Friday, February 28, 2014

Why Study Prophecy

When people find out that I teach prophecy, they will always ask this question, "Why study prophecy"?

Preaching On Christ’s Return
The Soon Return of Jesus Christ is a topic I believe more pastors and church leaders should discuss and teach about. Not just because of the times in which we live, but the fact that the Bible discusses it. Although teaching on the Second Coming demands a balanced, reasonable approach, we shouldn’t let extremists hijack the subject.

These days, most preachers aren’t fond of saying much about Christ returning to earth. Many ministers don’t want to be identified with the wackos who have sensationalized the subject. Last year, a well-meaning Kentucky high school student refused to participate in a state track meet because officials assigned her the number 666. She responded that it would go against her Christian convictions to wear “the devil’s number.” While I appreciate her standing for her beliefs, that is not the intent of that particular prophecy.

Other extremists have made the Christian community look foolish by predicting the exact date of Christ’s return. Or, they wrongfully identify some popular world leader as the Antichrist. Not wanting to be identified with idiocy, many preachers back off Bible prophecy altogether. Besides, when there are so many difficult issues facing us in the present, why focus on something that may not occur for another 2,000 years?

Benefits Of Studying Prophecy
Here are four benefits of studying prophecy.

1. It reaffirms our faith in the Bible as God’s Word. Only God can accurately predict the future. As we see predicted events unfold, we gain renewed confidence in the Bible as the inspired word of God. Simon Peter wrote, “And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns . . .” (2 Peter 1:19).

2. It reminds us of our ultimate hope in an age of despair. The world’s problems seem to be unsolvable. Even our system of self-government seems to be unraveling. However, Christians have a reason for optimism. “…we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).

3. A study of prophecy motivates us to holiness. Simon Peter wrote, “…since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and Godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming” (2 Peter 3:11-12).

4. When we understand the time may be short, it intensifies our focus on evangelism. “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you. I tell you now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).

A study of Bible prophecy reminds us there is a heaven. There is a hell. And, there is a mission we as Christians have been called to, and there is a hurry. After all, this year while some wonder and fret over how much time we have before Christ returns, millions will enter eternity without knowing Him.

What are you doing to bring the "lost in your family" to Christ. We may not have much time left.