Revelation 14:14 describes an event that has yet to take place on the earth.
“I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one “like a son of man” with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. Another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, “Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.
Verse 17 goes on to state, “Another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. Still another angel, who had charge of the first, came from the altar and called in a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, “Take your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes from the earth’s vine, because its grapes are ripe.” The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God’s wrath. They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses’ bridles for a distance of 1600 miles.
Harvest comes before the wrath. The son of man- Jesus, will separate the faithful from the unfaithful. When he has completed the work in and through us and we are ripe. Using the word “ripe” to describe disciples of Jesus may seem like a strange term, but allow me to lend some context to the word. Webster’s Dictionary 1828 defines ripe as:
1. Brought to perfection in growth or to the best state; mature; fit for use; as ripe fruit; ripe corn.
2. Advanced to perfection; matured; as ripe judgment, or ripe in judgment.
3. Finished; consummate; as a ripe scholar.
4. Brought to the point of taking effect; matured; ready; prepared; as things just ripe for war.
5. Fully qualified by improvement; prepared; as a student ripe for the university; a saint ripe for heaven.
For those who rejected God’s gift of salvation through Jesus, this time can be likened to hell on earth. It’s not something that we as believers would want anyone, friend or foe, to endure.
Saints, we know the times we are living in. They are the best of times and the worst of times. Let’s not allow these temporary circumstances to keep us from being faithful to show God’s love to others who desperately need it. People are searching for answers and for hope, now more than ever. Let’s be faithful to the call and share the message of Jesus in a loving way with everyone we know. The clock is ticking towards the harvest.