First, it means that, over the last 2,020 years, the first four seals of the tribulation have been broken. This is referred to as the TIMES OF SORROWS or the TIMES OF DISTRESS.
There is clear signs and evidence that the fifth tribulation seal is now in the process of being opened, or broken!
Secondly, it means that, according to the signs given in scriptures, that the Great Tribulation begins with the breaking or opening of the 6th Tribulation Seal. Which, incidentally, marks the beginning Daniel’s Seventieth Week, a.k.a., the “7 Year Tribulation period” and the “Time, Times and a Half Time” (three and one half years).
Again, This period of time which begins with the breaking of the 6th Tribulation Seal, will reach the mid-point at the 6th Trumpet of judgment and will conclude after the 7th Tribulation Bowl is poured out.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT – to us?
It is important because, if you, as a Christian, think that you will be “Raptured’ off this planet and into heaven before the End of Days and before the “times of distress” the early tribulation period begins, you are holding on to a false hope.
You will suffer the first three, four or five periods (breaking of the Seals of Revelation) of the tribulation, and Jesus clearly says that you must “endure to the end” in the face of these disasters, calamities, famines, earthquakes and wars.
I believe our theologians, once again, have miscalculated the timing and urgency of this prophecy based on denominational bias and have left us pre-tribulation adherents vulnerable.
It is important because, Jesus is very clear about what we are to be doing in preparation for these horrendous events. And, very few are even aware of this assignment and fewer yet are doing them.
It is important because the context with which we see the uses and meanings of these words and the timing of these events affect our attitudes and our motivation for GETTING and STAYING READY for His return.
It is important that we see and understand what Jesus is TEACHING corresponds with the unfolding of the Tribulation period as recorded in Revelation. It will give us clear instruction, not only of what is coming but HOW TO PREPARE for these days.
WHY DOES IT MATTER – to you?
Why does it matter “when” the tribulation starts or “when” Christians are to be Raptured into heavens?
•It matters because being ready for His Return is proof of True Christianity and only a True Believer in Christ will be guaranteed to join Christ at the sound of His Great Trumpet call and escape the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord.
•It matters because being ready requires believing and doing what He has instructed us to do in preparation for His return
•It matters because He has warned that “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles? And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’
•It matters because many Christians are sitting idly waiting for an event that has already begun and they are not DOING what He told them to do and therefore are in grave danger
•It matters because some of our family, friends and neighbors are completely unaware or just don’t believe that Christ will return and God’s final judgments will sentence them to outer darkness and it is our job and calling ,as Christians, to tell them. It is our responsibility to “sound the shofar”.
The Bible warns that in THESE LAST DAYS, “lawlessness is increased”. Never, in our history, have we seen such a striking call for the abolition of “Law and Order”, the permissiveness of anarchy and lawlessness. We are, indeed, in a time when “Good is called evil and evil is called good”. Go here for the final part – “People’s Love will Grow Cold” – Part 5