to in scripture as The Great and Teriible Day of The Lord. (See next blog)
The Book of Zephaniah is devoted to warning us as about what is going to happen during the Day of the Lord, "The LORD will make a sudden end of all who live on the earth." Following are excerpts from Zephaniah 1:
Judgment on the Whole Earth in the Day of the LORD
Zephaniah 1 (NIV)
1 The word of the LORD that came to Zephaniah son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah, during the reign of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah:
2 I will sweep away everything from the face of the earth, declares the LORD.
3 I will sweep away both man and beast; I will sweep away the birds in the sky and the fish in the sea and the idols that cause the wicked to stumble. When I destroy all mankind on the face of the earth, declares the LORD,
14 The great day of the LORD is near, near and coming quickly. The cry on the day of the LORD is bitter; the Mighty Warrior shouts his battle cry.
15 That day will be a day of wrath a day of distress and anguish, a day of trouble and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness
16 a day of trumpet and battle cry against the fortified cities and against the corner towers.
17 I will bring such distress on all people that they will grope about like those who are blind, because they have sinned against the LORD. Their blood will be poured out like dust and their entrails like dung.
18 Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to save them on the day of the LORD's wrath. In the fire of his jealousy the whole earth will be consumed, for he will make a sudden end of all who live on the earth.
2 Peter 3:7 (KJV)
But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
Period of Revelation
Please read: End of Days Dreams With Messages (click on blue). During the period of revelation as I was reading Revelation 19 about the Battle of Armagedden, the Holy Spirit put a very strong impression into me -all of mankind will be killed. I had not read Zephaniah 1 in its entirely nor the chapters following until just a couple weeks ago. This, I receive, as one of several confirmations, this one being very timely for the writing of this blog.
The exception to complete destruction is the 144,000 from the 12 tribes of Israel who will be sealed and protected by God. These are the ones who will enter into the 1,000 year reign of Jesus on earth. The time allotted for prophecy to finally be completely fulfilled for "Israel" - God's Chosen People. Read Zephaniah 3:9-20 about the remnant of Israel after the Day of the Lord.
Back to the Question:
If a great revival / harvest of souls is to take place after the "rapture," what is going to happen to these people? To the Gentiles that are left behind. The rapture has already taken place and the LORD is going to "sweep away everything from the face of the earth"--"When I destroy all mankind on the face of the earth, declares the LORD."--"In the fire of his jealousy the whole earth will be consumed, for he will make a sudden end of all who live on the earth."
I believe the time of the Gentiles (referred to as The Church Age) will reach the fulness of its time and come to a complete end with the "Removal of The Church (The Rapture)."
I believe the only possibility of being saved after the "rapture" will involve the chosen descendants of Jacob, the children of Israel. (This does include the tribe of Mannesseh, (NIV or Manasses (KJV) who was a son of Joseph and his Egyptian wife. God has included 12,000 to be sealed from Manasseh's "tribe." See Revelation 7: 6).
See Great Tribulation described in Matthew 24-birth pangs and tribulation/persecution that aligns with Revelation 6-the opening of the first six seals.
See Great Day of the Lord described Revelation 8, 9, 15, 16, 19 . . . the 7 Trumpet Judgment, 7 Bowls (Vials) of Wrath, Battle of Armagedden.
It should be beneficial to read the blog immediately following this one titled: Signs of Onset of The Great Day of the Lord
Signs of Onset of The Great Day of The Lord
Sister, I have studied and enjoyed your writing on this topic. I have read quite a few books on end times over the years and many featured pre tribulation rapture but on close study of all scriptures it is more clearly shown that the church is tested and asked to be patient and steadfast through tribulation but we are clearly destined to escape the wrath of God. Thank you for this word as I continually search the scriptures on this matter.
Hey D., Very good blog! Nicely stated! I will have to study Zephaniah more closely.
This is a very complex and controversial subject matter here. I agree with you about the Rapture. From my own study of scriptures, this is what I see also. As you say, there is a difference between tribulation and the day of wrath. Most of those who believe in Pre-Trib discount the timeline in Matthew that you mention or invoke a second or even third rapture to explain it when, in my opinion, it just can't be explained away from a scriptural point of view. Jesus was explicit about the timeline, as well as that all people would see Him in the clouds at His coming. He is not coming in secret nor is He returning two or three times. These are just a couple of the many things in scripture that discount (at least for me) the idea of Pretrib.
I have seen some churches even mention Pretrib as a doctrine of belief in their Statement of Faith. That's the scary part. What we can glean from the Scriptures is that no one will know for sure until the Lord returns. I would love to be raptured out before the tribulation, but I just don't see it. If we have to go through the tribulation, however, I know the Lord will be with us. That's what's really important. My faith remains strong either way.
Regarding the 144,000. I'm still studying that one. It's one of the most complicated of all the Scriptures relating to the Apocalypse. No one's been able to figure it out yet. I do know that the scripture does not say they are "Jews." It says they are from all the tribes of Israel and designates 12,000 from all tribes except Dan. Most likely, the tribe of Joseph mentioned in Rev 7 is the tribe of Ephraim, for they were used interchangeably. We also know that Joseph got the double portion of blessing. We know, too, that John in Rev 14 talks about them in the past tense.
I agree with you about the fullness of the Gentiles. When the Church is raptured, the Holy Spirit leaves, too. I would think that means no one can be saved after the Rapture, for salvation requires a leading by the Holy Spirit. That would mean everyone that is going to have their eyes opened and see the truth would have to do it before the Rapture and not after.
Thank you for sharing this in such an informative way and with such great diplomacy. I enjoy your blogs very much. God bless.