What is Bible Prophecy? Why is Prophecy Important?
#1 What Is Bible Prophecy?
Simply put, Bible prophecy is God revealing history in advance. Prophecies are divinely inspired revelations given by God through a person. Prophecies were given as a prediction, warning, or directive for taking action. In the New Testament, Peter tells us how prophecies were given.
2 Peter 1:20-21—Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, through human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
The technical term for the study of end-time Bible prophecy events is called eschatology. Eschatology literally means the study of last things. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines it as “a branch of theology concerned with the final events in the history of the world or of humankind.” Eschatology touches on all other key areas of systematic Biblical study.
Genesis, the first book of the Bible, introduces key themes that are progressively revealed in later books, and these themes find their final resolution in Revelation—the last, and distinctively prophetic, book of the Bible. The Bible, though written by at least 39 men on three continents over a period of at least 1500 years, tells one complete story beginning with eternity past and ending with eternity future.
Unlike the vague predictions of modern-day psychics and palm readers, biblical prophecies are specific predictions of clear future events given through God’s appointed prophets. The main test of a true prophet is that their predictions come true 100% of the time.
Deuteronomy 18:22—If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed.
Another important test of a prophet is that their prophecies must agree with scripture and not cause anyone to worship false gods.
Deuteronomy 13:1-4—If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder spoken of takes place, and the prophet says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.
Another important aspect of prophecy is that it displays the character and nature of God. Through the prophets, God made it clear that only he can appoint and predict future events. In essence, God ties his own credibility and character to the accuracy of biblical prophecy
Isaiah 42:8, 9—I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to anyone else, nor share my praise with carved idols. Everything I prophesied has come true, and now I will prophesy again. I will tell you the future before it happens.
#2 Why Is Bible Prophecy Important To You?
Here’s why Bible prophecy is important for you. Fulfilled Bible prophecy is one of the most compelling evidences that the Bible is from God. As you will discover in this book, major historical events were told centuries, and in some cases, thousands of years in advance. These prophecies were fulfilled to the exact detail. No other document in the world can make this claim. The only logical explanation is that the book is supernatural in nature.
I can’t show God to you, but I can show you his fingerprints all over fulfilled prophecy. I would encourage you to read this book with an attitude of genuine truth-seeking wherever it may lead. Christianity is believed by faith, but I hope to demonstrate to you that it is a faith built on facts and evidence rather than a blind faith. God never expected us to check our brains at the door as we consider the claims of Scripture. For those sincerely seeking patterns of evidence, I believe they will follow those patterns to the God of the Bible.
Fulfilled Bible prophecy also demonstrates God’s faithfulness. He is a promise-keeper. Experts report that 27-33% of the Bible is prophecy. Over 10,000 of the 31,102 verses in the Bible contain prophecy, and half of those have already been fulfilled. That is no small down payment. God has put his money where his mouth is and demonstrated his promise-keeping faithfulness to generations of believers.
End-time prophecies predict several breathtaking events, not the least of which is the rapture, in which all true believers in Christ are taken to be with the Lord in an instant prior to a terrible time on Earth known as the Tribulation period. If not for the avalanche of already-fulfilled prophecies, it would be extremely difficult to believe some of the amazing claims of end-time prophecies.
Last but not least, Bible prophecy should motivate us to share the good news about God’s free gift of salvation with our friends and loved ones. Whether we’ll see the Lord return in our day or not, we are closer to those events than any other generation in history.
Furthermore, we are witnessing a convergence of end-time conditions which, at the very least, demonstrate that the world is being readied for end-time prophecies to be fulfilled. As one prophecy expert often says, “Things are not falling apart, they are falling into place.”
Even if the Lord does not return in our lifetime, we all need to be ready to meet Him at death. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. In Christ, we have the answer to everything and we need to share it!
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