Summary: Deacon Ordination Message
As we gather together today we are celebrating the installation and ordination of our deacons as well as commissioning the White family as they head to the place where the Lord has called them to as missionaries. As we celebrate this great day I want us to spend some time together in REVELATION 7:9-12. As we work our way through this great passage of Scripture please know that this passage has much to say to us all here today, especially those who have ANSWERED JESUS’ CALL TO SERVE.
A GREAT MULTITUDE
The book of revelation is filled with great scenes of that which is to come. I could only imagine how much John’s mind must have been blown as with every turn of his head there was something glorious and new that he saw. Prior to this point John had seen a vision of Jesus as both the Son of Man and the Son of God. He received a vision of Jesus moving in and among the Churches and then he heard what He had to say to them in the 7 letters of chapters 2-3. He got a glimpse of the throne in heaven, the lamb that was slain and yet lived, a scroll with seven seals and as each seal was broken judgment in all sorts of manifestations was released upon the earth. He saw the 144,000 of chapter 7 sealed and now he sees a crowd. This is no ordinary crowd. John qualifies what he sees by emphasizing that this was a GREAT MULTITUDE. The word great John uses is not only a reference to the size of the crowd but to the diversity of the crowd. The crowd was such THAT NO ONE COULD NUMBER and THEY WERE FROM EVERY NATION, FROM ALL TRIBES AND PEOPLES AND LANGUAGES.
1. GREAT IN NUMBER. There are people as far as the eye can see and farther beyond that. Just think about it. John saw and heard what 144,000 looked like in vv. 1-8 and now all he can say, in comparison, is that this is a GREAT crowd. We are told that some 800,000 people gather in downtown Louisville for the firework display called Thunder over Louisville. Do you remember seeing the aerial shots of the great lawn where all those people are gathered? It is really a breath taking sight. That scene pales in comparison to what John is seeing.
2. GREAT IN DIVERSITY. This crowd is great because of its size. This crowd is great because of its diversity. John makes clear that in this crowd he sees people from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages. There are men and women in this crowd. There are boys and girls in this crowd. There are Americans and Asians in this crowd. There are those from civilized and technologically advanced cultures and there are those from tribes that exist right now in the most remote places of the African Bush and the Australian Outback. There are Finchvillians and Finnish. There are Louisvillians and Laotians. There is young and old. Male and female. Rich and poor. Educated and uneducated. Black and White. English speaking. Arabic speaking. Spanish speaking. Asian speaking. On and on and on I could go. This is a greatly diverse crowd.
a. THE SINFULLY PREJUDICED, RACIST AND ETHNOCENTRIC MIND HATES THIS SCENE IN HEAVEN AND RIGHTFULLY SO ONLY BECAUSE IT IS HIGHLY LIKELY THAT YOU WILL NOT BE A PART OF IT. I say this because racism, prejudice and ethnocentricity is reflective of an unredeemed heart.