Will the Church Be Persecuted by Antichrist for Three and One-Half Years Before the Rapture?

John Accomando writes,

[D]oes Scripture teach that we’ll be here for the full 3.5 years? Yes:

Daniel 7:25- “And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.”

Revelation 13:5-7: “And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. 6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. 7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.”

I want to respond to this posttribulational position.

Many posttribulationists rightly recognize that the Antichrist’s great tribulation is not the same event as the day of the Lord’s wrath. And they correctly place the great tribulation starting at the midpoint. But they mistakenly terminate the great tribulation at the very end of the seven-year period, making it exactly three and one-half years.

They assume that the great tribulation will last three and one-half years since Daniel 7:25 states, “He will speak words against the Most High. He will harass the holy ones of the Most High continually. His intention will be to change times established by law. They will be delivered into his hand for a time, times, and half a time [three and one-half years]” (cf. Revelation 13:5–7).

Prewrath indeed affirms that Antichrist will oppress saints for three and one-half years, but that does not require the particular great tribulation spoken of by Jesus in his Olivet Discourse to be that length of time. There will be a remnant who come to Christ after the rapture who Antichrist will seek to persecute for the remaining three and one-half years, thus fulfilling his allotted time to “harass the holy ones.” To be sure, after the rapture, his ability to persecute will be diminished for what remains of the three and one-half years. Further, some prewrathers see the Danielic reference of “holy ones” referring to the Jewish nation who Antichrist will “harass” for three and one-half years.

There is another reason why the great tribulation cannot span three and one-half years: we would know the exact day and hour, for all we would have to do is count three and a half years from the midpoint to determine the day of his return.

Finally, the Achilles heel for posttribulationism has been where to place the day of the Lord’s wrath in relation to the great tribulation. There have been three posttribulational options. Some reject a future seven-year period all together, arguing instead that the great tribulation was fulfilled in the first century, or is being fulfilled in the span of church history.

But other posttribulationists affirm the future great tribulation and have placed the day of the Lord at the very end of the seven-year period, squeezing it into a single day, like an “accordion” nature of God’s wrath.

Others posttribulationists have rejected that as an unnatural interpretation, viewing, instead, that the Antichrist’s great tribulation and the day of the Lord’s wrath will occur at the same time. To sustain this interpretation, they claim God will supernaturally protect believers on earth during his wrath upon the ungodly. But this interpretation is flawed since Jesus, Paul, and the book of Revelation consistently teach that the day of the Lord follows immediately after Antichrist’s great tribulation.

Prewrath resolves these posttribulational conundrums recognizing that the great tribulation is cut short with the coming of Christ to deliverer the godly, and subsequently destroy the ungodly.



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