I remember growing up in a traditional church and hearing constantly that tribulation was coming to the world but that Christians would not experience it, because we would be raptured out of the world.
This was an encouraging thought. Who "likes" to under go tribulation and difficulty. The thought of avoiding it all together made practical sense to me. Unfortunately, many have become ill prepared to deal with tribulation and persecution for our association with the gospel in the here and now.
Even today, I wonder how many teens or young adults would be able to stand in the face of a Taliban soldier or a governmental authority and say with confidence, "I will not deny the gospel of Jesus; He is the Christ, the son of the living God", when faced with a sword or an AK-47. We need to be prepared for the worst, even if we are hoping for the best.
This article illustrates some of my concern (Here). It is becoming apparent that soon freedom of speech and religious liberty will be rained by limiting what we can say about common hot button issues, like homosexuality. This pastor was arrested for a conviction of the words of God. Are we willing to risk being arrested for standing with God's will and word? What if becomes illegal to even suggest that Jesus is the only way of salvation? Are you ready for that? Are your children?
Whether you believe that you will be present for the Great, bit T Tribulation is not worth arguing about. However, scripture does teach us that we WILL face tribulation as we stand for Christ and His Gospel. The early church was dragged into coliseums for entertainment as lions mauled them to death. Others were crucified like our Lord. Others were burned at the stake or thrown into rivers with weights tied to their bodies. Men and women through out history have suffered great tribulation and persecution for one thing: Standing for Jesus Christ and His Gospel of Salvation.
Are you the exception or the rule?