“And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.”
The harvest being referred to in this passage is the removal of the God’s people from this world at Christ’s second coming. When the angel says “the time is come for thee to reap”, he is stating that the time of Christ’s coming was set previously… and that time has finally arrived.
Over my years in the ministry, I have heard many theories on why Christ is “delaying” His coming. Some believe He is waiting for the final saint to be saved, others believe He is giving the lost an added opportunity for salvation. From a human’s viewpoint, these both seem to be viable ideas.
But when we take this verse in its context of the rest of the Bible we understand that Christ is not “delaying” His coming at all. We can see that the time of the second coming is in the hands of the Lord, being a part of His eternal counsels from before the world began. Christ, Himself, supported this teaching when He said…
Mat 24:36 KJV – “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only”.
Act 1:7 KJV – “And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.”
Even the Old Testament prophet Zechariah, in his prophecy concerning the second coming, also teaches us the same truth…
Zec 14:7 KJV – “But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.”
Folks, from our human standpoint, many times we may get impatient, eagerly awaiting His coming. We may find ourselves saying…
“When will you come again? How long will it be until I am delivered from this sinful world and the many trials that come with it?”
Or, as the saints of old …
“And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” (Rev 6:10)
Our Lord’s response to our questions… “Surely I come quickly. Amen.” (Rev 22:20a)
Although we cannot know the time of His coming, we can know with CERTAINTY it will take place quickly, because our Lord has said so….
It is a part of the eternal counsels of God that cannot be changed nor thwarted.
He will come back just as He has promised.
He will come back at the exact moment it He had decreed.
And, when He comes back, it will be at the best possible time for us all.
As we eagerly await His coming, although our fleshly eyes that cannot see one moment ahead in time, may we all join with the Apostle John and with confidence say…
“Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” (Rev 22:20b)
For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation: