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When Does the Tribulation Begin?

by Stephen Davey

I believe the Bible teaches the tribulation will begin after the rapture of the church. And when does the rapture occur? The Bible teaches it is imminent—it could occur at any moment. 

In Revelation 6, when John begins to describe the tribulation period, there is absolutely no reference to the church on earth. Revelation 4–5 indicates that the church age will end prior to the tribulation and Christians will be worshiping the Lord in heaven. The elders, representing the church, are singing praise to the Lamb who has delivered them from God’s wrath (see Revelation 3:10). 

This is an important point to make because as long as the church is still on the earth, the tribulation is still in the future. The tribulation will not begin until after the rapture of the church. 

There are those who believe the tribulation has already occurred and we are living in the millennial period. This requires biblical prophecy to be spiritualized. A literal interpretation of passages describing the tribulation reveals nothing in history that comes close to matching the events described in Matthew 24 or in Revelation 6 and onward. 

Just to illustrate, Daniel 9 clearly reveals that the Antichrist will desecrate the temple, thus indicating that the temple has to be rebuilt. I visited Israel recently, and I can attest to the fact that there is no temple there! 

There are other prophecies as well, and I deal with them in detail in my teaching series through Revelation. But the key truth regarding the timing of the tribulation is that it has not yet begun but Jesus promises that He will come “soon.” Therefore, we are to live with the expectation the Lord could come at any moment for His church, thus ushering in the beginning stages of the tribulation events. 


When Will the Tribulation Begin? Understanding the Sequence of End Times Events

The topic of end times events can be a source of confusion and disagreement among Christians. One question that often arises is "when does the tribulation begin?" The tribulation is a period of time described in the Bible that will be marked by great suffering and persecution for believers. In this article, we will explore the sequence of end times events and discuss when the tribulation will begin.

The Sequence of End Times Events

Before we can discuss when the tribulation will begin, we need to understand the sequence of end times events. According to Scripture, there are several key events that will occur in the last days, including:

  1. The Rapture of the Church: The first event in the sequence is the rapture of the church. This is the moment when Christ will return to gather his followers from the earth, both the living and the dead.

  2. The Tribulation: After the rapture, a period of seven years of great suffering and persecution will begin. This is known as the tribulation, and it will be marked by war, famine, disease, and natural disasters.

  3. The Second Coming of Christ: At the end of the tribulation, Christ will return to earth in glory and power. He will defeat the armies of the Antichrist and establish his kingdom on earth.

  4. The Millennial Kingdom: After Christ's second coming, he will reign on earth for a thousand years, known as the millennial kingdom.

When Will the Tribulation Begin?

Now that we understand the sequence of end times events, we can answer the question "when will the tribulation begin?" According to Scripture, the rapture of the church will be the first event in the sequence. This means that before the tribulation can begin, the church must first be taken out of the world. We don't know when the rapture will occur, but the Bible is clear that the rapture will be the first event in the sequence, and that believers will be taken out of the world before the tribulation begins.

Implications for Believers

Understanding the sequence of end times events has important implications for believers. First, it reminds us that our hope is not in this world, but in Christ and his return. Second, it encourages us to live lives of faithfulness and obedience, knowing that Christ will one day return to judge the living and the dead.


In conclusion, the question of when the tribulation will begin is an important one for Christians to consider. According to Scripture, the rapture of the church will be the first event in the sequence of end times events. This means that before the tribulation can begin, the church must first be taken out of the world. Understanding the sequence of end times events has important implications for our faith and our daily lives. Let us live with the hope and anticipation of Christ's return, and let us strive to live lives of faithfulness and obedience until that day comes.

Add a Comment


Shawn says:
Come Lord Jesus!
Joe Parker says:
But is seems in Mark 13, Jesus is describing events where the time will be cut short for His believers. Is Mark 13 pre or post rapture?
Ira says:
Thanks. God bless you.
Cindy Wiggins says:
Will the tribulation began immediately after the rapture or is there time between those two events ?

I’m not sure in the Bible where it discusses this timeframe or if it does.
Margaret says:
All the answers is in Daniel chapter 9 the 70 weeks of Daniel
Rebecca says:
I am glad that I am saved but very sad though for so many that don't know Jesus at least we as Christians will not be here at the tribulation we will be gone to heaven Hallelujah!
Bertley V. Englade Jr. says:
I agree that the rapture must take place before the tribulation starts but nothing is requiring that the tribulation commences right after the rapture. It could be several years or more after the rapture. Please correct me if I am wrong because one time I thought that I was wrong and found out that I was right. Just kidding! It just seems to me, that there will be so much destruction at the rapture, plans crashing, ships sinking, car wrecks, people disappearing etc, it will take some time for people to forget it ever happened.
Fred hunt says:
[Note from Wisdom: Fred, even though we disagree with you, we're glad you engaged so thoughtfully with our content.]

Let me encourage you to do some real deep research on the catching up. The pre-tribulation rapture is not biblical whatsoever. And if you do your research you will find out that this false doctrine was started in the early 1830s, by John Darby. With his dispensation theory. Claiming that certain parts of the Bible is for certain people doing that. Period of time. John Darby wrote his own Bible leaving out key scriptures in order to deceive many. And then comes along Schofield doing the same thing That's why people need to do research there's many scriptures. That speaks against this pre-tribulation rapture theory. With that being said I hope you do your research deep research. And find out the real truth about the rapture which will not take place until after the tribulation. The church will go through the tribulation many people don't want to accept that fact but they will believe the lie that Darby and Schofield are telling. And the rapture will not happen until the 7th trumpet sounds. People need to wake up and stop going by the doctrines and teaching of men and open their Bibles and do some real research for themselves and find out the truth. Satan has deceived many church members and to believing this lie about the pre-tribulation rapture because of the two men that he used Darby and Schofield to promote it. Many Christians will be surprised when they find out that they have been lied to so long by so many people about this pre-tribulation rapture or the secret rapture which will never happen. Do your research and find out for yourselves Don't take my word for it let the word of God speak for itself and stop listening to what man has to say. The Pentecostal movement promoted this dark theory or should I say deception that John Darby and Scofield started Wake up before it's too late because you're redemption draws nigh.
Clinton says:
Please read the Bible from start to finish from old testament to new. Tanakh through the Gospel. Look for rapture and you will find nothing. Tribulations is what Christians go through. Wrath is what non believers go through. God comes once and not twice. He comes at the last trumpet but no one knows the day or hour the last trumpet will he blown. The People who bow as all knees shall bow are the people that didn't make it and will be destroyed and the people that met Jesus in the clouds will tread on their ashes. If you need help understanding that there is no pre trib rapture hit me up. Remember Tribulations are only for believers and America has been very lucky. The rest of the world goes through tribulations as Christians all the time but we haven't seen the final finale yet. Remember not to take things out of context.

Reply from WI: Even though we disagree on this issue, we're glad that you engaged with our content.
Rex Allen Smith says:
[Though we disagree with this comment, we're glad you engaged with our content. WI]

The bible clearly says when the rapture of the dead occur and it's not pre-tribulation. There are the two witnesses that will prophesy during the first half and the church is one of those witnesses. They will seek to kill us and leave our bodies lying for all to see until Jesus calls us up. The great apostasy is this belief in pre-tribulation when it does not happen there will be a great falling away. Psalms 83 is likely to bring about the antichrist and the signing of the seven-year peace treaty which starts the tribulation not a rapture. The church is the grafted olive branch he that has an ear let him hear.