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October 24, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number . . .”—Revelation 7:9 (NKJV)
Over the past few days, we’ve been steadily surveying heaven’s landscape. Our endeavor began at the center with God seated on His throne. Then we worked our way outward to encounter the Holy Spirit’s presence, the four living creatures, the twenty-four elders on their thrones, as well as an innumerable army of angels.
We now fast forward to meet another group assembled around God’s throne: “a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes . . .” (Revelation 7:9 NKJV).
In addition to all we’ve seen already, there’s also a great multitude of people from all nations, tribes, and tongues. It’s clear that these are human beings who’ve died and have been transported into heaven. Notice how they’re clothed in white robes just like the twenty-four elders are, representing that they’ve been redeemed through faith in Christ’s sacrifice. But it’s a few verses later where one of the twenty-four elders reveals their exact identity. “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple” (Revelation 7:14-15 NKJV).
This multitude from every nation on earth is specifically comprised of people who die during the seven-year Great Tribulation period immediately prior to Christ’s Second Coming. Keep in mind that John is seeing all this nearly 2,000 years ago; and we don’t know how many years it will be before the Great Tribulation begins. So how is John able to foresee people who won’t exist for at least 2,000 years?
Our best answer is . . . it’s heaven! And heaven isn’t bound by the same constraints of time and space as we are on earth. This much is clear, though: Heaven’s geography includes a multitude of men and women who were redeemed and saved from the worst period of persecution this world will ever know. Not only that, God’s Word tells us they will even be given the honor of continually serving in His presence!
Isn’t it encouraging to know that God’s plan and power to save doesn’t cease, even when conditions are at their absolute worst?
DIG: Who comprises the great multitude gathered before God’s throne?
DISCOVER: What does it say about God’s faithfulness that they’re there?
DISPLAY: How does this truth encourage you today?
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.