Prophecy - the Nursery of Faith
"For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit".
(2 Peter 1-21)
PROPHECY THE BASIS OF OUR HOPE:
The basis of all hope in Jesus Christ is Bible prophecy and there is no real guaranteed future without Bible prophecy. Every confidence we have in the future kingdom is based on Bible prophecy. Every person with any firm faith in God’s kingdom is interested in Bible prophecy.
There can be no Bible ‘prophecy deniers’ here. It is merely a question of how involved you get!
Everyone needs a sound, basic, fundamental, unshakeable Bible prophecy foundation to rely on.
BIBLE PROPHECY IS ABOUT:-
the return of Jesus,
the proclamation of the kingdom from Jerusalem,
the new temple.
These Bible prophecies are simple and easy to believe in. You have a sound, basic, fundamental platform for your faith.
People cling to myths like going to heaven when they die because they do not have a basic understanding of Bible prophecy. Their belief about the future is totally wrong. Their faith is absolutely misplaced. But people have been talking about the return of Christ, the resurrection and the kingdom for centuries with no result. Is that myth too? Isn’t it simpler just to believe you go to heaven when you die?
It is not a myth and Israel proves it. We are getting much closer to the end time, and our understanding of ‘NOW’ urgently needs developing.
To go any further we must now get REALLY INTERESTED in some details of Bible prophecy. We need to know some of Zechariah, a bit of Ezekiel, and a bit of Obadiah would help too!
We may be sitting at home, happy with our simple fundamentals. But buildings collapse in New York, our ‘super’ is worth half it was, our retirement investments have shrunk, we may have to
look further ahead to get on a plane, petrol may be rationed, foods are contaminated unknowingly. The world has changed. Certainty is gone. What’s happening????? When will it end? Will Jesus come soon? What do we tell our terrified children? This ‘NOW’ is not so fundamental. We must now get REALLY INTERESTED in some detail of Bible prophecy!
There are answers to these queries but only for really interested persons!
People long sceptical about the value of Bible prophecy will not easily absorb the prophecy culture. There are nuances to be learned. Logical steps to be taken. Practice to be engaged in to identify the sensible interpretation from the others. Traps to be avoided. Lessons to be applied.
When Jesus Christ does publicly appear in Jerusalem and proclaim his rulership of the kingdom to the world, there will be an enormous, worldwide argument break out as to his identity. Most churches around us, including the ‘star’ TV evangelists will say that Jesus is ANTICHRIST. They are deceiving nearly all the world right now.
How will you know not to be deceived? Your simple fundamentals will not save you now! You will need to be INTERESTED in Bible prophecy so as to avoid being deceived. 1 John and 2 John tells you who Antichrist is.
What will the kingdom be like? Eternal sunshine? Under vines and
figtrees? Grapes and bananas? Mountains flowing with wine fountains and rivers of grain? Lion pussy cats? Laughter and happiness? A thousand years of absolute harmony? Is that all? Certainly not! All that plus.
Would it shock you to know that there are tasks to be performed? Cities to be ruled. Lessons to be taught. Battles to be waged. Drought. Plague. Evil empires to be overthrown. Rebellions to be put down.
It is all in the Bible prophecies, but it is more than just the fundamentals! You have to be interested to find out.
BUILDING FAITH WITH BIBLE PROPHECY:
There are thousands of prophecies in the Bible, many hundreds having to do with our times and beyond. God did not put them there just to fill up the space, to be discounted, or to be set aside. They have a number of important roles. Some of these are:
to outline the future for any generation from Abraham.
It is simply not true, as many who should know better say, that prophecy is not given to foretell the future. That is an excuse by those who are frustrated in not being able to unravel all prophecy. We don’t know it all but what do you think this means? "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants - things which must shortly take place" (Rev.1:1). Eighty generations have been able to pinpoint their time in history and look ahead to what was (or is) coming because of this prophecy of The Revelation. Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar did it before then, for
twenty four generations, who, if they were diligent, knew what kingdoms were coming. Don’t let anyone tell you that prophecy is not for the purpose, among other things, of telling the future.
to demonstrate the foreknowledge of God
by showing that events were foretold and then accurately fulfilled. By this means, God demonstrates his absolute power and control over everything and, because of this, we may confidently place our trust in God and in Bible prophecy.
to be sensibly interpreted; not misused, abused, altered, distorted by preconceived ideas.
There are many examples of prophecies deliberately being taken out of context because they pointed to uncomfortable conclusions, e.g. "the man of sin" passage in 2 Thess 2 (the Catholic system), the antichrist 1 & 2 John (the trinity). Even many capable Bible prophecy students do not recognise the 1948 division of Jerusalem in Zechariah 14:1-2 because it was not performed by Gog, and they look for another future Gogian division! Very likely they will look in vain.
Find it in Ezekiel 38/9?
PROPHECY….HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
No ‘hope’ for the future kingdom is possible without Bible prophecy and there are a myriad details in the many hundreds of them.
They range from
events heralding the return of Jesus,
to the events of his coming,
to his gathering of Israel and the saints,
to the proclamation of the kingdom,
to the building of the Temple and worship,
to the conversion of the world,
to the subjection of Christ’s enemies,
to the taming of nature,
to the reduction of disease, decay and evil
to the abolition of death.
THE LAZY FAITH:
It is a lazy faith indeed which will not proceed from the simple fundamentals to enquire into some of the wonderful details of these events.