Behold, A Throne: Harvest

Sermon by David Strain on October 9, 2016

Revelation 14-15:4

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Please do take a copy of the Scriptures in your hands and turn with me again to the last book of the Bible, to the book of Revelation, this time, to chapter 14, on page 1036, of the church Bibles, if you’re using one of our church Bibles. Before we read the passage together, it might help us get some sense of the big idea of the text we will be reading if we see something of the way that it’s put together, something of its structure. So look at chapter 14, verse 1 through chapter 15 verse 4. In 14:1-5 there’s a vision of the Church singing a new song before God’s throne. And there’s another vision of the same thing in chapter 15:1-4. Do you see that? So like bookends on either side of this whole passage are these two visions of the Church celebrating God’s great, redeeming triumph in Christ.


And then between, there’s this long section in verses 6 through 20, of chapter 14. It begins, notice with the words of three angels announcing approaching judgment. That’s verses 6 through 13. Then if you look down at verses 15 to 20, there are another three angels. This time, they’re calling for that judgment that we’ve been warned about finally to fall. And right in the middle of the whole passage is verse 14. Look at verse 14. “Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and seated on the cloud one like the son of man with a golden crown on his head, and a sharp sickle in his hand.” Here is Jesus Himself who will execute the coming judgments. So see the picture. There are concentric circles moving in from the outside toward the center. Do you see? The outer layer. These two visions of the Church celebrating Christ’s victory. The next layer in allows us to hear the words of two groups of angels, each speaking about coming judgment. And at the epicenter of it all stands the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, “one like a son of man” coming in the clouds to judge the world. Keep that structure in mind as we turn our attention to the reading of God’s Word. Before we do that, let’s bow our heads as we pray.


Lord Jesus, You stand at the center not just of this passage but at the center of history. You are the Lord and the giver of life. You are the King of kings and Lord of lords and You are the coming Judge. And as we bow before You with Your words spread in front of us, we cry out to You that You would help us to hear the challenge, the solemnity, and the promises of joy we find in this passage with open and receptive hearts and enable us to run to You and rest on You in renewed or in saving faith for the very first time. For we ask it in Jesus’ name, amen.


Revelation 14 at verse 1. This is the Word of Almighty God:


“Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb, and in their mouth, no lie was found, for they are blameless.


Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on the earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. And he said with a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.’


Another angel, a second, followed, saying, ‘Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality.’


And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, ‘If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God's wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.’


Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.


And I heard a voice from heaven saying, ‘Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ‘Blessed indeed,’ says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!’


Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and seated on the cloud one like a son of man, with a golden crown on his head, and a sharp sickle in his hand. And another angel came out of the temple, calling with a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud, ‘Put in your sickle, and reap, for the hour to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is fully ripe.’ So he who sat on the cloud swung his sickle across the earth, and the earth was reaped.


Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, the angel who has authority over the fire, and he called with a loud voice to the one who had the sharp sickle, ‘Put in your sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, for its grapes are ripe.’ So the angel swung his sickle across the earth and gathered the grape harvest of the earth and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress, as high as a horse's bridle, for 1,600 stadia.


Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and amazing, seven angels, with seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is finished.


And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mingled with fire – and also those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands. And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,


‘Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations! Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.’”


Amen, and we praise God for His holy, inerrant Word.


Darrell Johnson begins his comments on part of our passage by retelling a story from Charles Schulz, Peanuts, cartoon strip. Charlie Brown is approached by his little sister, Sally. “I memorized the Bible verse we were supposed to memorize for Sunday,” Sally says. “What verse?” asks Charlie Brown. “I don’t know. Now you made me forget!” comes the response. “Maybe it was something Moses said or something from the book of Reevaluation.” “Forgetting,” Charlie Brown concludes, “is not always a bad thing.” The book of Reevaluation. Actually, that’s a great name for the last book of the Bible, don’t you think? That’s precisely what it’s intended to help us do. It’s supposed to make us look again at our world and our lives within it to reevaluate how we have been seeing things. Perhaps our perspective has become skewed, distorted maybe, by suffering; warped perhaps by disappointment. Twisted by pride. We have, perhaps, lost sight of the real trajectory of human history and instead we’ve allowed our egos or our enemies, our fears or our friends, to obscure the real meaning of our lives. And knowing that danger, Jesus in His great wisdom has given us the book of reevaluation to remind us of the truth, to get reality back into focus, and to show us at the center and conclusion of history, sits the Lord Jesus enthroned, presiding over all things.


