Who Will Be In Heaven?
John saw the 144,000 around the throne as representatives of God's elect. The number is not to be taken as a literal figure. It represents a great multitude, which no man can number, out of every nation, kindred, tribe and tongue upon the earth, the whole Israel of God. But there it is a definite number of elect sinners, chosen of God from eternity, who will make up that great multitude. Who will they be? John tells us.
1. THEY ARE ALL CHASTE VIRGINS. "These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins." Though polluted and defiled by nature, grace has made them pure. They are washed in the blood of Christ, sanctified by the Spirit and justified by God (I Cor. 6:9-11). And, though persecuted by the beast and surrounded by the delusions of the false prophet, they did not become unfaithful to Christ (II Cor. 11:1-3). Being preserved by grace, they could not be enticed into the bed of the great whore and her daughters, false religion (Rev. 13:8).
2. THEY ARE FOLLOWERS OF THE LAMB. "These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth." They follow the example of his life, the rule of his Word, and the direction of his Spirit. And they follow him all the way home. By nature they all went astray. But grace bought them, sought them, found them, brought them to the Lamb and keeps them in the fold.
3. THEY WERE REDEEMED BY THE PRECIOUS BLOOD OF CHRIST. "These were redeemed from among men." This is special, particular, effectual redemption! They were redeemed from among men, because they are God's elect, "being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb." All who where chosen by God were redeemed by Christ. And all who were redeemed by Christ shall be with Christ in heaven.
4. THEY ARE WITHOUT GUILE. "And in their mouth was found no guile." These are Israelites indeed, true, sincere, unpretentious worshippers of God (Phil. 3:3).
5.AND "THEY ARE WITHOUT FAULT BEFORE THE THRONE OF GOD." This is the finality of the work of grace. They were chosen, redeemed and called to be holy. And holy they shall be, holy as God himself, in Christ Jesus. Grace will accomplish its work!