Is the 7 year tribulation part of the Church age?


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Question / Comment -  Is the 7 year tribulation part of the Church age?

Hi,

This is a question. The tribulation is a 7 year period. Is that 7 years part of the Church age?

Thanks,

Thomas.

JPN Reply:


Hi Thomas,

Yeah the coming tribulation is a 7 year period with the Great Tribulation coming in the last ½ of that period (Matt 24:21).

The 7 year tribulation is NOT part of the Church age. If you look at where this period originally comes from you will see that it is from Daniel chapter 9. It is often called ‘Daniel’s 70th week’ because the angel Gabriel gave Daniel a 70 ‘week’ (or more literally 70 sevens, 490 years) time-frame that was set for HIS people, Israel. The whole period concerns the nation of Israel and what God will do for that nation when the period ends (as stated in Daniel 9:24). It was never given to the Church. It is not for us. It’s purpose is for God to judge the world and bring the nation of Israel to the point that they finally acknowledge and call out for the One they pierced – Jesus! (Zech 12:10) That is why it is called ‘the time of Jacob’s (Israel’s) trouble.’ (Jer 30:7) It isn’t called the time of the Church’s trouble. 

So with the rejection and crucifixion of Jesus, the prophetic clock of Daniel’s 70 weeks stopped (so to speak). The ‘timeout’ was called. But it will start again. One final '7' as stated in Daniel 9:27 remains. God has unfinished business with His covenant nation, Israel. They have experienced a ‘hardening’ in part as Paul writes (Rom 11:25-29) but God’s promises to them will be fulfilled – even in the midst of terrible times!

The fact that the Church is not part of Daniel’s 70th week also explains why, when you get to the book of Revelation, that it first presents the 7 churches (which give an overview of complete church history) and then, in Rev 4:1, John is caught up into Heaven with the instruction to see what takes place ‘after this’. Everything from Rev 4 onwards occurs AFTER the church age ('after this') and you no longer see a mention of the ‘Church’ after Revelation chapter 4. In fact the believers are seen as the bride in Heaven (Rev 19:6-8) before the Lord returns at the 2nd coming (Rev 19:11-21). 

So as believers we are awaiting our blessed hope, the coming of the Lord to take His church to be with Him as per His promise in John 14:1-3. 

I write more about the placement of the rapture in Rev 4:1 in this Q&A:

https://jesusplusnothing.com/series/post/where-book-revelation-is-rapture

See also: https://jesusplusnothing.com/series/post/Daniel9b

Hope it helps! God Bless,

Iain.