That is very much the concern of the Scripture we’ve been reading just a moment ago here in Revelation 14:1 through 15:4. With considerable urgency, it aims to help us reevaluate before it’s too late. As we said before we read the text together earlier, this part of Revelation is structured in three concentric circles – begins and ends with a vision of rejoicing Christians. You saw that, didn’t you? Then there are two sets of visions of three angels with warning words. And right at the center of the text is verse 14, where John sees a vision of the son of man, the Lord Jesus Christ, sitting in a cloud with a golden crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand ready to reap the harvest of the earth.


Now we’re going to come back to that later on, but I want you to see clearly here at this point the destination towards which all people everywhere are traveling. Right at the outset of our time together we need to see that clearly. At the heart of our passage sits the coming Judge of all the earth, waiting, poised to reap the harvest at the conclusion of history. That is the event that colors everything else in this text. Each of the other concentric circles revolves around this. They find their orbit like planets revolving around the sun in relation to this. Revelation 14:1 to 15:4 asks us to reevaluate everything in the light of Jesus Christ’s final coming and the harvest of all things. And while that may be a little scary – it probably ought to be – it is also immensely helpful. If you’re anything like me, you find yourself absorbed very often with each day’s tasks – with interpersonal problems, with jobs that must be done, with family and finance and food. Our noses sometimes are pressed so hard to the grindstone of each day’s busyness that we forget to look up, don’t we? We fail to see ourselves in cosmic context. We lose sight of where we are going, why we’re here, and what really matters. The harvest is coming. The Son of Man sits with His sickle in His hand ready to reap.


How have we prepared for the great harvest day? That’s the question of our text! And to help us answer it, I want to highlight three aspects of the coming harvest from this passage. First, in 14:1-5, we learn about the certainty of the harvest. The certainty of it. Then in 14:6-20, John teaches us about the solemnity of the harvest in very solemn words indeed. And then finally in 15:1-4, the great celebration of the harvest. So the certainty, the solemnity, and the celebration of the coming harvest.


The Certainty of the Harvest


Look at 14:1-5, first of all. The certainty of the harvest. John sees a vision of Mount Zion and standing alongside the Lamb, the Lord Jesus, there’s a crowd of 144,000. We’ve met the 144,000 before, haven’t we? If you’ve been with us as we’ve worked through Revelation, we met them back in chapter 7, where John saw the servants of the Lord, 144,000, given the seal of God on their foreheads. 144,000 – 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes of Israel. And we saw then that is a symbolic number. Revelation is not concerned with statistics but with symbols. And it’s a symbol intended to communicate the fullness of God’s people. If you recall, Revelation 7, goes on to describe the very same group as “a limitless multitude that no one could number, coming from every tribe and language and people and nation.” It’s a vision of the whole Church, every true believer with no one missing. Twice over in our text, we are told that the 144,000 are gathered in celebration with a song only they know to sing. The point is, as important as it is simple to grasp when the harvest comes everyone who believes in Jesus will be gathered to Him in joy and none shall be lost. The 144,000 – every one of the people of God chosen in His electing grace will be there at the last.


The same point comes out again in verse 1 when we read that the name of the Lamb and of His Father is written on the foreheads of His people. Christians are marked as belonging to God. He has placed His seal upon us. We bear His name. That is to say, we are His. He has claimed us for Himself. Let’s allow the comfort of that to sink in just for a moment, shall we? So many of us live in the grip of sometimes debilitating anxiety. Our insecurities run deep. And the gap between what we say we believe and what we feel can be enormous. Isn’t that so? We know the Lord never washes His hands of us, and yet the truth is, sometimes we wonder. We know nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord, but sometimes our shame and our guilt and our self-reproach leave us questioning whether we might not be a special case after all.


No Condemnation in Christ

Now to be sure, believers having been marked and sealed by the name of God must live changed lives. That’s part of what it means to bear the name of God, that we’re not who we once were. We are changed. There’s a character transformation that takes place when the Lord makes us His by grace. That comes out in the passage, doesn’t it? If you look at verse 4, who are these 144,000? What are they characterized by? Well, they have not defiled themselves with women. They are virgins. That is to say, they are sexually pure and they haven’t taken part in the paganism and the immorality of the great prostitute, Babylon, who as we will see is the central symbol in the book of Revelation for human civilization in rebellion against God. Verse 5, says that the 144,000 have no lie in their mouths. That is to say, true believers are people of integrity and honesty and faithfulness. What they say and how they live matches up. They are blameless, John says; not sinless but above reproach. What you see is what you get and what you see is trustworthy and true. Or to sum it all up in the words of verse 4, Christians follow the Lamb wherever He goes. It’s the life of a disciple of Jesus Christ. We stick to His heels. He leads us by His Word and Spirit and we follow Him.


