Why Study Bible Prophecy?
Why should we study Bible prophecy? That is a good question that has many biblical answers that we can discover. First off, please read the following:
Israel's King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty:
I am the first and I am the last;
apart from me there is no God.
7 Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it.
Let him declare and lay out before me
what has happened since I established my ancient people,
and what is yet to come--
yes, let him foretell what will come.
8 Do not tremble, do not be afraid.
Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago?
You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me?
No, there is no other Rock; I know not one."
Isaiah 44:6-8 (NIV)
In this passage, the Lord is proclaiming that there are no other Gods except Him and that there are no others like Him who not only explain the past but can also foretell the future. He is also telling us that this is how He proves to us that He is who He says He is. He feels that this is so important for us to understand that He tells us this fact more than once:
I will not give my glory to another
or my praise to idols.
9 See, the former things have taken place,
and new things I declare;
before they spring into being
I announce them to you."
Isaiah 42:8-9 (NIV)
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 46:9-10 (NKJV)
Biblical prophecy is also the means by which the Lord reveals His plans to us:
by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to
the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, 26 but
now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings
by the command of the eternal God,
so that all nations might believe and obey him--
27 to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.
Romans 16:25-27 (NKJV)
Studying biblical prophecy also bestows special blessing upon us:
But, the most important reason to study prophecy is because Jesus told us to! Many times through out the scriptures He told us to "Watch!" for the fulfillment of prophecy:
Matthew 25:13 (NKJV)
Mark 13:35-37 (NKJV)
Mark 33:35-37 (NIV)
Not only has He commanded us to "Watch!" for the fulfillment of His plans, He expects us to do so:
Matthew 16:2-4 (NIV)
Luke 19:41-42 (NKJV)
In the above passage from the book of Luke, the Lord is weeping over the city of Jerusalem because the Jews were not watching. In Daniel 9:251, the Lord had revealed His plan to present Himself as the "Anointed One" on that very specific day. He had told them this date 483 years in advance of His arrival - but since they didn't study that prophecy, they weren't ready and waiting for Him as they should have been!
The Lord wants us to study His plans as He revealed them to us through His prophets and His own words and He expects us to do so. As these last scriptures above warn us, there may even be regrettable consequences for not knowing the prophecies and watching for their fulfillment. In fact, the last "Watch!" command that Jesus gives us in the Bible is even preceded by a warning:
Luke 21:34-36 (NIV)
Therefore, studying biblical prophecy is a very important facet of the Christian life because it enables us to do as Jesus commanded us to do. Do you know the "signs of the times" and are you able to "Watch!"? If not, then please do as the Lord commands and as the Apostle Paul recommends:
Romans 13:11-14 (NKJV)
2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night... 4 But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5 You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. 9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1Thes 5:1-2, 6-9 (NIV)
I hope that this article has adequately demonstrated the relevancy of studying Bible prophecy and has motivated you to be obedient and "Watch!"