“Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.”
As believers, we’re going to go through hardships. In fact, trials are part of the Christian life. James tells us to rejoice when we go through trials (see James 1:2–4). And Jesus said, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 NLT).
But there is a difference between these and the Great Tribulation. The Great Tribulation is a seven-year period that is coming upon the earth in which God will judge humanity. And as a Christian, I do not expect to go through that time.
In 2 Peter 2, we find an argument that Peter laid down for the fact that Christ will deliver us from the Great Tribulation: “And God did not spare the ancient world—except for Noah and the seven others in his family. . . . Later, God condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and turned them into heaps of ashes. . . . But God also rescued Lot out of Sodom because he was a righteous man who was sick of the shameful immorality of the wicked people around him. . . . So you see, the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials, even while keeping the wicked under punishment until the day of final judgment” (verses 5–7, 9 NLT).
Peter was saying, “Look, God delivered Noah and Lot. In the same way, Christ will come for His church before this judgment falls upon Earth.”
It’s important to note that we cannot find any instance in the Scriptures where God, when He was judging nonbelievers, also poured out His judgment upon His people. They always were spared and delivered.
God will protect His people. The Bible tells us, “For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:9 NKJV). He will rescue us before this time of judgment comes.