Will people be saved during the tribulation by the Holy Spirit?
2 Thessalonians 2:3-10 teaches that when the restrainer will stop restraining during the tribulation, the one who is coming with the power of Satan will then be revealed. The restrainer cannot be a human since Satan is more powerful than any person.
The Restrainer Is The Holy Spirit
We believe that the one who will be revealed is the antichrist because according to Revelation 13:1-10 he is empowered by the dragon which is symbolic of Satan (Revelation 12:9). Consequently, 2 Thessalonians 2:6-10 is a reference to the antichrist. He will appear after the Holy Spirit is removed.
And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 2 Thessalonians 2:6-10 (NASB)
God is the restrainer since He is the only one powerful enough to stop him. To be specific He is God the Holy Spirit (1 John 4:4).
Many Will Become Christians In The Tribulation
The book of Revelation clearly teaches that many will become Christians during the tribulation. Revelation 6-9 describes what will happen during the tribulation. Revelation 6 provides an overview of what will occur: war (v. 3-4), famine (v. 5-6) and death (v. 7-8). Then in verses 9-11 we discover that there will be martyrs in the tribulation. Since Christians will be raptured at the beginning of the tribulation, these are people who became Christians during the tribulation.
Revelation 7:9-17 – Christians Come Out of The Tribulation
Revelation 7:4-8 and Revelation 14:1-5 tells us that 144,000 Jewish believers will be witnesses during the tribulation and Revelation 7:9-17 reveals that many Christians will be martyred in that period of time. Verse 14 tells us,
These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Revelation 7:14 (NASB)
Revelation 11:1-10 – Two Witnesses Share Their Testimony
Revelation 11:1-10 refers to two witnesses who will share their testimony (Revelation 11:14) during the tribulation. What will their testimony include? We are not told. The Greek word that is translated as testimony is the same Greek word used in Revelation 12:17; 19:10 and 20:4 where testimony refers to the testimony about Jesus Christ. That is, it is the gospel.
Revelation 14:6-7 – Angel Preaches the Eternal Gospel
We are also told that God will use angels to preach the gospel. Why would angels preach the gospel if people cannot become Christians? The answer is that people can become Christians and will become Christians. Revelation 14:12 explicitly tells us that saints will be in the tribulation. Those who are true Christians will obey God and continue believing in Christ.
Revelation 20:4-6 – Souls of Those Beheaded in the Tribulation
Finally, Revelation 20:4-6 tells us that Christians will be beheaded in the tribulation because of their testimony about Christ.
Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. Revelation 20:4 (NASB)
Zechariah 12:10-14 – Massive Conversion In The Tribulation
The Holy Spirit will still be present at the end of the tribulation drawing many to Christ. Zechariah 12:10-14 gives us a peek of an event that will occur at the end of the tribulation when the armies of the world will surround the city of Jerusalem. Zechariah 12:10-14 prophesies that the Holy Spirit (called the Spirit of Grace) will still be present at the end of the tribulation. Verse 10 says the Holy Spirit will be poured out and the inhabitants of Jerusalem will see Jesus and finally understand that He is their Messiah. They will mourn and a massive conversion of the Jews will occur. It is a fulfillment of Romans 11:25-26. This means that the Holy Spirit will be in the tribulation and a massive number of people will become Christians.
The testimony of Revelation is that the gospel will be preached throughout the tribulation. The gospel will be preached by the 144,000 witnesses, the two witnesses and an angel. God had the gospel preached so that people could hear the gospel and become Christians and people will believe. In Matthew 24:14 Jesus tells us that the gospel will be preached throughout the tribulation and until the end arrives at the second coming of Christ.
This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come. Matthew 24:14 (NASB)
Therefore, scripture reveals that people will continue to become Christians in the tribulation.