After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
Many years ago I sat with my good friend Jerry Snell in his grandfather’s living room as two Jehovah’s Witnesses tried to convert him to their religion. They lean heavily on the book of Revelation as well as a false belief about God’s holy name. Sadly I didn’t think to ask them about Philippians 2:9-11).The idea that there would be only 144,000 in heaven was the issue we took up. We did, therefore, point them to the verses above.
What a scene this is! A myriad of peoples: languages, tribes, peoples, nations all gathered before the throne of the Lamb of God, the crucified and now risen and reigning Son of God: Jesus whose name is above every name. Jesus the one at whose name every knee will bow – in heaven and on earth. Oh that glory of that day! What a splendid hope is ours in Jesus!
November 1 is All Saints Day. We celebrate the reality that there is gathered around the throne of Jesus, the Lamb, singing his praise. When we gather for worship today – whether in the most grand cathedral, giant worship space, or small group of believers – when we hear God’s word and receive his gifts through faith, and raise our songs in praise to him, we join angels, archangels, and all the company of heaven in praise and honor of our God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
May it be so for you today.