In these uncertain periods of unpredictable natural disasters, drumming up of wars using nuclear weapons, killing of innocent people with machetes and home-made bombs, every believer needs to see what God is saying about now and the future. God still speaks to us by way of past history, present acts and future predictions.
Concerning the central figure of the Bible, our Lord Jesus Christ, some scholars have listed over 100 prophecies in the Old Testament relating to the birth, earthly mission, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. There are many unfulfilled prophecies relating to the triumphant return of Jesus Christ, His millennial reign, and His eternal Kingdom. Therefore, we can be sure that if all the prophecies concerning Jesus Christ at His first coming were fulfilled to the letter, then all the prophecies relating to His second coming will be fulfilled to the letter. Our Gospel message must include not only the message of the Cross but also of Christ’s future triumphant return.
More than 25% of the Bible is prophecy. So we will do well if we preach the whole Bible, especially the prophetic passages. Here are three good reasons why we must study and preach biblical prophecy:
#1 – Motivates us to struggle easier against sin and have victory
Sincere believers are very aware of the “sin that so easily entangles us” (Heb. 12:1) and wish for victory over sin. Future events of seeing Christ face to face and appearing before His judgment seat helps us to say, “no” to sin much easier. By living with the expectancy of Christ’s imminent return, we would be less careless in the way we live and lives victorious Christian lives.
#2 – Prioritizes our lives better and make better business decisions
The book of Revelation speaks often “earth-dwellers” as those who refuse to believe God and want permanency on earth. That does not mean that believers do not exercise stewardship or invest in properties while they are on earth. Rather believers should look to a eternal and permanent dwelling in the city of God rather than in the cities on earth. In the light of God’s prediction that the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed, Peter says, “what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness” (2Pet 3:11). We should be doing the “Father’s business,” that is, doing God’s will rather than our own will. So that for our limited lives on earth, there may be less “wasted years” and less tears of regrets.
#3 – Fortifies our minds to face trials and temptations better
All people face burdens, trials, losses, sicknesses, sorrows and eventually deaths in this life. Whether they are “minor” or “major” all believers need to have God’s wisdom to see all aspects of life from God’s perspective. An integral part of God’s perspective is the future that lies ahead. This is how Jesus faced the trial of His crucifixion. The writer of Hebrews says that Jesus “for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (12:2). Jesus looked beyond the rejection of His ministry, His physical and mental suffering on the cross to that time in His glorious kingdom, His reunion with all He would redeem and restore. What believers need in times of trial and difficulty is not positive thinking, but prophetic thinking!
Some Christians believe that biblical prophecy is not very important or very hard to understand. They reason that it is too controversial, too unclear or much too irrelevant for life in the present. The epistles of Peter are not often seen as prophetic epistles. In these two epistles, the Apostle Peter mentions about future events some 25 times. In the next article, we will explain briefly three more reasons why it is good to the study and preach bible prophecy. So begin to read and pray for understanding of the prophetic passages of the bible.
Elder Yoong Yuen Soo