From Persecution to Paradise: How Revelation Offers Hope for Today’s World!

The scene changes from the 144,000 to a great multitude that stands before the throne and the Lamb. Instead of being sealed like the 144,000, they have come out of the great tribulation.

The faithful of every age are present in the crowd and they stand before God in the righteousness of Christ.

John describes the scene like this.

After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands.

They cried out in a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne and to the Lamb!” (Revelation 7.9-10).

God deeply desires to fill his kingdom with multitudes of people. His promise to Abraham indicates the breadth of his inclusiveness.

He brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your descendants be” (Genesis 15:5).

The multitude stands before God as a result of the salvation that Jesus accomplished for them through his crucifixion and resurrection.

Angels Before the Throne

Like a tour guide in an art gallery, John takes his readers on a tour of present and future events.

We see a great multitude standing before the throne and the Lamb, robed in white and holding palm branches. We hear their loud cry, acknowledging God and the Lamb as the source of salvation.

And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, singing,

“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom
and thanksgiving and honor
and power and might
be to our God forever and ever! Amen.” (Revelation 7.11-12)

The heavenly host gives full-throated praise to God for seven of his attributes. Words cannot capture the grandeur of God, but provide a vehicle for praise and worship.

White Robes

As we take the tour, we hear one of the elders ask who the robed people are. We learn that they have come out of the great ordeal and washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb.

Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?”

I said to him, “Sir, you are the one who knows.”

Then he said to me, “These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7.13-14).

Jesus and Paul revealed that opposition and persecution will be the experience of the disciples of Christ.

Jesus said, “I have said this to you so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution, but take courage: I have conquered the world!” (John 16:33).

Paul wrote, “Indeed, all who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12).

The only way people have white robes is because of Jesus’ sacrifice.

John wrote: “If we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

Heavenly Worship

We are directed in our tour of heavenly events to those who are before the throne of God, who worship Him day and night.

For this reason they are before the throne of God
and worship him day and night within his temple,
and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them. (Revelation 7.15)

There are abundant reasons to worship God. Some of the multitudes of reasons are given by John.

They will hunger no more and thirst no more;
the sun will not strike them,
nor any scorching heat,

For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd,
and he will guide them to springs of the water of life,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7.16-17)

These images are not new. Jesus used them when he spoke with his disciples.

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35).

“Those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life” (John 4:14).

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10.11).

Application for Today

Let’s apply the message of this passage to our lives by recognizing the grandeur and glory of God. He is worthy of our worship and service.

Let’s also draw comfort from the promise of eternal life and the hope of being sheltered by the One who is seated on the throne.

We are not alone and God is with us, guiding us and giving us strength.

YouTube Video

Rudy Ross and I discuss this on YouTube today. It is on the Bob Spradling channel.

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