A common opinion in Catholic eschatology divides the tribulation into two parts: a lesser tribulation, followed by a respite from the sufferings, ending with a greater tribulation. The Antichrist and the Return of Jesus Christ occur in the greater (or second part of the) tribulation.
I agree with this general outline for the tribulation. And I consider that the first and second parts of the tribulation (the lesser and the greater) are separated by a few hundred years. So the second part of the tribulation is not for this generation. However, I think that the first part of the tribulation begins soon, within the next several years, and it continues until the Three Days of Darkness in late March of 2040.
I’m not certain when the first part of the tribulation begins. It might begin in 2018, or sometime within the next several years. Originally, I believed that the Warning, Consolation, and Miracle occurred first, and then the first part of the tribulation unfolded with World War 3 as the first Seal and first horseman of the Book of Revelation. But now that seems somewhat uncertain. It still makes more sense to me, if the Warning occurs as the very first event, in anticipation of the War. However, no date in the near future fits my understanding of that timing, and yet events are moving rapidly toward the tribulation.
One sign that the tribulation is near is the approach of the great apostasy. There will be a great departure from the Catholic Faith, and from the Christian Faith more generally, in each part of the tribulation. Current circumstances indicate that the great apostasy of the first part of the tribulation begins with a conservative schism. Thus, when conservative Catholics accuse Pope Francis of heresy, and formally break communion with him, then the first movement toward the great apostasy will be accomplished. And that event would indicate that other events of the tribulation are very near.
Another indication that the tribulation is near is the rise to power of the Islamic extremists. Some prophecies, even from hundreds of years ago, state that the Muslims will invade and conquer Europe. That is also my opinion.
More specifically, I believe that Iran will obtain nuclear weapons (they may have them already), and then Iran will unite with Iraq, led by ISIS. They will make a formal pact, and the other Arab/Muslim nations of the Middle East and northern Africa will unite behind them. Then they will attack the U.S. (specifically New York City) with a nuclear bomb, initiating World War 3.
For now, we are certainly on the threshold of the tribulation. So many Catholics, especially online, speak with great pride. They exalt their own foolish opinions and propose rationalizations for grave sin. They act as if there were no God, or as if God does not judge and punish. When the tribulation begins, they will be struck to their very core. Pride goeth before a fall.
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