Fate of the Multitude

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FATE OF MULTITUDETherefore, “they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center 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.” (Revelation 7:15-17)

In Heaven, the multitude will enjoy the presence of God where they will hunger or thirst no more. No longer subject to death (Revelation 21:4), they will drink of the water of life. They will no longer experience the oppressive heat of the sun. They will have every tear wiped from their eyes. Having refused the mark of the beast (Revelation 13:16–17), they held to the testimony of Jesus. Despite persecution from the evil one, they turned to Christ and now enjoy the promised deliverance.(1) Note that the 144,000 survive the Tribulation, while multitudes of believing Gentiles (and Jews) will give their lives during this awful time. These are the souls under the altar previously encountered in Revelation 6:9–11. God will reward these believers and will give them glory for their suffering.

Some Bible students believe that the promises of Revelation 7:15–17 will be fulfilled in the millennial kingdom rather than in Heaven. Revelation 20:4 indicates a special resurrection for these Tribulation martyrs and promises that they will live and reign during the Kingdom age.(2)

Up Next – We begin our study of the Seven Trumpets.

Question of the Day – Earlier these martyrs asked “how long?”  Now it comes to pass, with the “never again[s]” and “every tear” “wipe[d] away.”  How can this give us encouragement as we encounter difficulties as we await Christ’s return?

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References

  1. Sloan, R. B. (1998). The Revelation. In D. S. Dockery (Ed.), Holman concise Bible commentary (p. 673). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
  2. Wiersbe, W. W. (1992). Wiersbe’s expository outlines on the New Testament (p. 817). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

 

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