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How Bad, Severe will the Tribulation Be?

For an explanation of where in the Bible we are told about the Tribulation and it being 7 years, the last 7 years before Jesus’ 2nd coming give The Tribulation Being 7 Years a read.

Jesus said:

Mt. 24: 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.

Lk. 21: 10 Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.

Lk. 21: 25 “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. 26 People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.

Mt. 24: 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.

Mt. 24: 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.

Jesus also said, Lk. 21: 22 For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. And Lk. 21: 35 For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth.

We see in Zechariah and Revelation a good description of the use of nuclear weapons.

Zechariah 14: 12 This is the plague with which the LORD will strike all the nations that fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths. …. This is a perfect description of what happens in a thermal nuclear blast.

Most of the Trumpets and Bowls in Revelation are describing the results of nuclear, biological and chemical warfare.


In Rev. 6 with the 6th seal, 14 The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, (this is what happens with a nuclear explosion) and every mountain and island was removed from its place.


And in Rev. 16 with the 7th bowl, 18 Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since mankind has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake. 19 The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. … 20 Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found. 21 From the sky huge hailstones, each weighing about a hundred pounds, fell on people. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible.


With the 7th bowl we see what appears will be a massive release of nuclear weapons all over the world.

Verse 19 says ‘the cities of the nations collapsed.’ With enough nuclear strikes the faults under the earth will shift causing major earthquakes, volcanoes to erupt, massive tsunamis and mountains to crumble and the buildings in the cities around the world to collapse. The Tectonic plates will shift. The continents will change.


With the 6th seal we see that every mountain and island was removed from its place, moved, but with the 7th bowl we see every mountain and island fled away, are completely gone. With the trumpets and bowls we see the results of all the nuclear weapons. With the trumpets it also looks like meteors and asteroids strike the earth.


Look at what Isaiah foretold.

Isa. 24:19 The earth is violently broken, The earth is split open,

The earth is shaken exceedingly.
20 The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard,


​With the trumpets a third of everything affected, with the bowls everything in the whole world is.

Rev. 8:7 The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down on the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.


Rev. 16: 2 The first angel went and poured out his bowl on the land, and ugly, festering sores broke out on the people 8 The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was allowed to scorch people with fire. 9 They were seared by the intense heat

We also see with the 3rd trumpet a third of all the water is poisoned and many die from drinking the water. With the 3rd bowl we see all the fresh water is poisoned. We also see with the 2nd bowl the seas are affected in such a way that every living thing in the sea dies. Hail of a 100 lbs, scientist call this a nuclear winter. . Of course, ugly, festering sores would be caused by radiation fallout as well as chemical. With enough nuclear explosions in the atmosphere the ozone layer will be affected causing intense heat from the sun.

In Revelation ch. 6 we see a fourth of the population dies. What we see with the 4th seal started with the 2nd seal and culminates with the 6th seal.

Rev. 6: 7 When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” 8 I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague,


Rev. 6. 12 I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, 13 and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. 14 The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. ... Nuclear weapons have finally been used. 

With the 6th trumpet we see a third of the population are killed.

Rev. 9: 13 The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the four horns of the golden altar that is before God. 14 It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” 15 And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind.

Now, let’s say after the Rapture there’s 6 billion people left on the earth. There’s just over 8 billion now. We are told that the judgment of the 4th seal kills a fourth of the earth’s population. That would be 1 ½ billion are killed with the seals. We’re told that the judgment of the 6th trumpet kills a third of what is left. That would be another 1 ½ billion. That’s at least 3 billion with just these judgments not to mention those that die from drinking the poisoned water and those that are killed by the anti-Christ for not taking the mark of the beast thus swearing allegiance to him. We’re not given a percentage with the 7th bowl, but we see a fourth, then a third, so with the bowls being much worse the next logical percentage would be a half. That would be another 1 ½ billion die, are killed with the judgment of the 7th bowl. That means that by the time of Jesus’ 2nd coming there could be less than one billion left on the whole earth. From 6 billion to most likely less than 1 billion. That’s staggering. Look at what we are told by Isaiah.

Isaiah 24
The LORD's Devastation of the Earth

1 See, the LORD is going to lay waste the earth
and devastate it;
he will ruin its face
and scatter its inhabitants-
2 it will be the same
for priest as for people,
for master as for servant,
for mistress as for maid,
for seller as for buyer,
for borrower as for lender,
for debtor as for creditor.
3 The earth will be completely laid waste
and totally plundered.
4 The earth dries up and withers,
the world languishes and withers,
the exalted of the earth languish.
5 The earth is defiled by its people;
they have disobeyed the laws,
violated the statutes
and broken the everlasting covenant.
6 Therefore a curse consumes the earth;
its people must bear their guilt.
Therefore earth's inhabitants are burned up,
and very few are left.

It’s believed few as 500 million could be left by the time Jesus returns. That means as many as 5 ½ billion or more dies during the Tribulation. That’s hard to comprehend. Obviously, very few survive it.

Now this doesn’t sound to encouraging does it. But look at what those that are in Jesus are promised.

1 Thes. 4: 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

This catching up is the Rapture of the Church. Look at what Jesus promised.

Jn. 14: 1“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

We see there will be an event that Jesus promises to come and take the believer back to heaven, back to the Father’s house with him. We see from Jesus in Rev. 3 a promise to keep the believer from the hour of trial, from the hour of the Tribulation.

Rev. 3: 10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.

Here Jesus said that he would keep the Church from the time of the hour of trial, remove the Church from it altogether. The Strong’s Greek Lexicon translation G1537 is (out of, from, by, away from). It is not keep ‘through’ as the post-trib view says.

We are also told by Jesus,

Lk. 21:34 “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. 35 For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth. 36 Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”

We see we are to pray that we will be able to escape ‘All’ that is about to happen, that is escape all the Tribulation. The KJ and NKJ says, 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” .. The only way to be counted worthy is to be in Jesus, to be born again. … The means of escape is the Rapture, the catching up.

Remember we saw in 1 Thes. 4 verse 18 Paul after describing the Rapture, the catching up he said to encourage one another with these words about meeting the Lord in the air and going back to heaven with him before all the destruction that is going to come upon the world. Jesus said we would escape it, all of it, that we will be kept from it. We see the destruction starts with the seals. The only way the catching up, the Rapture could be encouraging is for it to occur before all the destruction, before the Tribulation.


The Apostle Paul with Titus 2 v13 described the Rapture as our blessed Hope. The only way to have hope in the Rapture is for it to occur before the Tribulation. For if you're here during the Tribulation, as we just read from Isaiah, the odds are, you wont survive to the end.

In Matthew 24 Jesus used the judgment of the flood of Noah’s day as an example of the judgment during the Tribulation. He said life was going on as usual up until the flood came and took them all away. Life wasn’t normal after the flood. Well, as you can see from what we’ve looked at above, life certainly won’t be normal anytime during the Tribulation. Jesus also said that just like Noah and his family were removed before the judgment of the flood, those that are in him will be removed before the judgment of the Tribulation. See Mt. 24. 36 thru 51.

For more detail on what Jesus taught in Mt. 24 concerning the Rapture, the Tribulation and his 2nd coming, give Mt. 24, The Rapture and The 2nd Coming a read.


You should learn all you can concerning what the Bible says is coming upon the world so you can share it with your unsaved friends and family. So you can warn them. For our time is short.

Titus 2: 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,

Maranatha, Our Lord Comes.


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