First-fruits of the Coming Harvest.

All of that is wonderfully and necessarily true and we need to be assessing ourselves in the light of it. But as you begin to do that, I hope you don’t overlook the rest of verse 4. Look at verse 4, again. The most important description of a Christian in our passage is not focused on ethics or morality, but rather in telling us these are they “who have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb.” The life Christians lead, you see, is the effect not the cause of their salvation. It’s the evidence not the basis of their eternal security. Your progress in the Christian life, in Christian obedience, can help you see that God is indeed at work in your life. But your progress in Christian obedience isn’t the basis of your security before Him. No, the basis of your security before Him in the cross of Jesus Christ. You have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits. You have the seal of God upon you, His name on your forehead, He has saved you. he secures you and you can never, never be lost if you’re a believer in Jesus. So let’s labor to live lives of purity and integrity following close behind Christ our Master, but let’s also remember that our confidence before God rests ultimately not upon anything in us, certainly not in our imperfect obedience as we work for Jesus. Our confidence and security before God rest rather on the redemption accomplished by Jesus for us. He’s made us the firstfruits of the coming harvest.


The certainty of the harvest is a large part of the focus of the opening verses of this chapter and we should find great comfort in it. None of those whom the Father has given to Christ shall be lost. Every one of the people of God shall be there on that day. Weak, struggling Christian, often stumbling, guilty, wondering if ever you’ll get the victory – you will make it across the finish line at last as you cling to Jesus. None shall be missing! Your face is in the crowd that John sees on that great day of celebration. The certainty of the harvest.


The Solemnity of the Harvest


Then secondly, look at the long section in the middle of the passage, verses 6 to 20. Here now is the solemnity of the harvest. It begins, notice, with the voice of three angels; verses 6 to 13. The first in verse 6, has “an eternal gospel to proclaim to those that dwell on the earth, to every tribe and language and people.” Now remember that phrase, “every tribe and language and people.” Back in chapter 13 verse 7, the first beast, the great symbol of the anti-Christian powers of state-sponsored evil, he is given authority, John says, over “every tribe and people and language and nation.” It seeks to deceive the world and lead humanity into the devil’s lie. But while Satanic forces propagate deception throughout the world, here in chapter 14, we learn that the forces of righteousness take a globe-spanning Gospel to those very same nations and peoples and languages. The beastly powers of spiritual darkness, they have authority and political might and social acceptability lending credibility to their message and their methods. All we have are words. We have a Gospel to announce, a Gospel, an eternal Gospel for the nations. And yet, as verses 1 to 5, have just shown us, whatever the strategy and strength of Satan, 144,000 will be saved. That is, every single one of God’s elect from every people group and every place across the ages will be brought to faith in Messiah Jesus through this eternal Gospel. Isn’t that thrilling? The saints, chapter 12 verse 11, “conquer through the word of their testimony.” Our message wins. Our message wins.


The Urgency of the Gospel Message

But the certainty of Gospel success, however thrilling it ought to be to us, does not dull the urgency of the Gospel message, does it? Look at the message the angel proclaims, verse 7. “The angel said with a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.’” Now there’s more to the Gospel than we find there in verse 7 of course, but John is highlighting, in particular, the urgent implications of the good news. And he’s saying in effect, “Time is almost up, so turn to God now. Do not delay!” I wonder if that note of urgency marks your witness to Jesus Christ at home, at school, at the game, among your friends. “Judgment is coming! Time is short! Fear God and give Him glory! Turn to Jesus Christ while there’s still time!”


The Fall of Babylon

And to reinforce the urgency of the situation, the second angel speaks. You see his message in verse 8? “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality.” Babylon, as we said earlier, is another symbol for human civilization debased and perverted by sin. In John’s day, of course, the great embodiment of Babylon was the city and the empire of Rome. But Babylon is really any expression of human culture and civilization that values what God abhors and promotes what God condemns. It is the system of human society that wants to overthrow Christ’s claim to Lordship and set itself up instead. But at the time that John wrote, had the Roman Babylon fallen, or did it fall perhaps when the Visigoths and the Vandals finally sacked the city in 410 AD? Or did global Babylon, the world’s system of civilization living without the Lordship of Christ, did it perhaps fall when the axis powers finally surrendered and the Second World War ended? How about when the Berlin Wall came down and communism came crashing down in Europe?


