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 in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.
There was a time when church growth consultants were saying that it is necessary for churches to be mono-cultural so people will feel comfortable, so the church can grow. We also were supposed to need one parking place for every 1.75 attenders. This whole “homogenous unit principle” has been largely debunked by the evidence. But well before the bean counters got into the fray, we should have read the book to see what the church is supposed to be.
I take Revelation 7 as a picture of the church in the struggle (the 144,000 is to me a symbolic number – 12 x 12 x 10 cubed. ) followed by a picture of the church after the battle before the throne of God. the tribulation includes the times of the church that have seen all the distress of the Four Horsemen (Rev 6:1ff). but it also includes the “Great Tribulation” of the last days, when evil flows undiluted through the earth.
At any rate, the church is not a euro-centric entity, nor is it mono-cultural, nor is it made up of one social class, nor of one education level. So if we want to have a little taste of heaven when we worship, we should eschew homogeneity.