The Time of the Harvest

Richard Thetford

In Matthew 13:37 Jesus says: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man” (read also Matthew 13:38-43). In John 4:35 Jesus says: “Do you not say, 'There are still four months and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!” From these two passages we can see that there are two harvests. One is the harvest of souls and the other is the harvest of works.

When Do We Harvest?

As we can learn from John 4:35 the harvest of souls are ready now! All around us are bumper crops of individual souls ready to be harvested - yet there are so few laborers to do so. But the laborers in God's kingdom must be ready and willing to harvest as much as they possibly can - the harvest of souls are ready, are we? But what about the other harvest, the harvest of our works? We can learn from the apostle Paul that what we sow we shall reap and the harvest of these works will come about in "due season" (Galatians 6:8-9). He gives emphasis on those that are sowing to the spirit for they shall reap life everlasting! When the end of the world is come then the harvest will be accomplished. Those that do good things according to the will of God will have life eternal but those that reap after the flesh will suffer eternal damnation.

What Will Happen In The Harvest?

The soul reapers will be rewarded. In John 4:36 Jesus says: “And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.” If we know that those that reap souls will have this great reward, why is it that so many do not even attempt to do any harvesting? I think the answer to this question is that we are not “able to give an answer” (1 Peter 3:15). Not only will the soul reapers be rewarded, but the soul reapers will rejoice. How wonderful it will be when the soul reapers and the soul that is reaped can rejoice in heaven together! We also learn that as a result of our works here on the earth that when the end of the world comes that the good will be separated from the bad (Matthew 13:37-43).

Upon What Does The Harvest Depend?

It not only depends upon what we have sown (Galatians 6:7), but it depends upon how we have sown it. In 2 Corinthians 9:6 Paul says “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” We need to try to be in the number that strives to reap bountifully! It also takes a lot of patience to have a successful harvest (James 5:7; Galatians 6:9). Depending upon where the seed is sown, will also depend upon whether there will be a harvest or not. Some seeds (the word of God) is spent on way side, stony, or thorny soil, while some lands on the good. This all represents the heart of man as one receives God's word (Matthew 13:19-23). Not everyone that we share the word of God with will respond to the gospel and become a Christian. But you see, we don't know the heart of man so we cannot be prejudicial in whom we share the word with. Let us plant, let us water, and then let God have the chance to allow their heart to respond (1 Corinthians 3:6). The climate conditions also need to be right (Acts 14:17; James 5:7).

What Will We Reap?

Some will reap corruption (Galatians 6:8) and others will reap eternal life (Galatians 6:8; John 4:36)! The thought of this harvest should inspire us to keep on sharing the word of God with others and cause us to show care in what we sow unto others (Galatians 6:7). The Lord has given us the harvest and we are the reapers. Are we reaping the harvest before us?