Summary: How could this be? A river of blood 4’ deep for 200 miles? Because you reap WHAT you sow, you reap LATER than you sow, & you reap MORE than you sow. Link inc. to formatted text, audio & video, and PowerPoint Presentation.
The Last Harvest
These are among the most graphic of verses in the Bible about life after death.
The Lamb who came as a sheep to the slaughter is coming back as the Lion of the tribe of Judah.
…let’s have a preview of the final judgment:
A river of blood 4 feet deep, 200 miles long!
All people are headed for judgment…all of us…a day of reckoning / accountability / wrongs righted / we’ll all stand before God and give an answer.
The word judgment:
Makes me think of Adam and Eve and their day of reckoning…we don’t sin and get away w/ it.
Judgment was pronounced that day upon the serpent, the soil, Satan, nature, and upon the woman and the man.
8 simple words unknown to Adam and Eve until the fall:
Death, nakedness, curse, sorrow, thorns, sweat, sword, travail…in Gen. 2-3 these words became a real part of their lives.
Judgment makes me think of the days of Noah as the world turned it’s back on God / widespread violence / disregard for marriage / pagan idolatry and immorality rampant…but the world learned you don’t thumb your nose at God…there is a price to pay, a day of reckoning. It was too late once judgment began to fall.
Judgment makes me think of Sodom and Gomorrah…people who said there are no absolutes, we can choose our own way, an alternate path. (lifestyle)
Like Noah’s day, they must have started screaming as their certain death started falling from the sky, “we believe now!” It was too late once judgment began to fall.
Judgment makes me think of the children of Israel getting away from God, and the earth suddenly opening up and swallowing many of them up, or them being led into captivity, or defeated by a tiny army…or brought to captivity in order to pay off their Sabbath debt to God!
Judgment makes me think of a mighty judgment America is begging for!
Judgment makes me think of future events like the Great White Throne (ch. 20), where all who are not saved will stand before God and give an account…final sentence will be pronounced, and the final judgment will be eternal! It will be too late once judgment begins to fall.
Or the judgment seat of Christ for believers, which takes place during the tribulation (we’re not up there twiddling our thumbs!). There we will have a personal interview w/ Jesus Christ and will give an account for our faithfulness to Him, our service, our stewardship…PTL we won’t be judged for our sins, which have already been paid for…but we will receive rewards according to how we’ve lived for Him.
If we as believers think we can live a careless Christian life and not pay for it in eternity we are sadly, badly mistaken, as our eternal rewards as well as our positions in the millennium will be determined at this time.
Some judgments of God are past, some are yet future…in our text, these verses are not referring to any of the above…this is Armageddon, only for those left on earth at the end of the tribulation…this judgment will determine those people’s entrance into the millennium. That is the primary interpretation of these verses…but there’s some things we can apply to us!
II Tim. 3:16, “All scripture is profitable...”
In these verses, this judgment is pictured as a harvest…actually 2 harvests: wheat / grapes…
3 aspects about this final harvest / final judgment...
1. The Ruler of the Harvest
v. 14 This refers to Jesus Christ, the reaper of the harvest…because of the white cloud, a symbol of deity, the glory of God.
(Israel followed the glory cloud / Moses received the Law on Mt. Sinai in the cloud / the tabernacle was filled w/ glory of God which was the glory cloud / Mt. of Transfiguration in Matt. 17, the glory cloud illuminated the mountain / His ascension back to heaven after the resurrection took place on this cloud!)
Also His title gives Him away…Son of man.
And because of the crown He’s wearing (Rev. 1:13 / 19:12)
“Crown Him Lord of All”—the next time He comes it’s not for a cross, but for a crown!
At this point in history, no longer will the question be, what will you do w/ Jesus, but rather, what will Jesus do w/ you?!
End of v. 14…we see a a sickle! The Savior is a Sovereign, the Redeemer is a Ruler, the Justifier is now Judge!
v. 15-16 A picture of harvesting wheat
Check out Mt. 13:24-30…what’s it talking about…we don’t have to guess…look at v. 36-43
In layman’s terms: A farmer sowed wheat / an enemy came and sowed tares (noxious, poisonous, looks just like wheat) among the wheat / a hired hand realized someone had sabotaged them, asked farmer if he should remove the tares / oh no, you’ll likely root up the wheat w/ the tares, let them grow up together to maturity, then we’ll harvest the whole field, then separate them, put wheat into the barn and burn the tares together in bundles!