Why You And Your Church Should Take Prophecy Seriously

Why You And Your Church Should Take Prophecy Seriously

Why is prophecy important in your life as a Christian and in the life of your church?

Bible prophecy is one of the most ignored topics in churches today! Many churches shy away from even mentioning “Bible Prophecy” often calling it “unnecessarily divisive.”

It is concerning that churches don’t take prophecy seriously. The very fact that God has revealed so many details about events to come in both testaments tells us that it is important.  At the center of biblical prophecy is the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13). Not only should we be interested in prophetic events, we should be looking for our Savior, with whom we will spend eternity.

How did we get here? How is it that we’ve arrived in the end times, when clarity is needed the most and we find the genre of prophecy “off limits” or “too controversial” to be preached and taught in our churches?

I suspect Satan is somewhat proud of this accomplishment. At a critical time when the church is most vulnerable the study of “things to come” is nowhere to be found in the pulpits of our churches.

This shows how far away we find ourselves from the days of Jehoshaphat’s revival in 2 Chron. 20:20, “Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be established; believe his prophets, and you will succeed.”

Why do churches neglect the serious study of Bible prophecy? It’s fair to say that one issue is complexity. There are many prophetic details in the Bible to work through and harmonize. Scholars estimate the bible contains 27% predictive prophecy. So there is hard work to do formulating a biblical understanding in this area.

That said, we are warned not to neglect prophecy for two reasons. First, prophecy acts like a light in the darkness (2 Peter 1:19) and second, since it’s part of scripture it’s profitable to study (1 Tim. 4:16; 2 Tim. 3:16). A second issue lies at the door of today’s bible colleges and seminaries who, for the most part, offer little to no theological training in the area of biblical eschatology.

Over the last 25 years, the majority of bible training institutions have opted to simply overlook the subject. What little training is offered usually focuses on explaining the different views of prophecy leaving students to make up their own minds on a complex topic they’ve never been taught!

So today’s pastors graduate absent an understanding of prophecy and avoid it like the plague. Without being grounded with a pre-millennial foundation, pastors simply don’t know what to believe and once in the ministry, it’s too late and too time consuming to figure it out. I know pastors who have never preached about bible prophecy from the pulpit because they fail to see the relevance of the book of Revelation in everyday life.

A third reason might be the knee-jerk reaction that some have to not be linked with those who have abused bible prophecy. Our generation has seen its share of false teachers making outrageous predictions.

There are those who have become obsessed with offering a date for Jesus’ return, or treating every current event as fulfillments of Bible prophecy. So some people have swung away from the abuse of prophecy to no interest at all. That’s like throwing the baby out with the bath water.  None of these are good reasons to avoid the study of prophecy.

Maybe you’ve avoided the study of prophecy because it seems too difficult.
God has promised spiritual blessings for studying and heeding prophecy. Here are 7 reasons why you and your church should take prophecy seriously:

1. Prophecy is a Major Part of the Christian Storyline
As the single largest topic in scripture, we can safely conclude the Bible is a book of prophecy playing a major part of the Bible’s story. By “story,” I’m talking about the narrative of the Christian worldview. Since Christianity is rooted in history and real historical events, God’s story includes past, present, and future events. All should be taught.

The church should not ignore prophetic events just because they’re not popular in our culture. Future events complete the story—events such as the rapture, the Day of the Lord, the Second Coming, the Millennium, and the Eternal State play out the victorious future for all believers. To avoid discussion of prophecy is to avoid an important part of the Christian worldview.

2. Prophecy was Important to Jesus
Jesus was a prophet! As such, our Lord prophesied throughout His ministry and extensively quoted Old Testament prophets in His teaching and preaching ministry.  Christ’s longest sermon appears in three gospels in Mathew 24-25; Mark 13 and Luke 21 which is also His longest prophecy about the end times.  Right in the middle of this prophecy, Jesus stops and says, “Behold, I have told you everything ahead of time.” Mark 13:23. That gives us pause to think.

