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.’
Then one of the elders asked me, ‘These in white robes – who are they, and where did they come from?’ 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. 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.
“Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them,” nor any scorching heat. 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 eye.
John is given a vision of heaven, the dwelling-place of God. This is how heaven is, not how it will eventually be revealed – stay tuned to find out what happens!
The countless number of people that are revealed to John are those who have served God in life. They have been through much for the sake of the Gospel, and now stand in what appears to be a special place before the throne of God.
There is a little bit of discrepancy in that later in the book of Revelation, the dead are raised for judgement. Here, however, there are people who have already made it to heaven, though they are a distinct bunch of people. They are clearly enjoying their reward.
What would you like to do in heaven?
Father God, salvation belongs to you, and to Jesus, my Lamb of God. In your love for me you sent your Son to save me for eternity, and have reserved a place for me, where I will be able to sing and shout your praise into eternity. Thank you, Father. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.
To him who sits on the throne