First Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, training in righteousness.” Does your Bible say, “All Scripture EXCEPT PROPHECY is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, training in righteousness?” No, it doesn’t. It says, “All Scripture,” ALL means ALL, and that’s ALL ALL means.
27% of the Bible was prophetic when it was written. Some of what was originally prophetic is history, but there is still much to come. It’s important — really vital — to study and understand Bible prophecy.
A Passion for Bible Prophecy
Some may ask why I have such a passion for Bible prophecy? I didn’t grow up in a “religious” home. As a kid, I never had that Sunday school experience. I never walked around the house singing, “Father Abraham, he had many sons.”
As an adult, as I read Scripture, I had many questions. Unfortunately, when I sought out pastors, they did not always have answers. Years ago, as a new Christian, I remember asking several times when Jesus healed people, WHY did He tell them NOT to tell anyone? In Matthew 8 and Luke 5, Jesus cleanses a leper, and Jesus says to him, “See that you tell no one.” That did not make sense to me. Wouldn’t you want everyone to know? I was disheartened when I received responses such as, “I don’t know; I guess it wasn’t time.”
Today, when I gather with my peers — other pastors — I ask them how often they preach out of Zechariah, Daniel, or Revelation? They often say they don’t preach chapter by chapter from those books. They just pick a theme, such as the Rapture, but then they say, “I’m careful what I preach from prophetic verses.”
I have found that Bible prophecy is vital to understanding the Bible and God. So, why is prophecy ignored? The response I commonly receive is:
- It’s too complex.
- It’s too controversial or it’s too divisive.
- It’s too scary.
Five Reasons Why Bible Prophecy is Essential
Here are five reasons why Bible prophecy is essential.
First, Bible prophecy increases faith and trust. To read what God said is going to happen and then to look back and see that everything happened EXACTLY as God said it would allow us to trust God.
Second, prophecy validates Scripture. Everything that was prophesied, down to the smallest of details, has either taken place precisely as Scripture said it would or is in the process of being fulfilled. Bible prophecy allows us to trust God’s Word — to trust that what He says will happen will happen!
For example, Isaiah 13 prophesies the fall of Babylon to the Medes and Persians. When God told this to Isaiah, Babylon wasn’t even a world empire.
Micah 3:12 prophesied that Jerusalem would become a heap of ruins and the Temple would be destroyed. That was written over a hundred years before Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians.
In Jeremiah 29:10, Jeremiah prophesies that the Babylonian captivity of the Jews would last seventy years.
In Isaiah 44:28 and 45:1 Isaiah prophesied the Jews would be released from captivity by a man named Cyrus. This prophecy was given 150 years before Cyrus was even born.
Prophecy increases faith and trust, it validates Scripture, and third, prophecy validates Jesus. The prophetic scriptures validate that Jesus was who He said He was — God in the flesh.
The prophet Micah in 5:2 revealed the exact birthplace of Jesus, which was prophesied 700 years before His birth. God’s prophecy is precise. There were two Bethlehems, one in the north near the Sea of Galilee and one six miles south of Jerusalem. Micah’s prophecy details the southern site.
The prophecy in Psalm 22:16 said the Messiah would be executed by crucifixion. This prophecy was written by King David a thousand years before the birth of Jesus and 700 years before the Romans even created crucifixion as a means of execution.
Five hundred years before the birth of Jesus, Zechariah prophesied that the Messiah would come on a donkey (9:9). He would be hailed as king (9:9). He would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver (11:12) which would be used to buy a potter’s field (11:13). Zechariah prophesied the Messiah would be lifted up and His hands will be pierced (13:6). Everything happened exactly as the Bible said it would! There are over 300 prophecies in the Old Testament concerning the first coming of Jesus.
Prophecy increases faith and trust, prophecy validates Scripture, prophecy validates Jesus, and fourth, prophecy provides an understanding of current events. Why are things happening? There is no way to understand what is going on in the world today without understanding Bible prophecy.
For example, why has society decayed so much? What’s happening in the Middle East? Why has there been such a great apostasy in the Church? All questions Scripture provides answers for.
Prophecy increases faith and trust. Prophecy validates Scripture. Prophecy validates Jesus. Prophecy provides an understanding of current events, and fifth, prophecy provides HOPE.
Prophecy Reveals the Season of the Lord’s Return
“For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord is coming…” (1 Thessalonians 5:2)
“And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25 LSB). What day? The day of judgment.
“So you, too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door.” (Matthew 24:33 NASB)
A plea from the heart of the Apostle Paul: “The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore, let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:12 NASB).
Maranatha, Lord Jesus!