Jesus’ ministry on earth consisted of three primary activities: 1) teaching in the synagogues, 2) preaching the gospel of the kingdom of heaven, and 3) healing every sickness and disease among the people (Matthew 9:35). Thousands of people sometimes gathered to listen to his teaching. On one occasion, Jesus referred to his work as harvesting. It says in Matthew 9:36-37, “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest is truly plenteous, but the labourers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into the harvest.” On another occasion, Jesus told his disciples a parable about the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 13:24-30) and explained the meaning of the harvest. It says in Matthew 13:37-40, “He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; the field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; the enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burnt in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.”
Joel’s prophecy about the judgment of Judah’s enemies contained a reference to the final battle between the Lord and all the nations of the world. He said, “Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision” (Joel 3:12-14). I believe Joel used the phrase, “valley of decision” figuratively to refer to the separation of believers from non-believers or as Jesus put it, to separate the wheat from the tares. In the final battle between good and evil, some who were thought to be believers in Jesus Christ may actually turn out to be members of Satan’s kingdom. Perhaps, some who have worked for Satan will switch sides and follow the Lord. Decision implies that a determination will be made at that time. The only way to know for sure whose kingdom someone belongs to is to wait for the harvest.