What is the Purpose of the Great Tribulation?
There are three main purposes for the Great Tribulation. The first of these purposes is to make an end of wickedness and wicked ones.
“The earth is utterly broken, the earth is rent asunder, the earth is shaken violently. The earth shall stagger like a drunken man, and shall sway to and fro like a hammock; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it, and it shall fall, and not rise again” (Isaiah 24:19-20).
The closing words of this verse state that the basic reason for the judgments of the Tribulation is that the transgression worldwide shall fall and not rise again. Its purpose is to make an end of wickedness.
The second purpose of the Tribulation is to bring about a worldwide revival. This purpose is given and fulfilled in Revelation 7:1-17. In this passage, John states that 12,000 Jews will be selected from each of the Twelve Tribes, adding up to a total of 144,000 Jews. It is by means of these Jewish evangelists that God will bring about the worldwide revival and accomplish another goal of the Tribulation.
The third purpose of the Tribulation is to break the power or the stubborn will of the Jewish nation. The Tribulation will continue and will not end until this happens. So from this, the third purpose of the Tribulation can be deduced: God intends to break the power of the holy people in order to bring about a national regeneration. The means by which God will perform this is given in Ezekiel 20:33-38. In this passage, Ezekiel draws a simile with the Exodus. After God gathers the Jews from around the world, He will enter into a period of judgment (the Tribulation) with them. The rebels among the Jewish people will be purged out by this judgment. Only then will the whole new nation, a regenerate nation, be allowed to enter the Promised Land under King Messiah.
EDITOR’S NOTE: For more on this read Dr Fruchtenbaum’s book The Footsteps of the Messiah: A Study of the Sequence of Prophetic Events.