(Matt. 24:21) "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." The word "then," speaks of the last half of the tribulation period which is called the "great tribulation." In scripture God divides the tribulation period into two 3 1/2 year time periods. The first 3 1/2 years of the tribulation is described as a time of peace, but it will also be a time of great deception for ant-Christ somehow convinces the entire world that he is the Messiah and this world's savior. The last 3 1/2 years however is called the "great tribulation" because anti-Christ begins to greatly persecute and exterminate all the true believers, as well as those that refuse his world-wide political, social, and religious system. These last 31/2 years will also be a time of "great judgment" because God will unleash His terrible wrath upon the people of this world for their unbelief and continued wickedness. How sad, that even during the last 3 1/2 years many will still refuse to believe in Jesus and "repent"(Rev. 16:9, 11). Thank God that the 7 yr. tribulation is not for the Church, for God promised us that we will not be here when it comes. But the question still remains, where will you be when it does come ?