"On the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, 'Thrust in Your sickle and reap' " (Revelation 14:14, 15, NKJV).
Immediately following the three angels' messages of Revelation 14, John sees Christ coming in dazzling splendor. On this grand occasion, Christ appears as the reaper of earth's final harvest.
This scene concludes the drama of the ages. Christ, the central figure of the plan of salvation, occupies center stage in the reaping of the harvest. He carries in His hand a sharp sickle, the symbol of the harvest. As the reaper, He swings His sickle over the earth to reap the final harvest (see Revelation 14:16).
There are two distinct stages of the final harvest. The first depicts the gathering in of the redeemed of all ages, represented by the ripened grain (see Revelation 14:16, 17; Matthew 13:30). The second portrays the final judgement of the unsaved of all ages represented by clusters of over ripe grapes (see Revelation 14:18-20; Matthew 13:24-30). The imagery of the two harvests is an allusion to the ancient agricultural year which consisted of two main stages--the grain harvest and the vintage harvest. These two stages of the final judgement highlight two essential attributes of God--His divine grace and His divine justice.
For the redeemed, the harvest is an event of unparalleled joy. They await with eagerness the appearing of the reaper. They eagerly look for His appearing as Saviour (see Hebrews 9:28). To those who have rejected Him, He is an unwelcome judge. "It is the privilege of every Christian, not only to look for, but to hasten, the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Were all who profess His name bearing fruit to His glory, how quickly the whole world would be sown with the seed of the gospel. Quickly the last great harvest would be ripened, and Christ would come."--Lift Him Up, p. 274.
My Prayer Today: Lord, it is almost reaping time. Help me to be ready for Your garner. Amen.