the grapes of wrath
"Use your sharp sickle and gather the grapes from the vines of the earth." —Revelation 14:18
On the last day, an angel will gather those who have refused to love the Lord with all their hearts. He will throw these people like grapes "into the huge winepress of God's wrath" (Rv 14:19). John prophesied that "so much blood poured out of the winepress that for two hundred miles around, it reached as high as a horse's bridle" (Rv 14:20). In other words, there will be many grapes of wrath, many lost souls. Jesus said the same thing: "The gate that leads to damnation is wide, the road is clear, and many choose to travel it" (Mt 7:13, see also Lk 13:24). Moreover, Paul prophesied that there would be a "mass apostasy" in the last days (2 Thes 2:3).
The Lord has revealed to us that many will go to hell, not to make us despair of going to heaven, but to encourage us to accept His grace. "It is no part of your heavenly Father's plan that a single one of these little ones shall ever come to grief" (Mt 18:14). He wants us all "to be saved and to come to know the truth" (1 Tm 2:4). Jesus promised: "No one who comes will I ever reject" (Jn 6:37). The people who go to hell are those who absolutely insist on it. The Lord does not want anyone to be among the grapes of wrath.
Jesus died on the cross to save us all. He has proven His love for us and clearly wants us to be with Him forever in heaven. Will you accept His love and respond by loving Him with all your heart?
Prayer: Father, may I not condemn myself to hell, but let You love me.
Promise: "As I watched, a white cloud appeared, and on the cloud sat One like a Son of Man wearing a gold crown on His head and holding a sharp sickle in His hand." —Rv 14:14
Praise: St. Catherine renounced the possibility of marriage and abandoned her entire life to the divine will to be one with her God.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape God's Wrath and Punishment on audio AV 69-1 or video V-69.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 1, 2008
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