Judgment upon a Christ rejecting world

I have heard the story told of Queen Victoria who at her coronation ceremony began to weep and took off her royal crown of England. She said she was unworthy to wear a crown and only her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was worthy of wearing such a crown. It is a fact that duri … More

Reaping

This part of Chapter 14 is a preview leading up to the 2nd coming of Christ. This actual event we will study in chapter 19. We see the coming judgment on a Christ rejecting world (v. 14). “And in His hand a sharp sickle” This is a harvesting tool used by ancient farmers to cut grain. It represents swift and devastating judgment. What John is describing to his readers here is a manifestation of judgment upon a Christ rejecting world (vv. 15-18). We can look around us today and see the results of sin on every hand. But during the time of the tribulation sin will be much more evident (v. 17). This is a vivid description of a horrendous slaughter or bloodbath (vv. 19-20). It refers to the slaughter of the enemies of God who are still alive. God’s wrath is described as a winepress where every part of the grape is crushed leaving only the juice to remain.

Concerning this passage Dr. Warren Weirsbe says “God is speaking to a world in grace, and people will not listen. One day He must speak in wrath. The bitter cup will be drunk, the harvest of sin reaped, and the vine of the earth cut down and cast into the winepress.” God allows the seeds of sin to grow and produce a harvest and Christ reaps what has been sown (v. 14). The judge is the Lord Jesus Christ and it appears this is just prior to his pouring out of judgement on the wicked He separates the faithful from the unfaithful like a farmer harvesting his crops (vv. 15-20). The earth is ripe for judgement, Jesus Christ has his sickle in hand and he swings it over the whole earth so no one can escape. This depicts judgment in terms of the winepress where the grapes were trampled in the upper trough as the juice flowed into the lower trough. The results in this case was that the blood flowed out of this press as high as the horses bridles for a distance of 180 miles.

Application

Lord, help me to understand the reality of the meaning of “forever” in heaven and in hell.

Revelation 14:14-20 (English Standard Version)

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. 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." So he who sat on the cloud swung his sickle across the earth, and the earth was reaped. Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. 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." 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. 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.

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