Kevin DeYoung: 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!” (Revelation 7:9-10) The great multitude is a host of overcomers. They’ve done it. They triumphed. They finished the race. They faced hunger and thirst and heat and tears (v. 16), but they did not curse God. They did not bail. They did not compromise. They held fast to word of God and the testimony of Jesus. They proved to be more than conquerors through him who loved us. They also prove to be a colorful bunch. This is not a vanilla multitude. When we get to heaven we will be pleased to find a vast
The Lord shall come! The Church in the early ages took up the subject as of profoundest and most pressing interest, ‘looking for that blessed hope.’ It was no minor hope to the primitive saints. It cheered them at parting with their Lord, and it comforted them at parting with one another. It upheld them in evil days; it nerved them for warfare; it gave them patience under persecution; it animated them in their work; it kept alive their zeal; it enabled them to look calmly round upon an evil world, and to face its mustering storms; it showed them resurrection and glory, fixing their eye upon scenes beyond the deathbed and the tomb; it ever reminded them of the day of meeting, when Jesus will gather all His own together, and those who have slept in Him shall awake to glory, honor, andimmortality. — Horatius Bonar The Revelation of Jesus Christ (HT: Of First Importance)
From Sam Storms’ – To the One Who Conquers: 50 Daily Meditations on the Seven Letters of Revelation 2-3 (Crossway) (used with permission) Chapter 50 – Enthroned! (Revelation 3:21-22) “The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” No matter how many times I read this promise, I struggle to believe it. That’s not because I doubt its inspiration or accuracy. Jesus meant what he said and I embrace it. But to think of myself enthroned with Christ is simply more than I can fathom. Others of you may have a better grip on this than I do, but it strikes me as so utterly outlandish, not to mention presumptuous and prideful, that I blink at the words and have to pause simply to catch my breath.
From Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, 4:720 “Just as the caterpillar becomes a butterfly, as carbon is converted into diamond, as the grain of wheat upon dying in the ground produces other grains of wheat, as all of nature revives in the spring and dresses up in celebrative clothing, as the believing community is formed out of Adam’s fallen race, as the resurrection body is raised from the body that is dead and buried in the earth, so too, by the re-creating power of Christ, the new heaven and the new earth will one day emerge from the fire-purged elements of this world, radiant in enduring glory and forever set free from the ‘bondage to decay.’” (HT: Tony Reinke)
Here is John Piper’s message, from the Desiring God Conference, September 27, 2009 where he shows how Jesus Christ relates to the ultimate purpose of God in creating the universe as the theatre of God:
by Sinclair B. Ferguson Posted by Chris Larson at Ligonier Blog. (Quoted in John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine & Doxology, p. 40-41) It is commonplace today in Reformed theology to recognize that the Christian lives “between the times” — already we are in Christ, but a yet more glorious future awaits us in the final consummation. There is, therefore, a “not yet” about our present Christian experience. Calvin well understood this, and he never dissolved the tension between the “already” and the “not yet.” But he also stressed the importance for the present of a life-focus on the future. Calvin sought, personally, to develop a balance of contempt for the present life with a deep gratitude for the blessings of God and a love and longing for the heavenly kingdom. The sense that the Lord would come and issue His final assessment on all and bring His elect to glory was a dominant motif for him. This, the