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Friday, December 12, 2014

Cooperate With the "Lord of the Harvest"

It was the most awful crime ever committed on planet earth, or in the universe of God. Human beings who had sold themselves to Satan did it--they captured, condemned, tortured, and murdered the divine Son of God, the world's Messiah and Savior. It was hatred gone wild.

And while they were doing it, He was praying for them, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." Simply telling people around the world what happened electrified humanity and separated mankind into two peoples--those who believed with a heart appreciation for His love, and those who steeled their hearts against that love and became the most bitter persecutors of their fellow humans.

The process has been going on ever since, and will culminate in the fulfillment of Revelation 14:14-20 where we read of two "harvests" that will ripen side by side: the good grain gathered when "He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped." Then "another angel came out from the altar, ... and cried with a loud cry, ... 'Gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe,'" the grapes of the "winepress of the wrath of God."

It's a solemn thought that we are poised between verses 13 and 14 of this chapter of prophecy: Now is the hour when those who "die in the Lord" are "blessed ... from now on" (vs. 13) and the coming of the moment of the literal second coming of "the Son of man" (vs. 14).

But oh, the work that is yet to be done! No way will "He who [will] sit" on the cloud "thrust in [His] sickle" until the "harvest ... is ripe." If He were to act prematurely, the harvest would be ruined; He has to wait, poised, His "sickle" ready, but unused. The grain has come to the time when the plants are tall but immature, the growth hindered by drought when the "latter rain" should be falling.

Meanwhile nothing seems to stop the other "harvest" from ripening; the wickedness in the world develops, while the growth of the good grain is stultified.

The clearest evidence of the soon coming of Christ is not the number of professed believers worldwide, but the awakening of serious, honest-hearted people in the church who realize that to indulge further in corporate lukewarmness is in reality a re-crucifixion of that same Son of God. Ripening for the harvest is a choice God's people make for or against cooperation with "the Lord of the harvest."
--Robert J. Wieland

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