144,000 from the tribes of Israel. And a great multitude from every nation, tribes, peoples, and languages, which no one could number. Truly, as Paul put it, “the gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16). And all dressed in white, having come through the great tribulation and washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb. I believe the “white” is figurative language specifying the holiness and purity we will have in heaven. I suspect, actually, we‘ll see lots of colors: African ladies in their bold colors, Americans in blue jeans, Indian ladies in their bright saris, Indonesians in beautiful silk batiks, and so on. I believe the explosion of colors and the obviously different races and ethnicities of people will be a testimony to our God, who has been able to take so many people who are so different and make us one in Christ. What a glorious sight it will be!
From earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s farthest coast,
through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
all praising Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Alleluia, alleluia! --William Walsham How (1864)