The Nature of the Tribulation: A Day of Vengeance and Wrath

The following eleven passages, underscored by six words in bold—wrath, indignation, vengeance, retribution, judgment, and punishment—reveals to us the Tribulation’s primary basis, which is the righteous anger and judgment of God on an unrepentant sinful people. Hence, here is the Tribulation’s truest and most basic nature.

Deuteronomy 32:34-35

‘Is it not laid up in store with Me,

Sealed up in My treasuries?

35 ‘Vengeance is Mine, and retribution,

In due time their foot will slip;

For the day of their calamity is near,

And the impending things are hastening upon them.’

Isaiah 24:21-22

So it will happen in that day,

That the Lord will punish the host of heaven, on high,

And the kings of the earth, on earth.

22 And they will be gathered together

Like prisoners in the dungeon,

And will be confined in prison;

And after many days they will be punished.

In the climatic moments of the Tribulation, when the foundations of the earth are violently shaken (v. 19), God will punish evil angels as well as evil men.

Isaiah 26:20-21

Come, my people, enter into your rooms,

And close your doors behind you; Hide for a little while,

Until indignation runs its course.

21 For behold, the Lord is about to come out from His place

To punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity;

And the earth will reveal her bloodshed,

And will no longer cover her slain.

During the Tribulation many will be saved, and many of those will be Jews. Here “my people” I think are referring to believing Jews. They are told to hide in their rooms until the indignation is finished (until God’s wrath is over). This implies that they will be spared of His wrath during the Tribulation. But all unbelievers will face His punishment.

Isaiah 34:8

For the Lord has a day of vengeance,

A year of recompense for the cause of Zion.

Isaiah 35:4

Say to those with anxious heart,

“Take courage, fear not.

Behold, your God will come with vengeance;

The recompense of God will come,

But He will save you.”

God will save and protect all who call upon Him, even when it is in the Tribulation. And He will come with vengeance against the unsaved evil ones.

Daniel 11:35-36

 “And some of those who have insight will fall, in order to refine, purge, and make them pure, until the end time; because it is still to come at the appointed time.

36 “Then the king will do as he pleases, and he will exalt and magnify himself above every god, and will speak monstrous things against the God of gods; and he will prosper until the indignation is finished, for that which is decreed will be done.

“The king” here is the Antichrist. He will remain alive to do his evil works all through the Tribulation—until God’s indignation is finished.

Zephaniah 1:15, 18

15 A day of wrath is that day,

A day of trouble and distress,

A day of destruction and desolation,

A day of darkness and gloom,

A day of clouds and thick darkness,

18 Neither their silver nor their gold

Will be able to deliver them

On the day of the Lord’s wrath;

And all the earth will be devoured

In the fire of His jealousy,

For He will make a complete end,

Indeed a terrifying one,

Of all the inhabitants of the earth.

Revelation 6:15-17

And the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; 16 and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; 17 for the great day of their wrath has come; and who is able to stand?”

Revelation 14:7

and he said with a loud voice, “Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters.”

This is the message of a holy angel as he flies across the sky. It is a warning to repent before the bowl judgments come (Rev. 16).

Revelation 14:9-10

 And another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or upon his hand, 10 he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb…”

This aspect of the Tribulation, God’s vengeance and wrath, will be the most troublesome for people, and what they will fear the most (see Rev. 6:16). The entire seven years of tribulation will be based on God’s wrath; and the last three and one-half years (called the Great Tribulation) will be especially difficult. In fact, the seven-bowl judgments during that time span (Rev. 16:1-21), are symbolic of the “bowls of the wrath of God.” Hence, we may picture it as the constant and unrelenting wrath of God being poured out on the earth.

True or False Judgment – Matthew 7:1-5

In this seventh chapter of Matthew, in His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus talks about judging others—or criticizing and condemning others.

Matthew 7:1-5

“Do not judge lest you be judged. 2 “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3 “And why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5 “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

Just previously (in chapter 6) Jesus spoke on worry. Now He turns to judging others. This is an interesting transition—from worry to judging others. But I think this is what we tend to do in our sins. At first, we think inwardly at all we have to do and worry about it; then we will turn our sins and frustrations outward toward others. Thus, when we get tired of looking inwardly at ourselves, we try to console ourselves and make ourselves look and feel better by condemning others. How sad.

