Prophecy gives us a glimpse into the future, so that we will know how to live in the present. That’s why prophecy is so prominent throughout the pages of the Bible. It protects us from deception and prepares us for Christ’s return. Prophecy is not only an academic exercise; it’s practical for everyday living. Then at the end of our lives, we will receive a great prize of blessing if we heed prophecy’s instructions.
The book of Revelation is not an imaginative piece of spiritual fiction to tickle our fancy. Instead, it is a guidebook to teach us the sequence of events leading up to the return of Jesus Christ.
When a stranger asks me, “When is your birthday?” I become a little suspicious. I don’t believe they plan to send me a present. They probably want to figure out my horoscope. Nowadays, it’s not unusual to meet people who use astrological predictions to plan the future. Others actually spend money on psychics or New Age books. It seems that people will do almost anything in their quest to know the future.
In reality, there is only one place to look for a glimpse into our tomorrows: the Word of God. Unlike the fortunetellers of our day, God foretells the future with inerrant accuracy. He knows the end from the beginning. He’s given us a snapshot of things to come. The book of Revelation paints a picture of the events that will bring the world as we know it to a finale. The word “revelation” itself means the unfolding of that which was previously hidden or unknown.
Sadly, the book of Revelation has remained hidden and unknown to many Christians. Prophecy’s pages are often left shrouded in mystery and misunderstanding. 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.
Have you ever wondered if prophecy is really all that important? After all, if we can’t know exactly when Christ is returning, then what is the point of studying biblical prophecy? Or maybe you’ve avoided the study of prophecy because it seems too difficult to understand. Perhaps, if you were honest, you would admit you are simply uninterested in the future. The present has you completely preoccupied and overwhelmed.
I read once that sometimes we treat the book of Revelation like the priests and the Levites treated the Samaritan who was wounded on the road. We pass by it on the other side. Why do we avoid the study of prophecy? Or perhaps a better question would be, why should we study the panorama of prophecy found in Scripture?
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