Most Christians fall into the Pre-Tribulation or Post-Tribulation theological camps for the end-times. Just so you know: there are other end-times viewpoints, such as the Amillennial and Preterist point of views, but both of these require believers to read the Book of Revelation, Daniel and Matthew 24 through fogged-up glasses.
The Pre-Tribulation viewpoint is held by approximately 90% of American believers. This viewpoint believes the Body of Christ will be raptured and taken to heaven at any time before the Seven Years of the Great Tribulation (Daniel 7 and Revelation 13) takes place. Then, the church will return with Jesus at His second coming to set up His thousand-year reign on earth.
The Post-Tribulation viewpoint believes the Body of Christ will go through a major part of the Great Tribulation, will be raptured and taken up to heaven at the Seventh Trumpet Judgment, just before the disastrous Seven Bowl Judgments. The Post-Tribs agree with the Pre-Tribs on the church returning with Jesus at His second coming. About 90% of the Chinese, North Korean and Asian believers believe in the Post-Tribulation viewpoint.
But there are a some scriptures most Pre-Trib and Post-Trib believers seldom think about —
And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. (Matthew 24:5-8)
The “beginning of sorrows” will be one tough time-period for us believers to endure. We will be arrested, persecuted and killed. The whole world will hate us, just because we follow Jesus. Many believers will turn away from following the Lord, betraying and hating other believers. There will be many false prophets who will deceive many believers. Sin will be rampant and everywhere, with the love of many believers growing cold.
Now, maybe, we have our fingers crossed, hoping we will be raptured into heaven before these terrible things happen.
“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14)
Who preaches the gospel? Believers do.
Therefore, it makes no difference whether Jesus returns for us before the Great Tribulation takes place or near the end of it because we have to remain on earth and endure the “beginning of sorrows,” so we can preach the gospel to all nations (or people groups).
(Continued in Part 6…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)