June 13, 2012

Sealed, Suffering, and Safe Forever: Revelation 7:1-17

Dr. Tom Schriener continues his walk through the book of Revelation over at CredoMag.com, picking up with Revelation 7:

We are aware at this juncture of our history that the church is a remnant. As Americans we are prone to think of ourselves as the majority, as the mainstream, as the group that even dictates cultural mores and patterns. But Revelation reminds us that we are not the majority but the minority. We have the message that saves the world, but the world is set against our message and against our Christ. We must stand boldly and fearlessly in these days. We must love the world by giving it the gospel and we must not worry if the world does not love us. We should expect opposition and attack.

That brings us today to Revelation 7, and I would like to begin by asking a question: What is the identity of the 144,000 in Revelation 7:1-17? But before I answer that question, let’s back up and look at the first few vv. of Revelation 7. The words “after this” in v. 1 do not mean that all the events of chapter 7 take place after the events of chapter 6. We saw in my last post that the 6th seal means the end of history has arrived. So, the words “after this” simply relate John’s next vision, and do not indicate that John writes here about events after the end of history. Actually, chapters 6-7 are closely related. Chapter 6 ends with the questions, “For the great day of their wrath has come and who can stand?” Chapter 7 will answer those questions.

Read the rest here.