After this I beheld, and, see, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds…
Is not this a strengthening, elevating thought — this of that countless multitude which wilt one day stand before the throne? How often we are tempted to be out of all heart. The worlds seems so strong, and the Church seems so weak — Christianity itself almost a failure, unable to enlist the affections of men, at least of the men of this generation, impotent to contest the battle-field of the earth with the powers which are arrayed against it. Put away from you thoughts like these. They are the pleas of our indolence, the outcomings of our unbelief. They may be few here or few there! but let them all be gathered into one, and they will constitute an innumerable company. God would not be satisfied with less. He will have no solitudes, no vacant thrones in heaven, but infinite multitudes to be sharers in His blessedness, to declare to all creation and through all eternity the wondrous counsels of His love. And then what thoughts arise in the heart as we contemplate not the numbers only, but the quarters from which all these will have been gathered — from "all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues." Those who were divided here by all which could divide, who were separated from one another by immense distances of time, of space, of culture — barbarians to one another here — yea, those who were kept asunder by far sadder barriers than these, those who misunderstood, perhaps mutually anathematised one another, shall yet, being one in Christ, one in their faith and love to Him, stand together before the throne, and exchange the long alienations and miserable discords of earth for the blessed concords of heaven. Think, too, from other points of view, what a marvellous company will that be! Think of all that will be there, and — awful thought! — of all that will not be there. Not there many who have walked in the full blaze of gospel light, who, knowing much, have loved not at all; whose places, therefore, for there were places for them if they had shown themselves worthy of them, shall know them not; while there will be found in that wondrous company not a few who, amid much darkness, superstition, and error, have been true to the central truth of all, have clung to Jesus with full affiance of heart; and when it shall be inquired with something of wonder why this one or the other is so near to the throne, "He loved much," or "She loved much," will be the key and explanation of all.
Parallel VersesKJV: After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
WEB: After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no man could number, out of every nation and of all tribes, peoples, and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands.