Friday, June 05, 2015


“These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”  (Revelation 7:14b)

A pilgrim trekking across searing desert sands is delighted to come across a life-giving oasis.  As we come out of Revelation 6, those traveling through the pages of the text are just as thrilled with the contrast found in Revelation 7.  The world is about to be scorched under the sun of God’s judgment, its inhabitants whipped by the hot winds of wrath—turning the world into a desert of doom (Rev.8).  Yet God restrains those winds for a brief time (Rev.7:1-3).  Why?  God gives an oasis of a grace in a desert of judgment.  Scripture says, “Where sin abounds, grace does much more abound.” (Rom.5:20b).  Here is an example where more people enter the Kingdom of God than at any other period of history.  Multitudes drink of living water during the worst climate for evangelism imaginable.  The church is gone, the Bride caught up to glory—yet God always has a witness.  Even during the days before the flood came in Genesis 6, inundating the population in judgment, God had a witness—Noah, “a preacher of righteousness,” (2 Pet.2:5).  Only his family responded to the invitation, but we are here because they did!

There are going to be two witnesses with supernatural power who briefly minister in Jerusalem in the last days—like Moses and Elijah (Rev.11).  It is likely that it is their message which results in 144,000 Jews converting to Christ (Rev.7:4-8).  What we know for certain is that God always has had a remnant of Abraham’s seed that not only had the DNA of Abraham, but the faith of Abraham.  !2,000 out of each tribe are marked out by God.  They are his elect, and the verses that follow help us understand they were marked out not only for salvation but for service.  They engage in Gospel ministry as Jesus promised.  “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”  (Matt.24:14).  Those many people groups that have never heard the sweet story of Jesus will, and the result will be a harvest of souls unparalleled in its extent (Rev.7:9-17).  Eagerly they embrace their deliverance from sin and judgment—they had not known such was possible.  The hunger of their heart for a God they had not known will be satisfied.  The thirst for freedom from guilt will be met as these masses of lost souls drink from the fountain of forgiveness!  The stain of their sin will be washed away by the blood of the Lamb!  Out of the jungles and wastelands—from the mud huts and grinding poverty—they will be given a title deed to the mansions of glory!

God will wipe away every tear.  I wonder if many of those tears will be for loved ones who didn’t make it.  Will they ask, “Why did no one come to my village long ago?  Why did no one tell my mother and my grandfather about Jesus?  They are in hell!  How could church people keep such a story as we have heard to themselves?”  That’s a good question.  The 144,000 will fulfill their commission.  Why aren’t we fulfilling ours?  While we rejoice in that harvest that is to come, we grieve that every passing day, thousands enter a hopeless eternity.  Tell someone about Jesus today!

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