Revelation 7:13-17 – 13 Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” 14 I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
15 “Therefore they are before the throne of God,
and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.
16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore;
the sun shall not strike them,
nor any scorching heat.
17 For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd,
and he will guide them to springs of living water,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
Let’s not argue about timelines and tribulations. But let’s not lose the glorious hope that is to be found for the believer in the book of Revelation. In this glorious book, God wants his church to know a few things that are spelled out beautifully, regardless of your best guess as to the future timeline.
Chapter 7 begins with God sending angels to hold back the four winds until God’s servants are sealed for his protection. A look at Revelation will show us that this seal does not protect God’s servants from the persecuting hatred of the evil on earth. But that seal is certainly a mark that shows that God’s children are not appointed to receive God’s wrath.
Another thing we see pretty easily in Revelation is that, though we are kept and cared for by God, believers may suffer hardship, torture, even death at the hands of evil men who hate God and oppose his church. This is no surprise. Jesus promised his disciples the very same thing. As followers of Jesus, we will see the glory of God and watch the church grow. As followers of Jesus, we will face the hatred of a world that rejected the perfect God-Man and will certainly reject us the more we point to Jesus.
But, and this is what grabs my attention this morning, Even if the world hates us, kills us, turns against us in every way, God never ever loses his own. Instead, if we are willing to follow Jesus and testify to his glory, even in the face of persecution, we see the reward. Jesus clothes us in white robes, comforts us for all the pains we have ever faced, and keeps us with him eternally.
Friends, we may face hardship in this life. If we love Jesus in the face of this world, we definitely will face hardship. But it is so worth it. The glory of Jesus is worth it. The reward of Christ’s comfort, shelter, and presence is worth it. Jesus will dry all our tears. He will give us a place to serve him forever. And this will delight our souls forever.