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!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
For most of us, the book of Revelation presents more questions than it answers. God has given us a glimpse into eternity but even that glimpse is seen through a glass darkly. We are creatures made for immortality but all we have known is this mortal existence.
For example, we are not sure how time will work in Heaven. There will be a sequence of events, but will the flow of time be anything like it is for us on earth? And to what degree do events in Heaven parallel events on earth?
Here is why I ask these questions. When the apostle John offers us the glimpse of heavenly worship in Revelation 7:9-12, who does he see around the throne? Revelation 7:13-14 provides an answer to that question, but permit me a moment’s fancy.
While receiving his vision of Heaven, John saw many worshipers, human and angelic. Could it be that in his vision of the future we were some of those worshipers? We, or loved ones who have gone before us? As John writes of the worship he sees at the throne, could he have been looking at you or me?
Here is the point and encouragement of this speculation. God’s promises to us are sure. Paul tells the people in Philippians 1:6, I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Whether or not John saw you worshiping at the throne of God, you can be certain that if you are in Christ you will someday be part of that heavenly multitude.
As you labor in the night, remember that morning is coming. The light has already dawned and we see glimpses of the glory of God. We can hear the bells of Heaven ringing to welcome us in. We can just glimpse the multitude surrounding the throne. And we work with rejoicing, knowing that the Lord works through us and will one day lead us home.