Much effort has gone into understanding the sequence of events of the Great Tribulation, but very little has gone into examining the reasons for it. This study is an attempt to examine the reasons for such a terrible judgment.
A Summary of Man’s Rebellion
As a whole, Man has rejected every opportunity that God has given him to demonstrate his trust in Him by obedience to Him. The rejection of God and His guidance is the “mother” of every other form of evil, key aspects of which are dealt with in this study.
Rejection of God and His Guidance
Man’s rejection of God and His guidance began when our first parents rejected the one command that God had given them. It continued with Cain’s rejection of God’s admonition to offer up the proper sacrifice for sin, and on through Cain’s murder of Abel until the wickedness on earth was so great that God destroyed mankind with a flood except for Noah, his wife, their three sons and their three wives.
Continuous Mass Murder of Millions Created in God’s Image and Likeness
Having begun afresh with a new and righteous patriarch, God commanded, “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man” (Genesis 9:6), thereby putting the fear of capital punishment into mankind for murder. Yet, man has never ceased to murder and kill by means of abortions, because of personal vendettas, and on mass scales with the most modern weaponry.
Rejection of Capital Punishment for Murder
Despite God’s command to execute murderers, by the end of 2012, eighty-six of the world’s two hundred countries had departed from the Noahic mandate and abandoned the death penalty for all crimes. 
The Beginning of Institutional Occultism and False Religions The Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:9) was built to seek guidance from the stars instead of the Creator; and Romans 1:21-23 in conjunction with 1 Corinthians 10:19-20 tells us that it is only a step from the turning to creation for guidance to idolatry and the worship of Satan and demons. The Tower of Babel was the institutional fountainhead of all the false and demonic religions and philosophies in the world.
The Call and the Failure of Israel
With the Tower of Babel, God divided mankind into nations by means of multiplying their languages, and out of those nations He called out the nation of Israel to be His fountainhead of holiness and salvation to the rest of the world. Though Israel brought forth the Scriptures and the Messiah, they fell into idolatry for protracted periods of time and rejected their Messiah.
Rejection of the Necessity to Bless Israel
Though Israel rejected their Messiah, God has not rejected them (Romans 11:29) and He will yet use them mightily. Because of His special call on Israel, He announced to Abraham, “I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse” (Genesis 12:3). Scripture records that God did bless and curse individuals and nations according to the manner in which they treated Israel and individual Jews (e.g., Genesis 39:1-5, 41:55-57; Obadiah 1:10; Zechariah 12:9), and Jesus prophesied that He will judge the sheep and goat Gentiles on the basis of how they will treat “these brothers of mine” (Matthew 25:31-46).
How have the nations treated Israel? Egypt tossed Israeli male newborns into the Nile, and Israel was invaded by Assyria, Babylon, Greece and Rome and was dispersed by Rome to the four corners of the earth where it has, in turn, suffered great and continuous. Since Israel’s reestablishment as a nation in 1948 they have fought four major defensive wars, are continually defending themselves against attacks of lesser scope, and are continually being pressured by the world to give up more and more land to surrounding nations and militant groups that are sworn to their destruction. Surely the overall level of anti-Semitism through the ages will be a factor in God’s judgment of the world.
Zechariah 2.8: “For thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘After glory He has sent me against the nations which plunder you, for he who touches you, touches the apple [pupil] of His eye.’”
Joel 3.2: “I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. Then I will enter into judgment with them there on behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; and they have divided up My land.”
Note the last phrase in light of today’s political efforts to further divide the Land of Israel.
Call and Failure of the Church
Though God has not rejected Israel and will yet use them mightily, on the Day of Pentecost He began to call out a “new man” (Ephesians 2:15), the church, composed of all believers, “whether Jews or Greeks” (1 Corinthians 12:13), to be His ministers to the world. He commanded, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations” (Matthew 28:19-20).
Corollary to this command to the church is this command to the hearers of the gospel: “God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent” (Acts 17:30); but despite the fact that the gospel has already penetrated most of the world, only a small percent of the world’s population has received it.
Indeed, major world religions and numerous national governments oppose it. As for the visible church, its history is rife with self-aggrandizement and has engaged in such horrors as military conquests, forced conversions, and mass persecutions of Jews and true believers. Much of it has embraced the imperial power structure of the world with its pretension, pomp, ostentation and gaudiness, and has turned apostate, denying the very basics of the gospel.
2 Timothy 3.1-5: “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power.”
Rejection of the Dominion Mandate
God commanded Noah and his descendants, “be fruitful and multiply; populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it” (Genesis 9:7), repeating what He had commanded Adam and Eve before the Fall (Genesis 1:28). This “dominion mandate” was a commission to Man to take stewardship of the resources that God had provided for the blessing of mankind and the glory of God.
