Charles R. Erdman- On The Great Tribulation

(from The Gospel of Matthew: An Exposition, 1920)

Before the reappearing of Christ, the opposition to his followers, their sufferings and distresses will reach their climax in a “great tribulation” which immediately precedes the appearing of the King. This event is painted so vividly in colors borrowed from the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, that it is difficult to distinguish between the references to the two events. The sign which immediately precedes the beginning of the great tribulation is described as “the abomination of desolation.” In the case of the destruction of Jerusalem, this is supposed by many to have been the royal standards, or the Roman armies; but in the case of the tribulation at the end of the age, it is understood to refer to the appearance of “antichrist,” the “man of sin,” to whom the other New Testament writers refer. It is under his rule and tyranny that that there will be “great tribulation, such as hath not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever shall be.” Were it not for the divine intervention that has been determined, it would appear that none would survive this reign of savagery and horror. As men yearn for escape and deliverance they will be misled easily by the many false christs and false prophets who will manifest such signs and wonders as to lead astray the very followers of Christ. The servants of the King, however, should not be misled. They are not to look for a human deliverer who is to be found in the wilderness nor in any secret place of the city. Their Deliverer is to appear from heaven; His coming is to be “as the lightning cometh forth from the east, and is seen even unto the west.” It will bring with it judgment upon His enemies and destruction to all who are morally corrupt and the servants of evil, for “Wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.”

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