This is the beginning of a brand new series and we know that many of you are excited about this particular topic. We also know that many of you are….well...not! It's called 'End Time Prophecy Revealed'.
2 Timothy 2:15 says Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that need not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Did you know there are one thousand eight hundred and seventeen predictions in the Bible? The Word of God is about 25% prophetic in nature! You can’t say you love the Word of God and ignore 25% of it. Acts 20:27, Paul says “For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.”
Today, we are going to look at five reasons why we should study End Time Prophecy. So, maybe even those of you who rolled your eyes when you saw the title of this blog, will have a change of heart!
Many people today are concerned about the future. The world is a mess and we are in very different days than those of our childhood. However, our goal in this series is not to focus on the politics of the worldly situation, but to look at what the Bible has to say about all this.
For the born again believer, it’s a subject that ought to bring great hope. The bible tells us we are to look forward to such wonders that we can’t even imagine, with a future that is literally beyond our dreams! And that future is available to everyone. Sadly, not everyone wants to believe and submit to Jesus as Lord.
But, even as a born again believer, we are still in this world aren’t we. And we have to live here until the Lord comes again! The course of humanity is like a woman who is pregnant. She knows she’s going to have to go through some pain in order to bring forth that child. But, the joy and expectation of having a brand new baby is greater than the anxiety and fear of pain. The Bible repeatedly refers to this analogy regarding the end times. So, keep that picture in your mind as we study the events which are yet to come.
Why should we bother with Eschatology (the study of the end of the world)? Some think it just causes division, we can’t really understand it so why bother, it’s not relevant to our lives etc. and I understand all these views. But none of those reasons are the mindset of God. We wouldn’t have these things in the Word if God didn’t want us to know them and study.
So, here are five reasons why we are going to study this out.
1. God wouldn’t have put it in the Bible unless He wanted us to know it.
As we said earlier, we are told to study all the Word of God. Again, 25% of the Bible is prophetic material. So, we should seek God and gain understanding about it.
2. There is a blessing for those who read and understand the prophecies in the Bible.
Revelation 1:3 says; Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
Bible prophecy isn’t only predictive. It doesn’t just tell us the future. It’s also instructive because it often gives us instructions for life and can be very encouraging. It assures us of God’s faithfulness, power and His blessings that are for now and the world to come.
One of the greatest proofs that the Bible is true are all the fulfilled prophecies. There have been so many in the Bible that have been fulfilled throughout history. It’s reliable and trustworthy.
3. It helps us watch and be sober.
If you were with us for the last series, Kingdom Life, you’ll remember the episode on persevering until the Return of the King. Jesus used parables to encourage us to be faithful stewards until the King returns.
The Thessalonians were concerned that Jesus had already come back. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6, Paul says; But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul wasn't saying here, 'oh don't bother about End Times Prophecy, it's hard to understand, we don't agree and it doesn't really matter either way'. No, he said to watch and be sober. We need to be ready, to be vigilant and persevere. God wants us to be prepared. If we don’t know the signs of Jesus’ return, we won’t be prepared.
Things in the world right now are consistent with end times prophecy in the Bible. We aren’t going to start talking about digging a cave in the woods and storing up your water and your dried goods! You can do that if you like, but the Bible says that the most important way we can prepare is spiritually. It’s our commitment to Christ that needs to be so strong and by studying end time prophecies we can build that commitment.
4. It gives us a deeper understand of the gospel.
Revelation 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
That means if we study end time prophecy, we are going to learn the testimony of Jesus. That’s a powerfully deep statement. End time prophecy helps tell us the story of Jesus Christ. And all scripture is, in essence, an unfolding of the plan of God. End Time Prophecy completes the picture. We don’t normally put a book down before the end of the story, do we? Reading the end helps us appreciate and understand the complete picture of the plan of God.
5. It purifies our lives.
1 John 3:2-3 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifies himself, even as he is pure.
If we put our hope in the Kingdom to come, our resurrection from the dead, we will purify ourselves. Sadly, many people who call themselves Christians today are living for what they can get from this life only. That’s the wrong attitude. A pregnant woman doesn’t live only for the pregnancy. No, she looks forward to the baby coming.
So this was just an introduction to this series. We are going to dive into this and get pretty deep! Probably deeper than many of you have ever been before. But the goal, the heart behind this is to prepare us, strengthen us, give us a greater hope and expectation but also help us to be a greater blessing to those around us.
We hope you'll join us for the journey as we get into End Times Prophecy Revealed.
Until next week,
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