Who are we?

In this blog, there will be a variety of material: thoughts on Bible books, book reviews, historical characters, aspects of Scottish church history and other things.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

The Great Crowd (Rev. 7:9-12)

The Bible often refers to the Book of Life, but never tells us how may names are in it. Even here, when the complete number gather together in the presence of God, we are not told how many will be there. But we are invited to look at them, and marvel.

We see in this crowd the fulfilment of the promise that God gave to Abraham which declared that his spiritual seed would number as many as the stars in the sky and the grains of sand on the seashore. No one can count the number of the stars or the grains of sand. Yet it is obvious that if we tried, we would run out of numbers. It will be the same with those who make up the people of God.

Moreover, we can see that there are converts from every people group. Ultimately, there will be one family of God and the members will come everywhere. Real disciples will have come from every nation. This vision of the size of the great crowd is a great encouragement for spreading the gospel.

John tells us that the crowd stands before the throne of God, and before the Lamb. Obviously this is a place of honour, highly exalted. Although they are in such an august presence, the crowd is marked by confidence because they all know that they are accepted in Christ, and will rejoice in that reality for ever.  As they stand there, they will express thankfulness to the Father for sending his Son to be their Saviour.

Jesus, in John 17:24, on the evening before his death, had prayed about the gathering together of this crowd. His request was, ‘Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.’ Now it has been answered and his desire is taking place. We can imagine the gladness of Jesus as well as the gladness of his people.

We also can read here about the response of the angelic host as they see those for whom their Master died gathered together with him. Often, many of those angels would have helped the heirs of salvation as they travelled to heaven. Now they and their protectors are together in the presence of God.

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