Last updated: Nov 26, 2018
The word "tribulation" comes from Jesus' Olivet Discourse, during which He detailed to His disciples the future course of human history leading up to His second coming. The Lord said, in response to His disciples' question, "what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?"
What is the Great Tribulation?
"For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." (Matthew 24:21)
"Tribulation" is the term used for the time of God's judgment upon the people of Earth. It is a period of time that begins with the Antichrist signing a seven-year covenant guaranteeing Israel's peace and security (Daniel 9:27). This era begins with the first horseman of the Apocalypse. (Revelation 6:1)
The "Great Tribulation" is considered to be the last three and one-half years of the seven-year period known as "Daniel's 70th Week." The second half of the tribulation is called "the time of Jacob's Trouble" in Jeremiah 30:7, when God's wrath is poured directly upon the people of Earth.
These judgments are outlined in Revelation 6-19. The tribulation will end when Jesus Christ returns from heaven to defeat God's enemies at the battle of Armageddon and set up His millennial kingdom on earth. (Revelation 19:11-16)