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And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, how long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. (Revelation 6:9-11)
The fifth seal is now opened and the scene shifts to heaven. A host of martyrs are seen in heaven before God. They have been dressed in white signifying their total redemption. Who are these people? They are individuals who have heard the Word and have accepted it. They have been slain for the Word of God that lives in them and their testimony. As in the days of the early church, severe persecution of Godís witnesses will be the rule. Many will die for their faith. In that day there wonít be any backsliders, nor will there be any Christians dabbling in and out of the world. All will be true followers of Christ.
Even after all the destruction, devastation, death and famine, those of the earth will not repent. Instead they will slaughter those who have decided to follow the Lord. Immediately, upon death, they will be ushered up to heaven. Standing before the throne they are puzzled why God does not instantly destroy the murderers. They are asked to be patient until certain others have been martyred. But He promises that their day of vengeance will come.
Another point that comes to mind is, although religion will flourish during the tribulation period, it will be a Christ-less religious system. I think it is safe to say, at this point in the tribulation period, all indications suggest that all who name the name Jesus will be considered an enemy to those on the earth.