Revelation 7:9-17: Heaven is a wonderful place.
9 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. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne,and to the Lamb.’11 All the angels were standing round the throne and round the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, 12 saying:‘Amen!Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honour and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever.Amen!’13 Then one of the elders asked me, ‘These in white robes – who are they, and where did they come from?’14 I answered, ‘Sir, you know.’ And he said, ‘These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore,‘they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.16 “Never again will they hunger never again will they thirst.The sun will not beat down on them,”nor any scorching heat.17 For the Lamb at the centre of the throne will be their shepherd;“he will lead them to springs of living water.” “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”NIV
In this book we are transported, with John, to that other realm where God’s people have come out of all trouble. They are ‘’with Christ, which is better by far’’ (Philippians 1:23); they are in the place of ‘’gain’’ (Philippians 1:21). Whether it is technically correct to refer to this other reality as ‘heaven’ may be up for debate, but there is no doubt that it is a most wonderful place. Over the next few days we are going to look for clues in the passage that give an idea what it is like.
But before we look at some of the specific blessings of heaven, let me make two further observations:
- There are obvious similarities between this section and chapter 5 (see, e.g. 5:12 and v.12 here);
- There is no other way to be in heaven than by the blood of Jesus (14; see Hebrews 10:19; 1 John 1:7/9). The blood of Jesus is the most powerful ‘cleansing agent’ in the world. The white robes speak of purity. You can’t be in heaven without them; and you can’t wear these white robes without the application of Jesus’ blood to your life, by faith. This is how a person washes their robes and makes them white. It doesn’t mean that we save ourselves, but we have a part to play, by God’s grace. It is to have ‘’faith in his blood’’ (Romans 3:25).
PRAYER: I thank you Lord, so much, that salvation is by grace, through faith, and that you gave me the gift of faith to trust in Jesus’ blood.