The Rewards of the Tribulation Saints -- By: Richard Shalom Yates

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 163:651 (Jul 2006)
Article: The Rewards of the Tribulation Saints
Author: Richard Shalom Yates

The Rewards of the Tribulation Saints

Richard Shalom Yates

Richard Shalom Yates is Assistant Professor of English Bible, Capital Bible Seminary, Lanham, Maryland.

This is the third article in a four-part series “Studies on the Tribulation Saints.”

In Revelation 7:15b–17 an elder described the destiny of future Tribulation saints. Seven blessings are promised. “And He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them. They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.” Scholars disagree on the timing and nature of these rewards.1 Inductive inquiry suggests that the elder predicted literal rewards reserved for the eternal state. They refer to God’s overall promise that He will be with these Tribulation saints and will protect, shepherd, and comfort them.

The Eternal Timing of Their Rewards

These verses indicate that two overarching results will come to Tribulation saints. They will function like priests in heaven (v. 15a)

and they will receive seven more blessings from God (vv. 15b–17). The causal use of διά withτοῦτο. . .καί indicates that both their priestlike function and their sevenfold destiny are based on the deliverance God will give them (v. 15). When will they will receive these rewards? Will they be given immediately, in the millennium, or in the eternal state?

The Change in Time Period

The change in tenses in the middle of verse 15 from the present tense to the future tense suggests that the saints’ priestlike service will occur at a time other than when their rewards will be bestowed. Their priestly service will occur in the Great Tribulation, but the rewards in verses 15b–17 are reserved for the eternal state. The elder described the saints’ temple service in the present tense (εἰσιν, “are,” and λατρεύουσιν, “serve”), and their rewards are indicated by the future tense, which occurs seven times: You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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