Q. I hear “prophets” mention that there will be a “great harvest” before the rapture. If this is true, where is this prophesied in the bible? One such prophet declared, “Indeed, we stand on the verge of the greatest harvest the world has ever seen. Never forget: the Lord will have His harvest. The Spirit of God is now at work to “harvest the harvesters.” More than a billion people will soon be swiftly brought into the Kingdom of God.” He does not give a scripture reference, nor do others I have noticed. What do you make of this?
A. Prophecies like this generally come out of the pentecostal/charismatic movement, where they’re often given value approaching that of Scripture. Therefore the absence of confirming Scriptures would not be troubling to them. But the only prophecy from the Bible that speaks of such a great harvest of believers is in Rev. 7: 9-17 which takes place after the end of the seal judgments which follow the rapture of the Church. These souls are seen arriving in Heaven, having been martyred for their faith, and are not part of the Church.
When Jesus spoke about the Church at the end of the age, He did so in the context of His letter to the Church in Philadelphia (Rev. 3:7-13) where He characterized us as being of little strength and promised to keep us from the hour of trial that’s coming on the whole world. And Paul’s comments on the latter day Church had more to do with false doctrine and apostasy (1 Tim 4:1-2, 2 Tim 3:1-5). He also said true believers would be rescued from the coming wrath (1 Thes. 1:10)
There are reports of great numbers of new believers coming out of Africa, India, and China, but like the Great Awakenings in England and the US in the mid 1800’s and early 1900’s these are not mentioned in the Bible.