Jesus abruptly stops to frame his lengthy prophetic message with something we often forget. Jesus was God and only God knows the future!  By stopping to remind us this was prophecy, Jesus reveals how important prophecy was to his teaching ministry.  Earlier in this same sermon, in the midst of delivering his prophecy about Antichrist, Jesus again paused to offer a remark. This time he offered a prayer and says, “let the reader understand” (Mt. 24:15).  This one also gives us pause to think. Jesus stopped and prayed for us to understand Bible prophecy! Why would he do that? Because Jesus knows the value of prophecy and wants us to understand it.

3. We are called to teach the whole Bible
There are large sections of Scripture devoted to prophecy, many of which still need to be fulfilled from our current standpoint.

For example the events of Ezekiel 36–48 still need to occur. In the New Testament passages like Matthew 24-25; Mark 13; much of Luke 21; 1 Thess. 4-5; 2 Thess. 1-2; 2 Peter 3; Revelation 6-22 describe events that still need to happen. We cannot ignore these passages. Paul says in Acts 20:27, “I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God.”

If your church does not teach what the Bible says about the future, the whole counsel of God is not being taught.

4. People are interested in the future
Christians are interested in what the future holds. But if we do not teach what the bible says about prophecy, we are denying important biblical information for those who want to know what the Bible has to say about the future.  As believers who understand bible prophecy, we are holding a major source of hope that the Lord wants every Christian to have.

5. Prophecy motivates believers to serve the Lord
Prophecy changes our lives because what we do now impacts our future. Paul viewed everything he did in light of his standing before Jesus someday. In 2 Timothy 4:7-8 he said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.”

6. Prophecy has a purifying effect on the life of the believer
Prophecy is meant to transform our lives in the present. Why should we live sensibly, righteously and godly? Because Jesus is coming again.

1 John 3:2-3 states, “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”

James 5:8-9 also says, “You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.” The study of biblical eschatology is a motivation for godly living.

7. Prophecy gives us perspective on the troubles and trials of this age
We live in a fallen and tragedy-soaked world. Evil seems to triumph. Without Jesus there is no hope but the Christian has the hope of resurrection and the restoration of all things (1 Cor. 15:20-28Acts 3:21). Romans 8:18 states, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”

The coming of Jesus and the restoration of all things are future realities that give Christians hope and the joyful realization that the turmoil’s and trials of this age will not last forever. Righteousness and goodness win in the end.

Christians need to hear a prophetic message of hope and encouragement from the pulpit more often!

The Lull Before the Storm

The Lull Before the Storm

The Lull Before the Storm

Thankfully, even though God’s judgment upon sin is sure, He is also slow to anger and His mercy is great.

It is my opinion that we are currently in a lull that God has graciously granted just before the prophesied end-of-time storm that will devastate an unsuspecting and deserving generation.

Even so, a brisk wind is already snapping the flag of warning that apocalypse approaches.

17 Prophetically Significant

News Events From

This Week

1. God blesses Israel with major discoveries of natural gas and oil. This week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dedicated the foundation for the Leviathon gas platform in the Mediterranean.

2. Schumer’s Plot – Dems introduce Bill to STOP Trump from using military to Build the Wall

3. More states (Va, R.I.) jump on bandwagon to approve late-term abortions and after-birth infanticide. USA sinks to new low. Our godless culture sees the unborn as birth defects instead of human beings.

4. Racist lynch mob giving Virginia’s infanticide Governor his just deserts

5. Dems offer plan to release all child Traffickers at border into US

6. U.S. Senator Kamala Harris publicly called for an end to a free-market economy and the implementation of a socialist government in the United States. Harris also supports open borders and foreigners entering the United States illegally.

7. Reports have surfaced revealing sharia-adherent Muslim Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) calling for leniency for those who join the ranks of ISIS.

8. Moscow wants Israel to help speed US exit from Syria, but won’t stop Iranian arms shipments

9. Netanyahu: Trump’s Iran sanctions are crippling Hezbollah

10. Iranian general says Tehran aims to wipe Israel off the global political map

11. Trump warns Europeans not to try to evade Iran sanctions

12. Iranian commander threatens Israel’s destruction if it attacks

13. Iran wants Russian air defense shield extended to Lebanon to cover Hezbollah’s precise missiles

14. Israel strikes in Syria could prompt strike on Tel Aviv -Hezbollah leader warns

15. Turkey grows impatient with US and Kurds in Northern Syria. Note: Turkey wants to slaughter the Kurds and absorb the Kurdish terrotory. This is prophetically significant because their territory in northern Iraq and Syria is identical to ancient Assyria. Both Isaiah and Micah prophecy that Antichrist will rise from Assyria.

