Reading the Word
Revelation 14:14–20 (ESV)
14 Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and seated on the cloud one like a son of man, with a golden crown on his head, and a sharp sickle in his hand. 15 And another angel came out of the temple, calling with a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud, “Put in your sickle, and reap, for the hour to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is fully ripe.” 16 So he who sat on the cloud swung his sickle across the earth, and the earth was reaped. 17 Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. 18 And another angel came out from the altar, the angel who has authority over the fire, and he called with a loud voice to the one who had the sharp sickle, “Put in your sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, for its grapes are ripe.” 19 So the angel swung his sickle across the earth and gathered the grape harvest of the earth and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. 20 And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress, as high as a horse’s bridle, for 1,600 stadia.
Understanding and Applying the Word
In these verses we find a description of a great harvest. There is “one like a son of man” seated on a cloud with a golden crown. This description depicts Jesus using a title of authority for him and picturing him wearing a victor’s crown (as the Greek word for “crown” indicates). The time for harvest has come and people are gathered as the subjects of God’s wrath.
We tend to downplay the seriousness of our sin. If we are honest, we do not think of our sin as really that bad at all. However, that is not what the Bible tells us about it. Sin is our undoing. It alienates us from God and makes us the deserving recipients of his wrath. In fact, the only thing that saves believers from punishment is the fact that Jesus Christ has taken our punishment on himself when he suffered at Calvary. He stood in our place.
Unfortunately, there will be many who will one day face the wrath of God as a result of sin and they will bear the punishment themselves. Christ’s sacrifice will be of no value to them because they never placed their faith in him. May we do all we can while there is still time to proclaim the gospel. And may those who are still in their sins trust in the one who can save them from the coming wrath.
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