Revelation 7 DT Sharing

Submitted by Cynthia Peng, Gracepoint Berkeley

The sixth seal has been opened, and the people of the earth have tried to hide from God, saying, ‘Who can stand?’ (6:12-17).”What can I learn about God’s heart for His people from what happens next?

Despite the people of the earth trying to hide from God because the sixth seal has been opened and the day of judgment has arrived, what happened next is that God protects them with a seal on the foreheads of the servants of God.  Those with the seals were protected from the day of judgment, as were those who were wearing white robes because they have been washed in the blood of the Lamb.  This shows me God’s amazing heart of love, mercy and grace for His people, that he does not repay us according to what we deserve.  We cannot stand before his presence as we are but he covers us and gives us these white robes that allows us to have an audience with him.

A seal on a scroll or document identified the owner and also protected its contents.  Also, the number 144,000, comprising of 12 groups of 12,000, symbolizes the “completeness” of the seals, not missing a single person. How does this encourage me to continue and persevere in my faith?

This encourages me to continue and persevere in my faith because it gives me a sense that I am not in this alone, I am not left to myself to work out my faith but that God is there, overseeing the whole process. I am reminded of Phil 1:6 “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”.  Though I still need to do my part in working out my salvation with fear and trembling, yet, ultimately, it also rests in God’s hands, that he’s the one who will carry out the work of sanctification in my life. I’m very thankful to God for that, to know that it doesn’t rest on me and my efforts alone but that God is the one who completes this journey for me.

Reflect on the picture of heaven.  How does this give me hope to persevere?

The picture of heaven is beautiful and incredible, having that great assembly come together, sharing the same kind of white robe dipped in the blood of Christ, worshipping and praising God altogether.  One example is like the best of our praise times at church when everybody’s attention is focused on praising God through music and we lose ourselves in the moment, surrounded by fellow brothers and sisters and redeemed sinners.  But it would be that picture plus 100% better.  And then to be able to look around and see who else is in this great multitude – heroes of faith like Apostle Paul, Peter, John, people like Chuck Colson, Marilyn Laszlo, the people that I’ve only read about like Hudson Taylor, Corrie Ten Boom, George Mackay, to everyday heroes of today, to people at our church – leaders, peers, younger ones, and I can just imagine my joy and excitement to be able to see people like my grandfather whom I can only hope responded to the gospel when I had a chance to share with him before he passed away and hopefully others that I might have been able to impact but not known as well as those who have impacted me but I did not know it.  What picture of joy that would be!  And I think there would be this sense of, “I can’t wait to share stories with each other!”  There are times in this life when I am struggling with my own sins or struggling for someone else and it seems really hard and I feel tempted to give up and call it quits and wonder why I have to live this way.  But the picture of heaven gives me hope to persevere because there is that sense that if heaven and everything the Bible says is all true than of course it is all worth it to be able to be part of that multitude and just to see that one person you are struggling to love standing in that great multitude with you.  This makes me think of the song “I Can Only Imagine”. I think my response when I get there that day would be a mix of how others in the Bible have responded, falling flat on my face because of my unworthiness and then in my heart, I think there would be this tearful joy and I think I would say to myself, “It’s true, it’s really true” and it would make all the struggles and persevering in this life worth it, to be there in that multitude sinless and full of joy as we worship God.

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