Who Are the Tribulation Saints In Revelation?

What exactly are the tribulation saints? How do we know if we will be the tribulation saints? Here is what the Bible has to tell us about this pivotal time at the end, and who will survive it.

Who Are the Tribulation Saints In Revelation?

Many of us have heard about the tribulation for as long as we can remember. Yet not many of us understand who the tribulation saints are. In Revelation, the Bible speaks of a remnant of the church that will face the wrath of Satan, his demonic hosts from hell, and the Antichrist. These people are the saints who live in the time of tribulation.

As we draw closer to the end of the ages, the time will come when men will be running to and fro seeking a better life. People’s faiths will be tried, and hardship on earth will increase to the point where many persons trying to stay alive will accept the mark of the beast. However, the people sold out to Jesus Christ will not sell their souls to the devil but will face hardships head-on in an effort to gain eternal life with the Lord Jesus in heaven. These are the saints that will live through the tribulation period on earth and be martyred for the Lord’s name.

Some Christians believe that Jesus will return for His church before the tribulation period begins. Others believe that the tribulation will occur before Christ returns. Before or after the Lord returns to take His people home to heaven, there will be a tribulation period on earth, and God’s living saints will be caught up in it. The saints on earth will be one of the main focuses of the Antichrist’s agenda.

Here are some things you probably did not know about the saints who will live during the tribulation period.

Where Does the Bible Mention Tribulation Saints?

There is nowhere in the Bible that uses the term “tribulation saints.” However, some Bible verses point to Christians that live during troublesome times known as the tribulation period or the great tribulation. These Christians will probably live through the worst time in history and then be killed. To follow up, you can read Revelation 7:2-8.

What Is the Tribulation Period in Revelation?

The tribulation period in Revelation is a time of great upheaval and trouble. Great evil will be unleashed on the earth. In the Old Testament, it was referred to as “the time of Jacob’s trouble, as seen in Jeremiah 30:7, which says, “Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it” (KJV). Jesus probably was referring to the great tribulation that is to come when He talks in Matthew 24:21 about “great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now – and never to be equaled again.” The world as we know it will never be the same again during the tribulation period.

What Will Happen in the Time of the Great Tribulation? 

The Bible states that a time of great trouble shall come on the earth, and the saints still living will go through a period that no one has ever experienced in humanity’s history. The horrors that will occur during the great tribulation will be real, and the world will not escape it.

Food during the tribulation will be scarce, and only people who take the mark of the beast will be allowed to buy and sell. The people that refuse to side with the Antichrist will be hunted down without mercy and killed. The world will be in turmoil as the martyrs’ blood flows.

Will the Tribulation Saints Become Martyrs?  

During the tribulation period, as time passes and the world is in chaos, the Antichrist will be destroying the tribulation saints, mainly to stop the gospel’s spread. The Antichrist will constantly be warring against the end-time saints, eventually beheading them for keeping the testimony of Jesus Christ. The saints will have to go through great spiritual, emotional, physical, and psychological tests during the tribulation.

Although the saints will suffer and die, their deaths will be glorious. The tribulation saints will die martyrs. Their sacrifice in this world will pave the way for them to receive a Crown of Life in heaven for their valuable service to the Lord (James 1:12, Revelation 2:10).

Will All Christians Go Through the Great Tribulation?

Some Christians believe the tribulation will happen before the church of Jesus Christ is removed from the earth. Others believe that Christians will be raptured before the tribulation period starts. Still others believe that the rapture will happen during the tribulation. Therefore, we have pre-tribulation (the rapture of the church before the tribulation), post-tribulation (tribulation before the rapture), and mid-tribulation (rapture during the tribulation) views. My opinion is the church will be taken away before the tribulation period starts, and Christians in heaven will get a front-row seat view of everything happening on earth during the great adversity.

Many Christians believe the seven-year period in Daniel 9:27 and 12:11 is a prophetic warning about the coming tribulation period that the earth must go through. Those events that Prophet Daniel spoke about may or may not be related to the coming tribulation.

Richard Mayhue discusses in “Why a Pre-Tribulation Rapture?” whether the rapture will happen before, during, or after Daniel’s seventieth week. “The only timing of the rapture that will account for this frequent mention of “church” in Revelation 1-3 and the total absence of the “church” on earth until Revelation 22:16 is a pre-tribulation rapture which will relocate the church from earth to heaven prior to Daniel’s seventieth week,” says Mayhue.

In the Old Testament, we see the angels of God removing Lot from Sodom before the Lord poured out His fiery indignation on the inhabitants (Genesis 19:1-29). Enoch was taken away by God just before the flood came. Noah and his family were sealed in the ark before the great flood wiped out most of humanity. The removal of Lot, Enoch, and the protection of Noah and his family are prime examples of how the Lord will remove His church before the tribulation begins.

In “Mid Tribulation Rapture,” Elizabeth Cockrell argues that “the mid-tribulation view of the rapture while, not the most popular view, is true and if one should consider the Scriptures involved and trust the Lord for discernment and wisdom, can be clearly seen.”

In “Different Views of the Rapture,” Vivian Bricker summarizes the arguments of post-tribulation advocates, the view that Christ will remove His church from the world after the tribulation period ends. It is worth noting that many Christians argue God will not allow His people to endure such hardships as described in the great tribulation.

What Can We Learn From the Tribulation Saints?

The tribulation saints will bear hardship and severe persecution. As Christians, we must train ourselves to bear hardships as soldiers of Christ. We must practice becoming overcomers and not settle for a defeated lifestyle. We must not be easily overcome by difficult times or persecution that might face us in every direction we turn.

Tribulation saints mentioned in the Bible will not give in to the devil. Instead, they will continue living for Christ until the day their lives will be snatched away from them. They will prefer to die over living with the devil. We must seek to follow in the footsteps of the tribulation Christians. We must be willing to suffer death for the glory of God. The Bible says we shall also reign with Him if we suffer with Him.

As the world continues to operate the way it does, we must be mindful that we are getting closer to the end. Therefore, we must draw closer to the Lord so that if we are numbered amongst the tribulation saints described in the Bible, our close relationship with Jesus will help us to overcome any evil we might meet up on. The Bible has already warned that such a time will come, so biblical prophecy should be followed.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Pict Rider

Lancelot Tucker is a book author and freelance writer who writes on a vast amount of topics. In addition, he serves as an associate pastor in his hometown, Spanish Town. Lancelot loves to do research and write, and is an avid reader of other authors' works. When not writing or reading, he spends his time reaching out to the less fortunate residing in his community.


This article is part of our larger End Times Resource Library. Learn more about the rapture, the anti-christ, bible prophecy and the tribulation with articles that explain Biblical truths. You do not need to fear or worry about the future!

The Second Coming of Jesus
Who Are the 144,000 in Revelation?
Who Are Gog and Magog in the Bible?
What Is the Apollyon?
Is the Apocalypse Mentioned in the Bible?
Signs of the End Times and the Rapture