"I [John] said to him [the elder], 'Sir, you know.' And he said to me, 'These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple, and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore. The sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb [Jesus] in the midst of the throne will be their Shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.'" - Revelation 7:14-17
John sees a great multitude clothed in white standing before God's throne and before the Lamb, who is Jesus (v. 9). One of the elders there tells John who these people are. They are believers who have come out of the great tribulation. The death and resurrection of Jesus have been applied to them (v. 14), but now they have been killed because of their faith. Their reward is being near to the throne of God and serving him in his temple. God will shelter them, and Jesus will guide them to springs of living water. All their tears will be wiped away. If the pre-tribulation rapture view is correct, these men and women must be those who come to faith during the tribulation but who are later killed.
It is worth being loyal to God and Jesus when we are persecuted for our faith. Many early Christians gave their lives in various persecutions. The same is happening today. The reward for remaining loyal to God and the Lamb is great. We must live today in light of eternity. We must believe in God and what he has said with great faith. There will be special rewards and privileges for those who stay strong.
Father, strengthen me, though I am weak, so that I may be one who remains faithful to you during tough times. Build up my faith, so that I confidently shine for you. I want to be there in your temple, serving you, being sheltered by you, and being guided by Jesus to springs of living water. I would like to be close to where you are forever and ever. In Jesus' name, amen.
- Jeff Coleman