Preparing for the Harvest - What Does It Mean?

This is the first guest post in this series and is written by Virginia Grounds.

Harvest, What Does It Mean?

​When we think of the harvest spoken of in Scripture, we tend to think of a time when many are ready to receive the gospel. And so the answer to the question of “what are you doing in preparation for the harvest?” seems so simple – to deliver the gospel message of Christ.

But as I have studied the harvest, I have come to realize that the spiritual harvest is also a time of judgment for the nations. God said through the prophet Hosea, “Also for you, Judah, a harvest is appointed.” (v6:11) This is in reference to the judgment that would come for them 130 years later in the form of captivity.

In fact, when you look at the Hebrew meaning of the word “harvest,” it says that it is a “severing, a lopping off.” This makes sense when you picture the wheat harvest in the days of the Bible. They used a sickle to sever the stalks from the root. But that was not the end of the task of harvesting the wheat. They took it to the thrashing floor and winnowed it to separate the wheat from the weeds and chaff. You might say, this was the time of judgment for determining what portion of the crop was beneficial and what portion was of no benefit to the reaper and was therefore burned. You can read about this in Matthew 3:12 and 13:24-30 when Jesus tells the story of the weeds and the wheat. When the disciples asked Jesus to explain about the weeds in the field, Jesus did so in verses 37-43. This is where He related the harvest to the Kingdom of God. “The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will weed out of His kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.” (v41)

I understood this passage in a new way as I related it to our nation today. It says in verse 25, “But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed seeds among the wheat….” When the servant asked if he was to go and pull up the weeds that grew from the enemy’s seeds, the master replied, “Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: first collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.” (v30) Why would he allow the weeds to grow with the wheat? This is like the question we ask today of “why would He allow evil to exist with good?” Jesus gives the answer in verse 29. “…because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them.”

Our nation was founded upon Christian principals. But “while we were sleeping” the enemy came and sowed seeds of false religion, no religion, no respect for Christian faith, the acceptance of ungodly, immoral behavior and so much more. But this was allowed to take place in order that the good was not destroyed along with the evil. The challenge for believers today then, is to stand taller than the weeds that are overtaking our nation in preparation for the harvest that will come. In the wheat harvest, the stalks are bending from the weight of the wheat. We, in preparation for the harvest, are to weigh down those who are opposed to the message of Christ so they are the ones bending from the weight of truth – convicted of their unbelief, and therefore turning to Jesus.

This leads us to the Greek definition in the New Testament of “harvest.” In part, it says “the act of reaping, figuratively of the gathering of men into the kingdom of God. Referring to the final judgment when the righteous are gathered into the kingdom of God and the wicked are cast into hell forever.”

The day will come when the harvest will be separated – the wheat from the chaff. The wheat represents the righteous. The chaff represents those who are wicked and have denied God. They have been allowed to live among us, but the day will come when they will be severed from the Kingdom of God just as the sickle severs the plant at harvest.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be severed. I want to live in right relationship with God through Christ. So, what will I do in preparation for the harvest? To the best of my ability I will live in accordance with God’s Word, His Truth and His will for my life. Even though my future is secure with Christ, I want others to come with me. Therefore, I will do what Jesus asks of me in sharing Him and His message to others as He gives opportunity.

“So He who was seated on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.” Revelation 14:16 NIV
​Virginia Grounds is a Bible study teacher, speaker and published author. She has spoken at numerous conferences in the US and around the world. Her ministry site is

Erin Olson

Founder and CEO of Sandalfeet Ministries

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1 Comment

Darlene Hensley-Paul - July 31st, 2015 at 1:52pm

Thank You for the powerful Truth! It has blessed my heart & soul so very much. Our God reigns & may He find us Faithful.