Q&R with Greg Albrecht – What will happen to Christians during the Tribulation?
Where will Christians be during the coming tribulation? Can you please explain the pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation and post-tribulation ideas?
Christians are divided between a-millennial, post-millennial and pre-millennial (that is, how to interpret passages that speak of a millennial rule of Christ and the saints).
Pre-millennial: Those who believe that the biblical events spoken of surrounding the Second Coming of Jesus are yet in the future.
Post-millennial: These Christians believe that a one-thousand-year millennium which follows the Tribulation represents the spiritual victory of the gospel, and that Jesus will return after the spiritual victory is won by the church and the saints (as empowered by Jesus Christ). They believe that the spiritual reign of Jesus through his church prepares the way for his bodily return.
A-millennial: The belief that the one thousand years spoken of in the book of Revelation is symbolic rather than literal. Those who favor this view see the one thousand years as a long time, a non-specific period of time between the crucifixion and resurrection and the Second Coming.
Pre-, post- and mid-tribulation ideas fall only within the pre-millennial view. These ideas are even more speculative (that is, there is little biblical evidence to be dogmatic, not that it is wrong to hold a specific view). The perspectives have a great deal to do with how believers are supposedly protected from physical suffering. Some use the word “Rapture” to convey this teaching (which is a rather modern teaching, not having been popularly taught until a little over 150 years ago). All of these posit that Christ will return at the end of a tribulation – most believe it to be seven years in length. The pre-tribulation people believe protection from the plagues and troubles of the tribulation will be given before the tribulation starts, the mid-trib folks believe physical protection is given sometime during the tribulation (so believers have to endure some of the tribulation) and others (post-trib) believe that Christians will not be saved from the physical tribulation at all.
For more answers to tough questions, check out our book:Biblical evidence is not sufficient for any dogmatic conclusion, although there are some who believe that their way is the only way (“my way or the highway”). While some views seem more extreme and biblically illogical, I do not believe that Christians should separate and divide over such speculative teaching. We will find out after Jesus returns, and I suspect that all of our dogmatism will not mean much then.
For more answers to tough questions, check out our book: