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Throughout human history, mankind has experienced a great deal of turmoil and pain. Recent history is replete with events that occurred for various reasons which, when studied from afar are not only hard to forget, but also impossible to imagine. World War I, together with the Spanish Flu resulted in the deaths of 50 to 100 million lives (1914-1920). The Holodomor or the Ukrainian Genocide, a man-made famine instigated by Josef Stalin killed between 7.5 to 10 million people between 1932 to 1933. The Holocaust resulted in the deaths of 6 million Jews in a span of a few short years, with many more millions slaughtered during the WWII. The Great Chinese Famine claimed the lives of at least 45 million people in just 4 years (1958-1962). The brutal Khmer Rouge Regime murdered between 2.5 and 3 million Cambodians (21% of the entire population) between 1975 and 1979, following the Vietnam War. The list can go on but the point is clear - human sin always expressed itself and resulted in great acts of strife and murder.

However painful and deadly the incidents mentioned above proved to be, they do not compare with what God has in store for the earth and those who dwell in it at the end of the age. During the Olivet Discourse, Jesus said, "For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will" (Matt 24:21). He was referring to the second half of the Tribulation Period, the last three and a half years, known as the Great Tribulation. This period will be unlike any other when God will judge the wicked and bring human history one step closer to its final destination - eternity, which will be spent radically different depending on whether you're a lover of Christ or not.

The days of the Great Tribulation will be marked by unparalleled treachery. During the midpoint of this seven-year period, the Antichrist will break his covenant with the nation of Israel, ending the sacrifices in the rebuilt temple (Dan 9:27). He will desecrate the temple and display himself as god (2 Thess 2:3-4). As a result, the last three and a half years will be marked by intense persecution, since he will wage war against the people of God. These days will also be the time of severe judgment upon all the people when God pours out His wrath upon mankind for their idolatry and unrepentant sin (Rev 6-16).

The study of the end time events should motivate us unto greater holiness.  Apostle John sought to stimulate the believers' pursuit of holiness by reminding them of Christ's imminent return (1 John 3:1-3). It should also excite our outreach to the unbelieving world around us, to call them to "the throne of grace" (Heb 4:16) in order to avoid the "great white throne" (Rev 20:11) of judgment.