When did Babylon fall? “Fallen, fallen,” the angel says. When did Babylon fall? Has it yet fallen today? No, the system of human culture rebelling against God still lives on, doesn’t it? It’s all around us. Turn on the debate tonight; you’ll see prime examples I’m sure. Babylon the great is alive and well, still inducing all it can to drink the intoxicating wine of her perversity. And yet the second angel was right to declare that even in John’s own day, Babylon is fallen, fallen. The past tense matters because it is communicating certainty. There is no doubt. Human rebellion, whether low-brow and brutal or the sophisticated lies of high culture, human rebellion in every form is doomed. It is doomed.


The Wrath of God

And if the urgency of the situation still hasn’t yet fully sunk in, the third angel adds his voice. Look at verses 9 through 11. These are hard words. We do need to face them, however. He tells us about the nature of the judgment that is about to come. First, notice the angel says “the wrath of God will come unmixed and unmitigated.” Verse 10, “it is poured out full strength into the cup of his anger.” Secondly, notice the wrath of God is an agony. Verse 10 again, “he will be tormented with fire and sulfur.” Of course, that’s a metaphor. We only use metaphors for something that exceeds our ability adequately to describe in any other way. The horror is worse, it is greater; not less than fire and sulfur. The reality is far beyond the metaphor. Then thirdly in verse 11, notice hell is unending. It’s hell we are talking about. It is unending. “The smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night.” And finally, notice at the end of verse 10, the thing that makes hell, hell, is the presence of the Lamb. “He will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.” In hell, nothing will be more agonizing than the presence of holiness. The angels and the Lamb, the Lord Jesus Himself, shining in purity and glory for the saints in heaven. The presence of the holiness of Jesus will be the cause and the ground and the theme of our joy forever. But for the wicked in hell, that same blazing holiness will be the very essence of pain and grief and anguish.


If you’re not a Christian here tonight, would you let me speak to you as plainly as I can for just a moment? I hope you understand that the time is short. Babylon’s downfall is certain. Judgment is coming. Hell is real! And I want you to understand that right now, right now hell is also altogether utterly unnecessary in your case because there is an eternal Gospel proclaimed. There are pardon and peace through faith in Jesus Christ available to you right now. This dreadful destiny need not be yours. “Fear God and give Him glory,” the angel says. Turn to Jesus Christ! Won’t you turn to Jesus Christ while there’s still time?


The Endurance of the Saints

And if you are a Christian, John tells you also how you ought to respond to these angelic warnings, doesn’t he? Look at verses 12 and 13. Do you see John’s word for you? Here is a call for the endurance of the saints. “Those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying, ‘Write this:  Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ‘Blessed indeed,’ says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labors for their deeds will follow them!’” What’s the message for the Christian? Seeing this picture of the end that is yet to come as we live in the middle of it all, what is the message to us? Isn’t it simply to press on, endure. The day is nearer now than when you first believed. Soon the grief we feel as children of God at sin in the public square being celebrated rather than condemned will be removed and ended. We will feel it no longer. Soon the suffering of the global Church will be over. Soon Babylon’s fall will come and the shadows will flee away. Until then, John says, press on! Endure in faith, and should you die before that great day dawns, death to you will be gain. It will be rest in the presence of the Lamb.


A Warning About Judgment

But then look at verses 14 to 20. You will remember we said earlier that verse 14, is the very heart of this passage. John sees Jesus in language borrowed from Daniel chapter 7 – seated on a cloud, the son of man with his crown on his head, with his sickle in his hand, ready for the harvest. And then the first of a new set of three angels speaks in verse 15. Do you see that? He speaks notice, not now to warn about judgment but to call on Christ to begin to judge because the harvest of the earth he says, is fully ripe. The warning voices no longer matter. Oh, would you listen? The warning voices are sounding right now but one day they will cease and time will run out and there will be no longer any opportunity for you to say, “Well tomorrow I’ll get serious about my faith. Tomorrow I’ll turn and trust in Jesus. Tomorrow I’ll repent of my sin. I know it to be true. Tomorrow.” Time is running out! Here the warnings have ceased; now judgment begins to fall.


Two more angels then appear in verses 17 to 20. One of them has a sickle for reaping and when the third angel signals that he too should reap the judgment of the unconverted, the wicked of the world begins. Look at verses 17 to 20. These are probably the goriest verses in the book of Revelation. “’Put in your sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, for its grapes are ripe.’ So the angel swung his sickle across the earth and gathered the grape harvest of the earth and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress, as high as a horse’s bridle, for 1,600 stadia.” It’s a tough passage. Tough both because of what it says and also because of the way that it says it. It’s full of mixed metaphors, isn’t it? You don’t reap grapes with a sickle, for example. The winepress of divine judgment results in a torrent of blood flowing as high as a horse’s bridle. That’s another mixed metaphor. It uses some hyperbole. Hyperbolic language drawn not from a vineyard, actually, but from a battlefield. It’s designed to communicate the total defeat of the enemy; the total defeat of the enemy. 1,600 stadia – about 184 miles; roughly the length of Palestine. Blood will cover the whole land.


