When looking at the entire great Week, the 2,000 years of the Church Age are Days 5 and 6. Jesus referred to these same two great Days as Today and Tomorrow, followed by our Third Day Perfection (resurrection). He focused our attention on the last Days only since they impact His Body the most.
When Jesus taught about the rapture for the first time, He likewise focused on Today and Tomorrow. He described the signs we would see during the two Days, including the final sign that would signal the end of this age (the six Days of mankind).
Matthew 24:3-14 lists the signs: wars, rumors of war, nation rising against nation and kingdom against kingdom, lawlessness abounding, the love of many growing cold, persecution, false christs and false religions. Jesus reveals this same list in the vision He gave John in the book of Revelation. They parallel the first five trumpets of Revelation 6. Notice in both cases these troubles and tribulations extend across the entire Church Age. So does the outpouring of God’s Spirit that enables us to overcome these trials!
Jesus affirms the extended nature of these tribulations in Matthew 24:29, when He gives us the final sign of the end of this age. He begins with, “immediately after the tribulation of those Days.” Then He describes what shall follow to signal the end. “The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” Unlike the blood moons and solar and lunar eclipses, the final sign will bring total darkness everywhere on earth. There’s no missing this sign!
What He says will happen next confirms the timing even further—it is when Christ appears at the sound of the trumpet to gather His Body, His Bride (1 Corinthians 15:51-53). The rapture comes as the 7th Day dawns. It is the Appointed Day, the Age to Come, and Christ’s Millennial Reign.
The bottom line is this: The Church has always existed in the tribulation. We need not fear a future great tribulation. Paul reminds us in Romans 8:37 that in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. As Christ’s Body and Bride, we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony (Rev. 12:11).