Revelation 7:9-17 / Tribulation’s Glory

Posted on June 14, 2015


This is the twenty-first in a series of verse-by-verse expositions of the book of Revelation. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on the morning of June 14, 2015. This message details the unprecedented salvation which will occur during the tribulation. This post contains an audio recording of my message, along with my sermon notes and a study outline. Please note that the sermon notes are not a full transcript.


Rev 7:9-17



While the tribulation period will be a time of judgment, it will also be a time of unprecedented redemption.

All of the earth’s people groups will be included.

These are the gentiles who have been saved during the tribulation, and they are innumerable.

Even in a world of unprecedented evil, the Word of God will still, ultimately, prevail.

The greatest days of God’s salvation are in the future.

These are the result of the witness of the 144,000, and the reason that so many will be saved will be the chaotic and uncertain nature of the tribulation.

While traveling by plane, not many people will pay attention to the stewardess’s explanation of the life saving equipment.

However, if the pilot announced that the plane is going to crash, I bet they’d pay attention to every word.

This is the same reason we see such large church growth today, in third world countries. Those people truly understand that it is a matter of life and death.

That concept is much harder to get across in our modern American culture.

The white robes, of course, are a symbol of salvation.


The palm branches tell us that this is a celebration.

These saints form a part of the real triumphal entry, when Christ returns to earth.


The theme of their worship and celebration is salvation.

This is a far different attitude than we normally see today.

In today’s culture, people try many methods to remove the guilt of sin—good deeds, intellectual pursuits, and even casting blame on others.

However, unless we acknowledge our own responsibility for sin, we will never see the need for salvation.

The crowd in heaven however, praises God, saying that salvation comes from him and from the Lamb.

Salvation from sin’s penalty can come only through Jesus Christ. 

  •  John 14:6 
  •  Ephesians 2:8-10 

 There is no other way to purge sin, but by the blood of Jesus Christ. 

  • Matthew 26:28 
  • Hebrews 9:22 

 Therefore, any attempts to justify or defer responsibility for our sin will be insufficient.

Any amount of good work will be insufficient.

It’s not a matter of if we sin, but of what Christ has done to atone for our sin.

Therefore, our response should be just as these saints, we should be praising God for His salvation. 


The angels join in the praise.

The elders join in the praise.

The four living creatures join in the praise. 

 Of course, the angels are just that. . . angels.

The four living creatures are once again identified as distinct from the angels.

And the Elders are the church.

They are all worshiping and praising God. 

They are praising God simply for who He is.

In response to the praise of salvation from the saints, they say Amen!

In fact, there is always rejoicing in heaven when one is saved. 

  • Luke 15:7 

As much as the angels rejoice, saints have even more reason to praise the Lord.

During the tribulation there will be much rejoicing in heaven, because there will be much salvation on earth. 

There are those today, who think they can wait until the las minute to be saved.

Many may even be thinking that if all these people will be saved during the tribulation, I’ll just wait until then.

They think they can live any way they want to right now, and wait until things get really bad to be saved.

That is foolish thinking! 

Set aside for the moment, the fact of all the horrors they will have to endure by entering into the tribulation.

Even disregarding that, they are completely delusional. Here are some things to keep in mind: 

First, if they die before they place their faith in Christ, they will go straight to hell. That’s a dangerous game to play. 

Second, if you willfully reject Christ now, why would you believe on Him during the tribulation. 

  • 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 

Their blindness will be self-imposed because of a prior refusal to “love the truth and so be saved.” They lack any committal to the Gospel. This is just as bad as indifference toward the truth.

The right choice could have brought them salvation and deliverance from Satan’s deception, but they chose not to receive God’s salvation. If you willfully don’t believe now, you won’t believe later. 

Third, its just plain crazy to miss out on knowing Jesus today!

There is no greater joy than knowing Christ. 


One of the elders asks John a question. Its not because he doesn’t know, as he answers his own question (v.14).

I think the point is to see if John understands what he is seeing. 


These people didn’t go with the raptured church, since they were not yet saved.

During the tribulation they will be saved, but they will have to endure all of the trials.

Neither are these people those who had knowingly rejected Christ.

In fact, they will probably feel pretty foolish for not recognizing Christ earlier. 

These people will be saved, martyred and enter into heaven.

Though it is a time of unparalleled judgment, it is also a time of unparalleled grace in salvation. 

  • Matthew 24:12-14 

Their robes will be washed by the blood of the Lamb! 

  • Revelation 1:5 

Are you washed in the blood?


Only because they’ve been washed, can they be before the throne.

Because of God’ s gracious work of salvation, they serve Him day and night.

That too, should be our response to the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

We should seek to serve Him day and night.

He should be our sole purpose for living, since He is the sole reason we are alive. 

 What a beautiful testimony that God dwells among them. He dwells among us as well.

We are the temple here on earth. 


Because He dwells among them, and because He is all sufficient, They will neither hunger or thirst.

He is the living water. 

  • John 4:10 

He is the Bread of Life 

  • John 6:48


God will provide for his children’s needs in their eternal home where there will be no hunger, thirst, or pain.

He will wipe away all tears. When you are suffering, take comfort in this promise of complete protection and relief.

Indeed the Lamb has always been the Shepherd.