Nowhere in this chapter was the Lord referring to the great tribulation, but He was referring to tribulation caused by persecution, which He Himself experienced. This is in context with what He mentioned earlier in the 15th and 16th chapters. The precise meaning of the word world here is that part which refers to the affairs of the ungodly men; to the humanistic system which is at odds with God (Matt. 18: 7; John 15: 19; I John 4:5). The proof of that is in the words, be of good cheer, I have overcome the world! For the ruler of this world [Satan] is judged and condemned and sentence already is passed upon him (John 16: 11); YAHSHUA also mentioned that the judgment of this world was coming on this world and the ruler of this world shall be cast out (John 12:1). Satan tries to destroy the work of God and His servants through means of persecution. But YAHSHUA encourages His disciples by saying, Be of good cheer, I have overcome the devil, his world and all that pertains to him. He is a defeated foe and under condemnation. Even though the disciples were to suffer tribulation, that only meant persecution, or any other form of earthly suffering. For the same people who handled their Messiah to the Gentiles to be killed by their choice of death- by crucifixion, even though it was not practiced by the nation, they, with certainty, were going to persecute His disciples also. This is the kind of tribulation He was preparing His disciples for. He told them in John chapter 15, If you belonged to the world, the world would treat you with affection and would love you as its own. But because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, the world hated you. Remember that I told you, a servant is not greater that his master. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you… (vs. 19-20a).
The world and its system are under the power of Satan. That’s why the world hates those who love YAHSHUA and follow His teachings. Satan’s and his world’s enmity are directly against YAHSHUA when they persecute a believer. Therefore, when YAHSHUA warned the disciples that they were going to have tribulation, it did not constitute the great tribulation, since that is the wrath of God; He did not say, In the world you will go through the wrath of God. Other times when He referred to the great tribulation, He warned the disciples saying, Keep awake then and watch at all times praying that you may have the full strength and ability and be accounted worthy to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man (Luke 21: 36). He also spoke of preparedness, as we see in the Matthews 24:42,44: Watch therefore, for you do not know in what kind of a day your Lord is coming… you also must be ready therefore, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not expect Him. And in chapter 25:13: watch therefore, for you know neither the day, nor the hour When the Son of Man will come.
YAHSHUA was definitely not warning His disciples against the wrath of His Father. That is an absolute spiritual absurdity for one to conclude that. Just remember that time alone with His disciples was to comfort and prepare them for ministry. The suffering that had been ordained for men under the wrath of God, He Himself took it away and placed upon His Son, because they had believed and accepted Him. Isaiah so confirms this: Yet it was the will of the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief and made Him sick; Verse 6: All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord has made to light upon Him the guilt and iniquity of us all. God had allowed Him to suffer affliction to the point of death, even to suffer the pain of hell, as we read it in Psalms 22: 1: My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? For this reason, He came, so that we may no longer be under the wrath of God, be it through the great tribulation or hell. Therefore, since we are now justified by Christ’s blood, how much more we shall be saved by Him from the indignation and wrath of God (Rom. 5: 9): …We were then by nature children of [God’s] wrath and heirs of [His] indignation, like the rest of mankind (Eph. 2:3b); And [how you] look forward to and await the coming of His Son from heaven, Whom He raised from the dead- YAHSHUA, Who personally rescues and delivers us out of and from the wrath which is coming [upon the impenitent] and draws us to Himself (I Th. 1:10); for God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain [His] salvation through our Lord YAHSHUA the Messiah, Who died for us so that whether we are still alive or are dead, we might live together with Him and share His life (I Th. 5:9-10).
In His priestly prayer, YAHSHUA prayed, I do not ask that You will take them out of the world, but that You will keep and protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world [just] as I am not of the world (John 17:15-16). Again, the Lord YAHSHUA was not implying that He was willing to leave us on earth to suffer His wrath, when He said, “I do not ask that You will take them out of the world,” for YAHSHUA needed the believers to spread the Gospel to the entire world to fulfill the purpose of God in constituting the body of Christ- His bride, the church. Although Satan over the years tried and still tries to destroy this plan of God by persecuting and killing Christians, YAHSHUA assured the disciples that His church was going to be built on Him the Rock and the gates of Hades shall not over power it (Matt. 16: 18). YAHSHUA, not Peter, was the Gibraltar like rock, symbolized by its strength and stability. Paul said that we are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ YAHSHUA the chief Cornerstone. In Him the whole structure is joined together harmoniously, and it continues to rise into a holy temple in the Lord (Ep. 2:20).
In conclusion my brother and sister in Christ, know that tribulation that you and I will be facing in this world will be from the world itself and all that it represents, and not the Wrath of God. Be comforted therefore, with these words from YAHSHUA: be of good cheer (in the midst of your persecution), for I have overcome the world! (For) God has called us unto salvation, not unto wrath, so that whether we are still living or are dead, we might live together with Him and share His life. Paul instructed us to find comfort in these words and edify one another with them (I Thess. 5:10). Let’s do it!