This is probably one of the most troubling questions circulating in the churched and non-churched community. It is a source of great fear for many, and though it may seem so at times, we are definitely not in the tribulation.
In Revelation 6 verse 8: And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
Whether one takes this to mean the geographical 1/4th part, or a fourth part of the living people on the earth, it still represents an extremely LARGE portion of the population of the earth. If this many people had died there is no way that the media would or could keep this a secret from you. Everyone in the entire world would know about it.
This event occurs in the beginning of the tribulation, it has not happened, thus the tribulation is not here yet ... and that's a fact!
Can we know when the Rapture will be?
Their is no end to the number of persons who have tried to predict the day of the Rapture, however one doesn't need to travel any further than their bedroom to open their Bible to find out that No man knows the day nor the hour.
This isn't to say that we cannot know the times and the seasons, but one has to have an overview to understand God's focus in these times. The ministry of Jesus Christ was to the people of Israel, the Jews. Keep this in mind when you read prophecy in the Bible.
The Jewish people as a nation do not really wake up until the wicked antichrist sacrifices a pig on the alter in a wing of the Temple. This happens in the midst of the Tribulation. Jewish people have always sought after a sign, and this is a big one.
Once this occurs then they will have an incredible understanding of when the physical return of Christ will occur. This is of course happens near the end of the tribulation. But what about us?
The truth is that we have been given some serious clues. The clearest of them is before our feet now .... and in our newspapers. In Daniel 9:27 we read: And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
The he is referring to the antichrist, the covenant is referring to an agreement, the week is referring to the 7 year Tribulation, and the midst of the week is referring to approximate middle of the Tribulation.
So we are looking for an 7 year agreement that is to be confirmed by the antichrist. The word confirmed has also been translated as one being a witness to an event as in the case of the witnesses that sign a marriage document.
We don't know who the many are exactly, but we can certainly see numerous people moving to pressure Israel into signing such a treaty. We know that Israel is one of the parties to the treaty. And we know via scripture that the antichrist will not be revealed until this treaty is signed.
We also know that the antichrist is not someone whose identity is known to Christians. Immediately upon the signing of this treaty the rapture will occur.
Today in Israel there is tremendous pressure focused on the Jews to sign on to such a treaty for peace. The entire world is involved in this matter, thus, it will not be long.
So can we know the times and the seasons? Not only can we know them, but we are commanded to know them, and to watch and pray. Those times and seasons are upon us now, the rapture is about to happen, and that's a fact!
Is the Tribulation time the same as what some call a Wrath period?
The short answer is YES both terms refer to the same time period. This particular controversy came up only recently when some studying prophecy could not make all the pieces of the puzzle fit into place. The real fact is that when God's Word seems confusing we should be patient and look to the Holy Spirit for guidance. But it seems many people are just like many Doctors are. They will do anything except tell you they simply don't know.
In John 3:36 we read: He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
The Christian believeth on the Son and thus hath everlasting life AND does not have the wrath of God upon him/her. The tribulation is all about the wrath of God. One has to study the focus and events of the Tribulation in order to understand it's purpose.
It's main purpose is chastisement of the children of Israel for the purpose of bringing them back to worshipping the one true God of their fathers, whom we know as the Lord Jesus Christ. Since we are delivered from the wrath to come ... it is also clear that we shall be gone before the Tribulation begins.
Reference also: 1Thessalonians 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
Rev 6:16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
This is speaking of the time in the beginning of the tribulation .... the Lamb is Jesus Christ Himself, it is the Tribulation, it is also the time of Wrath, and that's a fact!