Man has not carried out the dominion mandate; in fact, at Babel, he rebelled directly against it: “Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth” (Genesis 11:4).
Though vast areas of the earth have been populated and much of its resources have been brought into the service of mankind, vast areas remain unpopulated while in hundreds of thousands of cities and towns people are stacked in layers in apartment buildings, condominiums and office buildings; nor has as much of earth’s resources been brought under control for the elimination of disease, hunger and homelessness as could have been. Counterproductively, much of the earth has been decimated and polluted.
Imagine the progress that could have been made if the trillions of dollars that nations and individuals have invested in warfare, defense and security been invested in housing, agriculture, industry and medical research. Eskimos have learned to live in the Arctic; Arabs have learned live in the desert; and as for turning such forbidding places into productive food-bearing areas, and the seas into fish and vegetable farms, look what Israel has done with its malarial swamps and much of its deserts since the latter half of the nineteenth century, even while defending itself against annihilation.
A former forest ranger wrote me the following in February of 1999:
All the population of the world could be placed on a chair with plenty of elbowroom within the city limits of Jacksonville, Florida. The Mesopotamian Plain, between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, if irrigated (as it was in Nebuchadnezzar’s day) could raise enough food to feed the population of the world. The arable land in the rest of the world is more than adequate to feed the whole population of the world.
If Man had allowed God to take the lead he could easily have fulfilled the dominion mandate by now without ravaging and poisoning much of the earth as he has.
Rejection of God’s Order for the Family
A healthy family unit is necessary for the optimum well-being and spiritual influence of its members, and is most conducive for the bearing and nurturing of future generations who can, by number and spiritual health and maturity, best fulfill the dominion mandate and the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). The family unit begins with one man and one woman committed to be sexually and emotionally faithful to one another and to bless one another for life.
While monogamous marriage is not explicitly mandated in Scripture, it is that form of marriage that God established in Eden, honored when He selected four monogamous couples to board the ark, upheld as the picture of marital happiness in Psalm 128:1-6 and Proverbs 31, honored by the births of John the Baptist and Jesus, upheld as the picture of Christ and His church in Ephesians 5:22-31, and is, without exception, that form that is upheld as ideal by Jesus and the New Testament writers (Matthew 19:8-9; Ephesians 5:22-27; 1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6).
In contrast, Deuteronomy 17:17 says that a king “shall not multiply wives for himself,” and Scripture graphically reveals the strife that is so easily engendered in polygamous or polygamy-like relationships in the story of Abraham, Hagar and Sarah (Genesis 16-18, 21), and in the childbearing olympiad between Rachel and Leah (Genesis 29:31-30:24).
Has Man adhered to the ideal model of marriage and of wholesome childrearing? Of course he hasn’t.
The world is filled with fornication, homosexuality, adultery, polygamy, divorce, abortion and infanticide, all of which are destructive of the family unit and the carrying out of the dominion mandate and Great Commission, and all of which are denounced by Scripture or, in the case of polygamy, shown in a negative light. It should be noted that God destroyed Sodom, Gomorrah and the cities of the Dead Sea valley because of widespread homosexual practice (Genesis 18:16 – 19:29), and that by May 14, 2013, the day that this paragraph was written, fourteen nations of the world had legalized same sex marriage. 
God’s Judgment for Man’s Evil
God delayed Israel’s exodus from Egypt, return to Canaan and conquest of its inhabitants because “the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete” (Genesis 15:16). The day will come when the iniquity of our present world will be “complete” and Man will have demonstrated that he is hopelessly wicked and incapable of establishing anything approaching an edenic earth without God yet—he will not repent. Then will come the Great Tribulation:
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18).
It will be a judgment so severe as to destroy every ungodly manmade institution and humble mankind to the point where multitudes will to turn to God, including every Jew alive at the end of it (Jeremiah 31:34; Zechariah 13:1; Romans 11:26) and clear the way for the establishment of Messiah’s one-thousand-year Kingdom, in which “the law will go forth from Zion and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:3).
1. Robinson, B.A. “The Death Penalty.” Religious Tolerance. August 14, 2012. http://www.religioustolerance.org/executh.htm.
2. Lior, Ilan. “As France becomes 14th country to approve same-sex marriage, Israel still lags behind.” Haaretz May 15, 2013. http://www.haaretz.com/news/world/as-france-becomes-14th-country-to-approve-same-sex-marriage-israel-still-lags-behind.premium-1.517358.
All Scripture quotes are from the New American Standard Bible.