16. Israel’s Ex-air Force Chief: Military Capability Won’t Get Iran Out of Syria, Only Russia Can Do It

17. 10,000 Gazans riot on Israel’s western border; Israel says their elections won’t stop a military response

Rapture vs. Second Coming

Rapture vs. Second Coming

Two Different Events

There are two detailed descriptions of the Lord’s return in the New Testament. One is written by the Apostle Paul (1 Thess. 4:13-18) and the other by the Apostle John (Rev. 19:11-14). Some people think the Rapture (1 Thess. 4:13-18) and the Second Coming (Rev. 19:11-14) are speaking about the same event which occurs at the end of the Tribulation. Did you notice the above chart? If you look carefully you’ll see that these two events are as different as night and day.

 

Two Different Times

It’s simply not possible that these two descriptions are about the same event! They have absolutely nothing in common. In fact, they are totally incompatible. That’s because they describe two different events separated by 7 years. The Rapture happens without the world knowing it, just before the start of the Tribulation. On the other hand, Christ’s Second Coming will be seen by the whole world at the end of the 7-Year Tribulation.

Satan’s Seven Empires

Satan’s Seven Empires

They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for a while.

Revelation 17:10

The above scripture indicates that Satan plans to take down Israel by raising up seven pagan empires to do his evil work. Since the time Egypt held Israel captive up until the Second Coming, there will be anunbroken chain of Anti-Semitic empires to do Satan’s bidding. The book of Daniel mentions four of these empires – Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Islam. 

Seven Dragon Heads
We don’t learn that there are seven empires until we first read about them in Revelation 12 where the seven empires are depicted as the seven dragon heads of Satan. Satan is symbolically portrayed in Revelation 12 as a great red dragon. From Revelation, we have to backtrack to identify who each of the empires are.

Seven Dragon Heads portray Satan’s Seven Empires
And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon (Satan), having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.Revelation 12:3

Hatred For Israel

The imagery of Revelation 12 shows Satan as the architect of these diabolical empires and the power behind them. The one unifying factor of all seven empires is their opposition to Israel. They are unrelenting in their quest to assault and destroy the chosen people.

Each time they try, God intervenes and supernaturally snatches them from the mouth of the dragon! Combined together, these empires have fought to destroy Israel for 4000 years. They have relentlessly sought to capture and control the promised land, the holy city Jerusalem and Israel’s holy temple.

8th Empire Rising

The coming empire will be no different as they seek the blood of the saints and Israel during the 7-year Tribulation. As predicted in Daniel and Revelation, Islam is rising up again today. Throughout most major cities and countries, around the globe, Islam is making its presence known.

The force of Satan’s power is blowing Islam’s sails to the forefront in our generation as he reconstructs his final empire. At least six times, the future empire is referred to as one that previously existed (Rev. 13:3, 12, 14). It is also referred to as the beast (Rev. 13:1-8), the 8th empire (Rev. 17:11) the empire of Antichrist and the beast coming up from the abyss (Rev. 11:7; 17:8).

Turkey’s “Head-Wound” is Healing – 2023

Today, the Islamic Caliphate’s head wound is healing as Turkey, the former head of the Ottoman Empire, Islam’s last Caliphate, makes it’s comeback for the first time since being beheaded and dismantled by the Western Allies in WWI.

Under the influence of Turkey’s dominant President, Recep Tayyip Erdgan, the country has its sights set on 2023! The leaders of Turkey’s Islamic revolution would like to see a full Islamic recovery by 2023 to mark the celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the break-up of the Ottoman empire. When there recovery is complete, the world will never recover!   The 2023 benchmark may be what’s being described here in Revelation 13,

The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority. One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was filled with wonder and followed the beast. People worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, “Who is like the beast? Who can wage war against it?