We see the “great multitude that no one can number” (verse 9a) standing before Jesus. This is all the Gentile believers. NO LIMITS!
John tells us that this multitude comes “from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages” (verse 9b). We already counted the Jewish believers. They might actually be included in this number but this multitude is GREATER than their number and includes people from ALL OVER the earth.
We learn from one of the elders that these are the people “coming out of the great tribulation” (verse 14b). If this multitude is so great, imagine the number that came before them. The great tribulation is a seven year period. There have been centuries before that where Jews and Gentiles have turned to Jesus. So to those who say that there will ONLY be 144,000 souls in Heaven, I call you ignorant of the truth or a liar.
Jesus welcomes ALL who will turn to Him. As we discussed last time, He didn’t put a numbers limit on how many would come to Him but He knew the number beforehand. HE WELCOMES ALL!
I’m wondering if the serving Him daily is a reward or a result of their late acceptance. I LOVE serving in church. I served as a Sunday school teacher MANY times. I served in the music ministry. And I served in children’s ministries. I considered it an honor to be giving back to God in those tasks. But it was also hard work.
The multitude here, that came out of the great tribulation, “are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple” (verse 13a). What are the saints who came before doing at this time? Are they serving and worshiping too or are they “enjoying the sights” of Heaven?
Another question just came to my mind. Are they where they are because they need to learn more of God? The elder tells John all the benefits this group receives. He uses a future tense in his monologue that perks me up near the end of it. “For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (verse 17).
I KNOW Jesus has saved them and cleansed them from their sins, otherwise they wouldn’t be allowed in the presence of God. But is there still more learning to do? Will they do this learning back on earth when Jesus rules there? Will those who remain alive and are His children at that time learn right alongside of them? In other words, will the two peoples (spirit and physical) be mixed?
Is John’s use of the future tense only because it is still future to him? ALL of these things are yet to come so it stands to reason that John would reference it as so. But still I wonder, especially because the part about them not being hungry, or thirsty, or the stun striking them, or scorching heat wouldn’t happen on earth. So the things being promised to this group appear to be things that happen on the OTHER side of the grave, not on earth. Therefore it appears they still have more to learn.
I think we ALL have more to learn once we see God. Not even the best bible scholar TRULY knows every intent of God in His word. There are secrets that have to wait to be revealed. And Heaven is the perfect place for such a revealing. That is where “my bench questions” will be addressed. I guess maybe we all will be joining this group in their “trip to the springs of living water” and letting God “wipe away our tears.” That makes Heaven more than just a final destination where “you sit on clouds all day” into a relational place where you “learn more and more of Him all the time.”
Father God, thank You that Heaven isn’t a place where I would just sit around and enjoy the scenery all the time. Thank You Jesus that You have prepared a place for me and that place includes new learning and a deepening relationship for all of eternity. I seriously doubt You will ever run out of things to share with me. I look forward to learning it ALL.! That will take an eternity, and fortunately we have that much time together.
Will You have me helping anyone? What kind of service will I be assigned? I hope it has to do with children and music! I guess I just have to wait and see on this point too.