12 Here [hode] is [esti] the patience [hupomone] of
the saints: [hagios] here [hode] are they that keep [tereo]
the commandments [entole] of God, [theos] and [kai] the faith [pistis] of Jesus. [Iesous] KJV-Interlinear
12 Here is
the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith
in Jesus. NASB
Although the tribulation begins with unbelievers only, during those seven years, millions and perhaps billions of people will believe in Christ.
Like we have studied before, since we do not know the exact date of the Rapture, then we do not know in what seven year period the Tribulation will occur. It may not be for another century, but then it could all start tomorrow, too.
If that future date is not for another century, then the population of the world could easily be huge, in the tens of billions. But this is all speculation of course.
However, we do know that the Tribulation will be the most horrible period in all of history.
Jesus Himself stated that if those days were not cut short, then no life would survive. Jesus stated that this period will be far worse than any other period of history, ever, Matt. 24:21-22.
And now we have a verse that will help explain what is coming up in just a few more verses.
During the first half of the tribulation, Satan, through the anti-christ, will try to bring in a perfect world. It is called Satan's failed utopia. We have already studied that those future world government policies will be responsible for the death of one-fourth of the population of the world.
Now, to most folks that would be a huge disaster, but the worst is not yet.
God is going to evangelize the entire world through two very remarkable prophets, through 144,000 Jewish evangelists, through three surreal angels with nothing like it ever before in history. And the bulk of the population of the world is still going to reject Christ. And to make matters worse, those unbelievers are going to adopt the evil policies of the anti-christ, and harass and torture and kill Jews and Christians, not in ones or twos, but in the millions and perhaps billions.
The slaughter in the last half of the Tribulation is going to be beyond imagination.
If that does not paint a picture of unendurable stress on people, then I do not know what would.
But now we have a verse which describes the attitude of believers, who just weeks or months or three years prior, were unbelievers, and now they are believers in Christ and they are going to endure the most horrific period in all of human history.
Do you suppose people today would endure that kind of pressure? I seriously doubt it.
But anyway, our verse states, 'Here is the patience of the saints.'
Patience, 'hupomone,' means to be cheerful, constancy, enduring, patience, to undergo, to have fortitude, to persevere.
And this statement tells us a great deal about those who are going to face the worst possible conditions in all of human history. They are going to look to God and His promise, rather than to the anti-christ and his false prophet and their promises. These Christians are going to endure, right up to the point of their own death, regardless of how it comes to them, and knowing that it is going to come to them. And, they are not going to waver in their faith in Christ.
Just as we know that horrible times are coming, so too, those future folks will know what is going to happen to most of them. And they will not blame God, or hate God, or cry and scream hate against God. They are going to accept it, because even in death, Gods promise is certain and sure. More so than anything that this world has to offer.