Saving Grace

Heaven is open to all people

After this, I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:

“Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”

All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, saying: “Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!” 

– Revelation 7:9-12

Last Sunday, Christians around the world celebrated All Saints Day. The official date of this Christian festival is November 1. This is a day which has been celebrated in the Christian church since the fifth century.

We all gather before the throne of God to sing our endless praise for the victory He has given us in His life, death and resurrection. Indeed, we concur with St. John, who gives us the revelation of glory.

Even though the apocalypse of John was given to the early Christian church as a book of comfort, it overwhelms many Christians. Many people see the book of Revelation with its many images and symbols as a book of mystery.

In the text above, John speaks to us from his vision. He gives us a comforting picture of Christ and his church. The triumphant saints change their circumstances.

John describes a number that no one can count, people of every nation, tribe and language. Yes! Heaven is open to all people, regardless of status. Jesus came to save us all.

John paints a picture of full deliverance. The apostle tells us of a land where there will be no more hunger. There will be no more thirst. There will be no more pain and sorrow.

We will not have to worry about man’s inhumanity toward his fellow man any longer. God’s grace and mercy will reign through all eternity.

Yes, like the saints who have gone before, we shall be at peace with the Lord. In verse 17 of the text, we get a glimpse of the Lamb who is amid the throne. He is now in a place of supreme power, no longer the humiliated, but the exulted. He is king forever.

The rulers of the world, all powers, will submit to Him who sits on the throne. Not only is He king but He is also the shepherd of the victorious saints.

In the text, John gives a reference of the 23 Psalms. The victorious saints are cared for and protected by the shepherd who will lead us to springs of living water.

In that land, there will be no more tears. Here on earth, we do shed many tears. To take away our tears is to relieve us of all the agony, all the suffering, torment and distress that we face in this life.

We constantly live in brokenness, pain, suffering and disappointment. But in this land of victory, where the Lamb who was slain rules, we will not have to be bothered with the tribulations which we suffer here in this life. Because in that land, our Lord Jesus Christ will wipe away all tears from our eyes.

As we are told in the text, a day will come when our earthly worries will all be taken away. We will join the saints around the throne, rejoicing in the presence of God, our father. What words of joy. What comfort we find in these words as we make our pilgrimage. What a happy day, what a glorious day when the church militant will become the church triumphant. Amen.

• Rev. Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at the Lutheran Church of Nassau, 119 John F. Kennedy Drive, can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas; or telephone: 426-9084; E-mail: lutheranchurch@coralwave.com; website: www.nassaulutheranchurch.org.

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