The Law of the Harvest
The old saying "you reap what you sow" has its roots in Scripture, and we would like to look at how this immutable rule of God plays into the events surrounding the Rapture of the Church. We will begin with the text found in Galatians 6:7-8 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. (NIV, here and throughout)
The teachings of the Bible are plain, and the farming metaphor is especially fitting here. You reap what is sown; if you plant corn, you'll get corn. If you plant hatred and strife, you'll get it back. You also reap after a season; the farmer plants the seed, and after several months of rain, sunshine and tending his fields, there is a crop to be harvested. Actions today have repercussions that may not become apparent for months or even years. You also reap more than was sown; one kernel of corn produces a stalk with ears, each with hundreds of kernels, just like the seed that was planted. It comes back to you in abundance.
Whatever you do in life, God knows your motives and desires. Luke 16:15 [Jesus] said to them, "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight."
We have all experienced, to some degree, the painful consequences of decisions that had their roots in evil, yet we chose to press ahead without regard to what the future will hold. God calls that mockery, and will not tolerate it. (Does that make Him "intolerant"?) In fact, you can't sow your wild oats and then pray for crop failure. It just doesn't work that way. There is a principle of accountability at work here, whether man recognizes it or not.
The thought of being held accountable for anything is a concept lost on this generation. Hey, you can buy hot coffee at a drive-thru, spill it on yourself and then sue the restaurant and get millions for your own careless actions. Criminals are given light sentences because "they had a rough childhood." In today's society, this nonsense is understood as a fundamental right, receiving something less (or more) than is deserved just by blaming your environment. Unfortunately for the unbeliever, God's economy does not work that way. It never has, and it never will.
Holding the values and ideas of man in higher authority than God's written word has some devastating consequences, when the two are in conflict. For generations man has reasoned without God. The principles, which once, in the past, naturally lead to righteousness, have long since been discarded in favor of a humanistic view that does not honor God. These godless ideas, and the sin which results from them, are responsible for the coming judgment on mankind. When an individual disregards the knowledge of God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the salvation purchased at Calvary for all whom will receive it... such a one invites the harvest of disaster into his life.
Which brings us to where you find yourself today. We share the preceding thoughts in hopes that you will gain an understanding of one simple fact: God is still on the throne, and man will answer to Him. That is what the next seven years is all about. The opportunity to trust Christ and turn from your sinful ways is before you. Christ will receive you, just as you are, if you will come to Him by faith. (More on this at "Salvation.")
In the mean time, take into consideration the lives of those who disappeared in the Rapture. What kind of seeds had they sown in life? Is there anything special about the way they prioritized things? Were they at peace with the circumstances they found themselves in? Did they ever tell you of the love and forgiveness found in Christ? Did you ever wonder why anyone would want to live the Christian life, when the world around you considers it utter nonsense? Where is the attraction in this life of service to a God that the world says doesn't even exist? These are questions that have their answers in Christ alone. In the words of the old Scottish preacher, it is " a thing better felt, than telt."
The judgment side of God's law of the harvest is for believer and unbeliever alike. Once a person becomes a Christian, he has accountability to God for the deeds done in the flesh, which will be examined at the judgment seat of Christ. 2 Corinthians 5: 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. 11 Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience.
We, who are believers, will answer to Christ. Then, rewards will be given as their deeds merit. 1 Corinthians 3:12 If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. 14 If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15 If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.
Unbelievers will face the Great White Throne judgment of Revelation 20:11-15.
The blessing side is equally clear, and is most commonly seen in the context of giving. 2nd Corinthians 9: 6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
Luke refers to the measure used in
Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
A willingness to trust God produces an abundant crop. This abundance is not always measured in material things, although it is entirely within God's prerogative to bless materially. More often, the blessing comes as emancipation from the bondage that possessions can exert upon us. Is a fine home with big mortgage or rent payments really a blessing? Is an expensive car that straps your finances worth the burden? Proverbs 10:22 promises us that the blessing of the LORD brings wealth, and he adds no trouble to it.
This serves as an excellent barometer for determining how much stuff one should [burden himself with] have. After all, he who dies with the most toys is, indeed, still dead.
Where do we go from here? How are your crops doing? It may take many seasons for all the weeds to die out, but new, worthwhile crops planted in the same fields can crowd out bad crops. Live for Christ, starting right here, right now.