“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.”
As we see in Daniel 12:1 and Jeremiah 30:7, Bible prophecy points to an unprecedented time of trouble before Jesus Christ’s return. Based on Jesus’ description here, it has come to be known as the Great Tribulation.
Jesus identifies this as a time when humanity will be capable of annihilating itself. This was not possible before the development and stockpiling of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction late in the last century. Ever-more destructive weapons are constantly being developed, and we have devised or inadvertently contributed to additional ways of destroying ourselves.
Thankfully Jesus adds that He will cut those days short for the sake of His elect—His chosen followers who love His appearing and keep His commandments and proclaim His message of the good news of His Kingdom (2 Timothy 4:8; John 14:15; Revelation 14:12; Matthew 24:14).
Read more about the promised Kingdom of God and the elect’s role in preparing for it in our booklet The Mystery of the Kingdom.