But Jesus sets us straight as to what is going on. First of all, He tells us that whenever we point the finger at others, the same judgment will be pointed back at us—by others, and also, more importantly, by God.

His judgment will come to Christians in three ways:

1. There will be a final and eternal judgment to determine if you are really a true believer or not. If your name is found in the book of life then you are saved from eternal hell; if not, then you are not really a Christian at all and you will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:11-15).

2. There is a judgment for disobedience and sin. Scripture tells us that some are judged with sickness and even death; and in some cases, God will deliver them to Satan to let him carry out His will (1 Cor. 5:5).

3. When He comes to take believers to heaven there will be a judgment of rewards, where our works will be manifest (1 Cor. 3). And this judgment is so important because it will affect us for eternity.

So, we should be careful about judging others, because God will certainly judge us. And that judgment will be just. And interestingly, it will be measured to us by the same standard we use on others (v. 2).

Romans 2:1 says, “In whatever you judge another you condemn yourselves; for you who judge practice the same things.” Isn’t that interesting. Paul is saying that whatever we are guilty of, we tend to condemn others of.

James 3:1 says, “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. Here, similarly, God judges us with the same judgment we set for others.

Looking at verses 3 and 4 of Matthew 7, we see that we, in many cases, should not be judging others at all because we are incapable of doing it. We can’t do it because we are not right in ourselves. If we were really concerned about righteousness in others, we would deal with that same sin in ourselves.

What Is True Judgment?

Yes, there is a true or correct judgment. What does it look like?

1. In true judgment there is no prejudice or personal element. It is an objective judgment based on principles of truth, not on personalities.

2. In true or correct judgment the one who judges will first judge himself. A great singer or actor is always more critical of himself than others. A good judge sets the correct standard for others. In fact, one who is good at his game, say a Mikael Jordan, does not need to say anything to others. His good game will say more than any words will ever say. But if he does give his team mates any words of correction, believe me, they will listen!

3. True judgment cares about the righteousness of God, in others and in the one judging. The true judge has already dealt with sin in himself and sees clearly to help another.

God Will Rescue the Godly and Punish the Wicked – 2 Peter 2:1-9

This passage (2 Peter 2:1-9, at the end) has brought me great comfort in these evil times, knowing that God will rescue and comfort me, but that He will not allow the wicked to go unpunished!

For the last few years, since I have been more tuned in to political things, and paying more attention to what is happening in the world, and particularly in America, I have been grieved and distressed by all the evil going on. It seems like the entire democrat party was, and is, out to get the President with a variety of unjust practices, including an unjust impeachment. Such hatred and lawlessness and lying—particularly by Adam Shift, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and Jerry Nadler. And such underhandedness and corruption and evil scheming by the former president Barack Obama, and also by the Clintons. Then we have seen the continual attacks by Antifa and BLM and all that they stand for: their supporting of homosexuality and queers and transgender folks, and their attacks against the traditional family and against the police.

And now, in just the last few days we have seen an election falsified, and the entire democrat party and all the media will not admit to it. And this for me is the most egregious, because if it isn’t corrected, we could see America fall in no time at all. With what we see now in the Democrat party, how evil it has become, in no time at all we will lose our constitution to liberalism; and lawlessness and homosexuality will be what is normal. Hence, all that was good about America will be gone. Rioting, lawlessness and lasciviousness will take its place. It will be just like the ancient world before the flood and like Sodom and Gomorrah.

But after reading 2 Peter 2:1-9, I feel so much better. This passage gives me perspective and assures me with comfort that He will save me out of it all, and will keep all the unrighteous ones like prisoners, awaiting their final eternal prison. Yes, this passage reminds us of how God did not spare the fallen angels, or the evil ancient world, but destroyed all of them, except Noah and his family in the great flood. And then later He destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and turned them into heaps of ashes. Thus, He made an example of what will happen to ungodly people.

My contentment and comfort now is realizing that just as God rescued Lot out of Sodom, and how at the same time He rightly judged the evil ones, He will surely do the same for America. He will comfort the righteous and will bring His righteous judgment on all who are evil—on all those that I have been grieved over. Yes, none of those who plotted evil will get away with it. Their punishment awaits them!!

Here is the passage I have been talking about:

2 Peter 2:1-9

 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. 2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; 3 and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. 4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment; 5 and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; 6 and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly thereafter; 7 and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men 8 (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day with their lawless deeds), 9 then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment.