ChristianAnswers.Net WebBible Encyclopedia
In Romans 2:9 “tribulation and anguish” are the penal sufferings that shall overtake the wicked.
Tribulation helps followers of Christ develop the virtue of patience—“and patience, experience; and experience, hope” (Romans 5:3). The Apostle Paul informed the Corinthian church that our merciful God comforted him and his companions “in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). For these reasons, Paul reported, “I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation” (2 Corinthians 7:4).
3½ years of very “great tribulation” on Earth will precede the coming Millennium of peace when the kingdom of God will become a physical reality on Earth for 1,000 years. During the Great Tribulation, Satan (the Great Deceiver of the whole world—Revelation 12:9) and his Anti-Christ will marshall a worldwide regime attempting to thwart God and His people. The Anti-Christ will falsely claim to be doing what is good and vital for mankind—a solver of difficult world problems. By forming a global totalitarian regime, he will gain control of the world’s food, energy, healthcare, all goods and services—a power monopoly, seemingly to bring peace and prosperity, but actually enormously evil. No one will be able to “buy or sell” without his “mark” (Revelation 13:17). Perhaps most will receive it gladly, due to many tempting benefits and advantages it offers. However, one of the Anti-Christ’s chief goals is to identify, find, and destroy all of God’s people—all who refuse his identifying “mark.” The Anti-Christ may use every means provided by modern technology to achieve his purposes, through global surveillance and continual analysis of global data networks—and through the efforts of millions of ungodly souls he will control and influence in his great deception.