As we enter into chapter 7 we start to find a greater distinction of those who follow God and those who do not. Before the four horsemen of chapter 6 are allowed to do their work, God puts them on hold while the 144,000 get there seal showing they are with God. These are the representatives from the 12 tribes of Israel. There is an assumption that these 144,000 will not be harmed by the work of the angels, but that is never clearly stated in the word. It is stated they will have the seal of God, meaning they belong to God, however their safety is never mentioned. One might think by them having the seal of God they would be excluded from harm, however we evidence to the contrary in the scriptures. What we know is they are being claimed as belonging to God, that they are in fact Israel, the chosen of God.
We also now deal with the multitude who were given white robes. The elder tells that these are the people who have come out of the great tribulation, and have been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb. This is one of the classic passages used to support the rapture, that people came out of the tribulation. Again the support of the rest of the text is not there for that conclusion. What we can see in this passage is the multitude are the people who have been faithful from the fall of creation, to the return of Christ, or shall we call it the in between times. Classically this has been thought to be the time between the resurrection of Christ and the return of Christ. I cannot help to think we must go back further to the faithful of the generations. Those who followed after God even before the inbreaking of Christ to creation. They together with all the company of heaven sing praise to God who is above all things.
It would be easy to play numbers games to see who gets in and who is on the outside. There is a strange satisfaction found in judging others, especially when eternity hangs in the balance. Still when it comes to that day, we do not choose for anyone except ourselves what path we will walk. The question still remains the same, are you ready for that day?