What’s a Tribulation?

At first I thought it might be something to do with our legal system, tribulations rarely seem to be found without trials, but I passed by a law library one time and I never saw anything about tribulations from my vantage point from across the street. Since for the purposes of this website, that qualifies as extensive research, I pondered what to do next.

While watching tv the other day, I saw an episode of Star Trek called the Trouble with Tribbles. Tribble sounds sufficiently like tribulation for me to conclude that perhaps there is a relationship between the two. Can it be that tribbles cause tribulations? I certainly hope it’s not the other way around. Looking at this picture, I’d hate to go through some tribulations only to have to endure pooping out loads of little fuzzy things afterwards.kirk-and-tribbles3Besides isn’t that what gerbils are for?

Anyway after being denied twice, I decided to do some actual research. All you devout Christians out there will probably hit me with a big DUH at this point, but I was truely surprised by what I found.  Here is an account of the anticipated events of The Great Tribulation, which by the way will last 7 years.

First 3 1/2 Years:

  • 1. The Rapture takes place. (but note that virtually no one interpreted the book of Revelation to suggest a ‘pre-Tribulation Rapture’ until the 19th century, see Rapture for details on the history of this doctrine)
  • 2. The Rise of Antichrist and the False Prophet.
  • 3. The Third Temple is rebuilt in Jerusalem.
  • 4. The Rise of Babylon.
  • 5. The Rise of the false one-world religion.
  • 6. The appearance of the and the rise of the 144,000 Jewish evangelists.
  • 7. The Seven Seal Judgments.
  • 8. The Seven Trumpet Judgments.


  • 9. Death and Resurrection of the Two Witnesses.
  • 10. Destruction of the One World Church.
  • 11. The death and resurrection of Antichrist.
  • 12. Antichrist defiles the temple and proclaims himself God.
  • 13. The Mark of the Beast begins.
  • 14. The Jewish Remnant flees to the desert.

Second 3 1/2 Years:

  • 15. 7 Bowl Judgments
  • 16. Martyrdom of Jews and Believers
  • 17. Babylon is destroyed
  • 18. Antichrist summons the world’s armies to Armageddon
  • 19. Battle of Armageddon
  • 21. Return of Jesus Christ in Glory
  • 22. Antichrist and the False Prophet are thrown into the Lake of Fire
  • 23. Satan is bound for 1,000 years
  • 24. Resurrection of Tribulation martyrs

End of the 7-year Tribulation.

  • 25. Christ establishes His 1,000 kingdom.
  • 26. Satan is released after 1,000 years.
  • 27. Final Battle.
  • 28. Satan, Death, and Hell are cast into the Lake of Fire.
  • 29. Great White Throne Judgment (Final Judgment).
  • 30. New heaven and earth. Eternity begins.

So when people go on about their trials and tribulations, you might want to tell them to stop being so damn dramatic!

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4 Comments on “What’s a Tribulation?”

  • Lee
    29 July, 2009,

    Something to think about for sure. Although I tend to dismiss all the Christian drama regarding the “end of days”. The last line tied it all together much like “The Dude’s” rug in The Big Lebowski.
    Seeing the production still for that (awesome) Start Trek episode cracked me up! So thanks for that memory of watching it on a 1973 Zenith that weighed more than my pick up truck.

  • 30 July, 2009,

    One man’s tribulation is another man’s trial. I see opportunity in all those tribbles. I could revolutionize the food industry with Tribble bars, Tribble burgers, Tribble and Cream ice cream, and then there’s Tribble lined coats, fun at the shooting range, lucrative movie deals (think Beverly Hills Tribble) and of course the new and improved ShamWow (now with 20% more tribble).

  • Ian
    30 July, 2009,

    Unlike most Star Trek fans, I hated that episode. Moronic and not at all funny.

  • Stephanie
    8 August, 2009,

    Didn’t see it, but I love that picture… funny little stories are running through my head now.

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