December 25

Revelation 6 -- 8

The exile of John on Patmos and the suffering taking place in Smyrna (Revelation 2:8-9), are examples of the persecution that was intensifying throughout the Roman Empire.
In today's reading, we are thrilled to view a great multitude, which no one could number, of all nations. . . . (These) stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms (branches) in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, (we owe our) salvation to our God, who is seated upon the throne, and to the Lamb (7:9-10). Eternal life is the theme of rejoicing for this white-robed, palm-bearing multitude, who overcame Satan, and are, at last, in the presence of their Lord. All who have experienced salvation through Jesus Christ will rejoice in Heaven throughout eternity. This revelation was not only comforting, but strengthened the faith of first-century Christians who faced fierce opposition from a hostile world.
Each generation of believers discovers that the opposition is strong, the wicked numerous, and the deceptions so subtle that, in our human strength and wisdom, we would easily lose heart or be led astray. Down through the ages, those who have had their hearts set upon living for Jesus have always been a small minority. As Jesus foretold: Narrow is the way, that leads to life, and few there be that find it (Matthew 7:14). However, as the heavens were opened on Patmos, we realize that the total population of Heaven has become a great multitude which no one could number and it will continue to increase until Jesus returns. These faithful Christians may not have had much of earth's pleasures, but now they are praising the Lord with a loud voice. . . . Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever (Revelation 7:9-12).
Glory describes the splendor of His true nature. Wisdom reveals the supremacy of His knowledge which is available to us through His Word (I Corinthians 1:30; Colossians 2:3; James 1:5-6). Thanksgiving is a natural expression of our gratitude to the Lord for all His bountiful blessings. Jesus Christ alone is worthy of our highest praise. Power points to the supremacy of God over both good and evil forces, and His unlimited ability to fulfill His promises (Ephesians 3:20).
Life is exceedingly short compared to eternity; and the trials we are now passing through will seem insignificant compared to the glorious privilege of soon being in the presence of the King of kings and singing His praises with our loved ones throughout the ages.
God deserves our highest praise for what He is in Himself, and for His great love in giving us eternal life. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more. . . . For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them to living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes (Revelation 7:16-17).

Prayer:

Government Official: Rep. John Peterson (PA) · BPM Staff: Barbara Ann Bivens · Pray for Back to the Bible Missionary Agency · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio Broadcast in memory of Amy Ruth Wall · Country: North Korea (22 million) in northeastern Asia · Major language: Korean · Violent oppression against all religions · 68% atheist; 31% Buddhism, Confucianism, and other Korean religions; 1% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Bless the Lord that His Word is absolutely trustworthy (I Kings 8:56).
Memory Verse for the Week:
I John 3:3