Panorama of Prophecy
- 2002 10 Oct
Have you ever wondered if prophecy is really all that important? After all, if we can't know exactly when Christ is returning, what is the point of studying biblical prophecy? Sadly, the Book of Revelation has remained hidden and unknown to many Christians. Prophecy's pages are often left shrouded in mystery and misunderstanding. Why do we avoid the study of prophecy? Or perhaps a better question would be, why should we study the panorama of prophecy found in Scripture?
THE PROMINENCE OF PROPHECY
Out of the 216 chapters found in the entire New Testament, did you know there are 318 references to the Second Coming of Christ? That means if you were to omit passages about prophecy, you would have to remove one out of every thirty verses in the New Testament. You would also have to skip 23 of the 27 New Testament books, which mention prophecy. For every prophecy about the birth of Christ, there are eight about His Second Coming. In light of prophecy's prominence, can we really say, "Well, prophecy is just not relevant"?
THE PROTECTION OF PROPHECY
We are living in a day when men and women are deceived left and right. While God wants to get you under prophecy's umbrella of protection, the devil wants to keep you out. Satan knows that if you read Revelation, you'll learn of his coming doom. You'll see that the adversary who is tempting you everyday has already been assigned to a new location: the Lake of Fire. If you see Satan as a defeated foe in the future, that helps you to be victorious over him today. Prophecy will protect you from Satan's attacks in the present.
THE PREPARATION OF PROPHECY
Jesus told many parables to illustrate the importance of being prepared for His coming. One such parable was about a master of the house who had been robbed. If the master had known the hour the thief would come, he would have surely watched to prevent the robbery. The lesson of the parable is simple: Be prepared. Always be ready for the Lord's return, which will be as unpredictable as a thief in the night. Prophecy prepares us for future events. By reading biblical passages about prophecy, you will be prepared for the days ahead.
THE PRACTICALITY OF PROPHECY
The Book of Revelation is not only for understanding-it is for application. Christ's imminent return will impact your desire to witness to others. If we take prophecy seriously, it will affect the way we live. Some of the most energetic people I know in the church have been transformed by their study of prophecy. They're ministry oriented, reaching out to the lost because they understand what will happen in the future. Prophecy is intensely practical-it is the driving force behind evangelism and righteous living.
THE PRIZE OF PROPHECY
Revelation is the only book in the Bible that motivates its readers by promising a prize. Revelation 1:3 says, "Blessed is he who reads, and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near." The blessing is reiterated in Revelation 22:7, "Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book." Read the Book of Revelation, taking the time to understand it. If you follow the instructions in the book, God has promised a prize of blessing for you.
Prophecy gives us a glimpse into the future, so that we will know how to live in the present. That's why prophecy is so prominent throughout the pages of the Bible. It protects us from deception and prepares us for Christ's return. Prophecy is not only an academic exercise; it's practical for everyday living. Then at the end of our lives, we will receive a great prize of blessing if we heed prophecy's instructions.
This article was taken from Turning Points, Dr. David Jeremiah's bi-monthly Devotional Magazine. Call Turning Point at 1-800-947-1993 for your complimentary copy of Turning Points.
If you enjoyed this article, we'd like to recommend Dr. Jeremiah's series entitled Escape the Coming Night, a chapter-by-chapter study of the Book of Revelation.