7:14 great tribulation. Many identify the “great tribulation” with a final period of persecution shortly before the Second Coming. But tribulations for Christians occur throughout the church age, so that the whole age can also be characterized as a time of tribulation (2 Thess. 1:5, 6; 2 Tim. 3:1, 12). The passage was intended to comfort first-century Christians as well as those in the final crisis. See note 11:2.