The Faithful Multitude
Today’s scripture selection: Revelation 7-11
Key verses: Revelation 7:9-10
“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”
I rarely meet anyone who says that the New Testament Book of Revelation is easy reading. It’s full of complicated, often graphic, sometimes comforting, sometimes disturbing imagery.
And, these days, all you need to say is “end times” and people come out of the woodwork with all sorts of theories.
But regardless of the details of interpretation – I think most people would find the above verses comforting. This idea of a great faithful multitude, “from every nation, tribe, people and language” standing before the throne of God, in praise and worship – it’s a great scene.
All the “tribulation” is set aside, at least for awhile, and we have this glorious scene of the faithful people of God – as one – gathered in thankful adoration.
How different this is from the world today.
There are so many different manifestations of religious expression, even within that great umbrella called Christianity. And many times the differences of belief and practice among the various denominations go well beyond polite disagreement. Too often there is open hostility.
Contrast that with this revelation that portrays a faithful multitude that isn’t made up of any one “denomination” or national or cultural expression.
Here, the kingdom of God is at hand – in all its unified glory.
For now, it’s just a dream – a vision – an ever unfolding “revelation”. And the Church, visible and invisible, will do what it does until that one glorious day when all is finally explained and revealed.
In the meantime…it’s still a nice picture – something to look forward to in faith and expectation…one holy people of God together in never ending praise.
Come, Lord Jesus, Come.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to further the coming of your kingdom, however and whenever it comes. AMEN.