In our part of the world it is harvest time. I love to watch the harvest. It’s beautiful time of the year and a harvest is thought-provoking. Here is something to think about on an autumn drive this time of the year: Jesus used the harvest as a metaphor for end of the age and the judgment of God.
Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”  He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man.  The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one.  The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels.  Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age.  The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness,  and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.  Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! (Matthew 13:36-43)
The wheat and the weeds are growing together in the field of the world right now – the righteous and the unrighteous – those who know the Lord and those who do not. But one day, at the harvest, God will separate those who know God from those who do not. Those who do not know the Lord, those who are not the sons of the kingdom, they will be cast in to the fire.
A famous preacher came to the Detroit area this week and nearly packed out our biggest indoor arena. Thousands paid fifteen dollars a piece for the show. It was a religious pep-rally, complete with a pep-band. The newspaper printed a glowing report of the event. It was a happy time. This was the message: You can survive hard times. Have a positive outlook. Things will get better. The reporter did not mention if the preacher encouraged people to repent or to pray for God to withhold his judgment from our nation. The reporter did not mention anything about the preacher calling on the people to pray for revival. Billing himself as a messenger from God, he just came to town and said, “Perk up, things will get better.” But for those who do not know the Lord, things are not going to get better. For those who will not turn from their sin they have judgment and ruin and hell to look forward to.
When I laid down the paper I thought about that. But what if the current hard times are God’s merciful way of getting our attention because things will get even worse in this life and in the next if we don’t repent and turn from or sin and our rebellion against God? What if God’s favor and his blessing are being lifted from our country because we have ordered God off school property, and out of our courts? God’s name in blasphemed. We have fed on moral filth. We have proudly defended the slaughter of the innocent unborn and called it our “choice” and our “right”. We have fed on filth and disregarded God. We have enjoyed the prosperity that has come to us because of the favor of God and we used it to fund our selfish, willful rejection of Christ.
What if the favor of God and the blessing of God are being lifted and our nation is experiencing the judgment of God? According to the Bible America may be ripe for a harvest of judgment if we are not already in it. The Bible says that God’s judgment is on those who defile the marriage bed. God’s judgment will come on those who defraud others sexually. God will take his hand of blessing off when we defend sexual perversion and call it marriage. God’s judgment will come on those who do not repent even after God has poured out his good gifts on them.
How can we expect to escape the judgment of God when America’s newspapers read like the first chapter of Romans? The end of the age will come one day. The angels of God will gather the weeds and throw them into the furnace. That would be much worse than anything you have ever seen, worse than any hardship you have ever faced.
It’s autumn and harvest time. When we watch the harvest Jesus wants us to think ahead to the end of the age and consider if we are wheat or if we are weeds that will one day be cast into the fire.
October 27, 2008