It’s gruesome to be sure, but the point is clear enough, isn’t it? The mixed metaphors notwithstanding. When judgment comes, it will be absolute and it will be total. None who reject the mercy of Jesus Christ offered to you tonight, for example, none who reject the offers of mercy in Jesus Christ will escape. The harvest is solemn indeed. I wonder if you’re ready for it. Are you ready for it?


The Celebration of the Harvest


The certainty of the harvest, the solemnity of the harvest, then finally, the celebration of the harvest. Look at 15:1-4. We get another look at the company of the redeemed that we saw first back in 14:1-5. Like Israel – you remember Israel in the exodus who sang praises to God besides the Red Sea when He delivered them from Egypt, so now here the Church praises God for defeating the beast beside a sea, this time, a sea of glass and fire having conquered not Egypt but the beast himself. And so John says they are singing the song of Moses and the Lamb. The exodus under Moses is the picture of salvation but the reality accomplished by the Lamb, the Lord Jesus at the cross, that’s the fulfillment now consummated on the last day in this picture before us. So they sang the song of Moses and the Lamb. That is to say, they sang a song of promises made and promises finally kept; of redemption planned and redemption executed.


You remember the eternal Gospel that first angel preached. “Fear God,” he said, “and give him glory!” That’s what he told the nations. Look at the song that the Church now sings in heaven after the judgment has come and the saints of God are gathered in joy around the throne. Look at what they sing. Now we learn, don’t we, that the angelic message, pleading with sinners to come to God before the sickle of the great harvest began to swing, that message has been heard after all. The Church sings, “Who will not fear and glorify Your name? All nations will come and worship.” The eternal Gospel, do you see, does not fall on deaf ears not nearly so often as we might think. Of course, it’s effective not because of the strength or skill of the one who shares is; it’s effective because, verse 3, “Great and amazing are Your deeds, O Lord God Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations!”


I can’t help but picture that day. Can you see it with me? We’re all there around the throne together. There’s the Lamb in the midst of the throne as we join the great celebration. And we find to our delight, many gathered there beside us we did not expect to see. We thought perhaps our feeble, stuttering, confused attempts to speak for Jesus had been useless and ineffective. We thought that our quiet lives of godly, patient, prayerful witness to our loved ones and our neighbors had fallen all this time on deaf ears. Many of us going to glory not seeing the prayers we’ve been praying for years for our loved ones answered. And yet there we are around the throne having heralded the eternal Gospel in the face of the malice and wickedness of a rebel world, wondering while we did it, “Is this getting us anywhere? Am I having any effect?” Eternity will show it as men and women and boys and girls from every tribe and language and nation are gathered in having heard, perhaps having heard from you, having seen what the Gospel has done in your life, and come to know the Lord Jesus for themselves.


The certainty of the harvest – every one of God’s people will be there at the end. The solemnity of the harvest – time is running out and the wrath of the Lamb will be terrible indeed. Are you ready for the harvest? And the celebration of the harvest – those who know the Lord Jesus Christ, what a joy will be ours! How much more wonderful it will be to discover brothers and sisters there because of our weak, feeble, stammering, lisping tongues that were open to speaking for Christ. What a celebration it will be! Doesn’t it make you want to say, “Even so, come Lord Jesus! Come and bring the victory for which we long!” Let’s pray together!


Lord our God, we adore You in the midst of a dark day, a chaotic world where sin seems to prevail all around. We adore You that whatever we see, Your Word tells us to the contrary that the Lamb wins. And so we do pray with John, “Come Lord Jesus, come.” Come and do justice in the world. Come and end evil. Come and reap a harvest. But before You do, would You grant power to the ministry of the Word, to our weak and often stumbling attempts to share the good news, the eternal Gospel with the nations. Lend it power that that harvest may be swollen with many believers who have come to know Christ as a result of our testimony. Hear us. Have mercy on us. Make us ready for that great day. And if there are any here who do not know Jesus, grant that they may tremble in the knowledge of what their sin deserves and see in the Lord Jesus Christ the only remedy for them that they might flee to Him for refuge. For we ask it in Jesus’ name, amen.

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