Growing the "great multitude" that will one day stand before God's throne
by Don Morris
Join me in imagining the amazingly incredible scene of the multitudes in heaven standing before the throne of God. Can you picture yourself standing there immersed in the awe-inspiring wonder, joy, peace and yet incredible power that will envelop everyone in that diverse crowd? I love to think about this scene—one that I know I will one day experience firsthand. It is one of my favorite daydreams.
Often when I imagine standing before the throne, I also picture someone I’ve never met before coming to stand alongside me. This person says, “You don’t know me, but I want you to know that I am here because of the ministry of ___.” Fill in here the name of a Mennonite Brethren church plant.
I know at that moment I will be struck with the knowledge that the culmination of why we strove to plant churches, why we spent the money to do so and why we fought the fight against the enemy of people’s souls—why that mattered—was because people matter a whole lot to God. One day I will stand before the throne of God alongside people who came to know him through the ministry of our MB church plants. I have tears in my eyes as I write this line.
What I imagine is likely only a scarce replacement resemblance of what it will actually be like. I think that heavenly scene will be much more incredible than what I can conjure up in my limited human mind. Our human minds cannot quantify the immeasurable.
That’s what church planting is all about: placing ourselves within communities so that we can interact with broken people and introduce them to Jesus so that they can have a relationship with Jesus right now here on earth. So that one day they can stand before the throne of God and experience the truly immeasurable wonder of eternity.
There is nothing more important we can do as a conference of churches than reach more people with the good news of Jesus, whether that’s through planting new churches so we can expand our impact or through our existing churches’ strong evangelistic efforts.
“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 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’” (Rev. 7:9-10).
For me, the ministry of Mission USA is all about doing as much as we can—to help more people become a part of that future “great multitude.”