Nelson Walters just wrote another great post at his gospelintheendtimes blog:
Get a taste from the excerpt below, after which I encourage you to read the rest of the article through the link above.
“The simple answer is when Jesus returns. But when does Jesus return? “When the Great Tribulation ends” is really a more complex question than most think.
The Great Tribulation is first mentioned by Jesus in the Olivet Discourse:
For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. (Matt. 24:21)
Let’s examine this verse a little closer. First, the Greek words for Great Tribulation are thlipsis megale which are best translated “widespread persecution.” This is a concept most have not considered. Many consider it “Great” in terms being worse. It is very hard to consider a worse situation than what Christians faced at the hands of ISIS, but it’s easy to consider it more widespread.
Second, although the indefinite article is found in NASB translation above, it is not found in the Greek. Jesus simply said, “For then there will be widespread persecution.”
When Jesus made this statement, he was quoting the prophet Daniel.
Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time. (Dan. 12:1)
From this we learn that the “time of distress” mentioned by Daniel is the Great Tribulation. And it begins when the archangel Michael arises. We’ll remember that for later. Daniel also tells us three things happen “at that time” or surrounding the time of the Great Tribulation….
If we’re going to figure out when the Great Tribulation ends, we need to figure out when it starts. We have several clues as to when this widespread persecution will begin. Jesus specifically mentions an event known as the Abomination of Desolation that must take place prior to the Great Tribulation. We learn the timing of this event in 70 Weeks Prophecy (also from Daniel).
And one week shall establish the covenant with many: and in the midst of the week my sacrifice and drink-offering shall be taken away: and on the temple shall be the abomination of desolation; and at the end of time an end shall be put to the desolation. (Dan. 9:27 LXX)…”
It’s well worth visiting Nelson Walters’ blog for the rest of this article, and others. He certainly does not share my conclusions that astronomical and biblical clues point to Christ’s return and marriage to His bride during Hanukkah in late December 2019 as I suggested in End Times and 2019 – but despite all the signs that align for that timing – I could be wrong to assume anything will happen so soon.
(I also like this article, from which Nelson may have gotten the image used above.)