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Scripture Studies

Back to Basics: Prophecy and You

prophecy youWhy study Bible prophecy? Does, the word of the prophets spoken thousands of years ago, interest you? Does it have a practical application in your life? Why should it even be more important today?

We’re all curious about what the future holds for us personally. And our Eternal and loving God doesn’t want His people to be in the dark and worried with fear of the unknown. So He inspired His word, the Bible, to be a road map for our life’s journeys.

Bible prophecy does indeed satisfy much of our interest about the future, but God has greater purposes for it than just that. There are spiritual applications and benefits as well!

As we study prophecy, you’ll learn God’s intent for giving us prophetic revelations and forewarnings about both the conditions and future of the world that will affect you personally.

What are God’s reasons for wanting us to understand His prophecies? Listed below are some of the purposes of why prophecy is important and how it benefits us personally (interspersed with biblical texts/verses).

Prophecy brings/announces glad tidings or ‘good news’. Understanding prophecy, reminds us of our Commission, as Christ Himself began announcing the good news for a witness followed by various miracles. The “gospel” or good news prepares someone for a calling that is very unique and rewarding: the inauguration and the kingdom of God.  This also makes us ready to sustain the work and of making our calling and election sure, to the end. 

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:24

“Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:10-11

Prophecy proves that the words of God are true, verifiable and reliable. With prophecy, God’s words are validated for accuracy and precision. Thus, God’s purposes and plans can be confirmed and demonstrated even for the skeptics and doubters alike. It also establishes that ultimately, it is God who is in control of everything He does. As future prophesied events happen, we will have even more proof of the divine inspiration of the Bible and the reliability of His words.

“Remember the former things of old,
For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like Me,
10 Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things that are not yet done,
Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
And I will do all My pleasure,’”
Isaiah 46:10

“Surely the Lord God does nothing,
Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.”
Amos 3:7

Prophecy sustains our continuing Hope for the future. Our understanding about the conditions around us and the knowledge of God’s plan readies us so we will be calm and courageous when hardships come.

“And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.” 2 Peter 1:19

“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” 1 Corinthians 15:9

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.” Hebrews 11:1-2

Prophecy is God’s way of communicating [witness and warning] to His people and the world. From ancient times God sent prophet as “watchman” (Ezek.33:1,11). As a God’s people today, we need constant watchman to sound a warning whenever danger is approaching. God’s Church serves in the role of spiritual “watchman.” This partly explains why prophecy is so important and why God wants His people to understand prophecies.

“Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”Luke 21:6 

“That you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming?”2 Peter 3:2-4

“Now all these things happened to them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” 1 Corinthians 10:11

Prophecy and its inspiration is for the edification of God’s people. As important as knowing what the future holds for us, are the exhortations, examples of faith, continuing inspirations and spiritual guidance that we need on a daily basis. The assuring words of Scripture coupled with our actions/deeds, help to comfort and assure us.   

Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy…

But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. 4…But he who prophesies edifies the church.1 Corinthians 14:1,3-4

“Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good.”1 Thessalonians 5:19-21

“Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it.Revelation 1:3

Prophecy shows that God is active/dynamic in our life. Our God is not some distant and detached Being who has no interest in us. In fact, to assure us of a future, He gave us His “only begotten Son” (John 3:16) for our salvation. This makes prophecy personal to everyone. It’s not just about hope of the future, but how we will be sustained through faith and His Spirit. God moves everyone in fulfillment by equipping us with enabling talents and gifts to a fruitful life.     

But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel:

17 “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
    and your young men shall see visions,
    and your old men shall dream dreams;
18 even on my male servants and female servants
    in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.”
Acts 2:16-18

“For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along [moved] by the Holy Spirit.”2 Peter 1:21

Prophecy confirms/validates that Jesus was/is our Messiah, the Son of God. The identity of the true Messiah, His work, and mission is crucial for anybody to take the word of anyone. Time and again, the Bible validated all the proofs, timing, and critical events and even detailed information, with personal eyewitnesses and testimonies about Jesus as the Christ.   

“For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.”2Peter 1:16

“For those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they did not know Him, nor even the voices of the Prophets which are read every Sabbath, have fulfilled them in condemning Him [Jesus Christ].” – Acts 13:27

“Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”Revelation 19:10

 Prophecy reveals God’s ultimate plan for humanity. What does the future hold? Prophecy assures us that while the current state of the world looks so bleak, God holds the future, and not just any future but the assurance of the most majestic and wonderful kingdom of God to come! 

“And who can proclaim as I do?

Then let him declare it and set it in order for Me,
Since I appointed the ancient people.

And the things that are coming and shall come, Let them show these to them.
Do not fear, nor be afraid; Have I not told you from that time, and declared it?
You are My witnesses. Is there a God besides Me?
Indeed there is no other Rock; I know not one.’”
Isaiah 44:7-8

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”Jeremiah 29:11

People mistakenly assume that prophecies are only about predicting the future. Not at all. Prophecies have dual purposes. As in old times, God sent prophets to predict or foretell the future and to preach repentance (see, Jonah 3:2-4; Ezekiel 3:18). So that people are being forewarned today; and God’s servants are to preach repentance and teach/exhort everyone about Jesus Christ and His coming kingdom.

“Preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.” Acts 28:31

Yes, prophecy is for you, your hope and future!

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