UNDERSTANDING THE FUTURE - PILLAR ONE: Prophecy is the Key
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21For 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 Ghost — II Peter 1:19-21
Understanding the future is clearly a worthwhile goal. Yet where do we start? The logical is with the One who holds the future in His hand.
The God of heaven knows the future and desires to reveal it to His people. We call such revelation ‘Bible prophecy.’ As Peter says above, we have the ‘Word of Prophecy’ which is certain, sure and a light that shines in a dark place. In fact, prophecy is the brightest light we have on this planet until Jesus christ, the ‘light of the world’ (John 8:12) comes.
Bible prophecy is readily available in both Old and New Testaments. Not only is it found in the 17 prophetic books of the Old and 1 book in the New, but it is liberally sprinkled throughout much of the rest of the Bible. To learn prophecy is a rewarding life-time of study.
Benefits of Prophecy
While some people find prophecy confusing and others frightening, the truth is that it is neither. There are some wonderful benefits bestowed on the man or woman who takes the time to learn to wonderful subject.
Many are looking for the secrets of healthy living. Yet, it is time to proclaim that Bible prophecy is healthier for you than organic food, exercise, pure water and fresh air. Consider the following benefits:
1. Early-warning service: A ‘heads up’ for the future (Amos 3:7 tells us that God will do nothing until He reveals it to His servants the prophets);
2. Bright light: The light that shines in the darkness (II Peter 1:19);
3. Comfort: Brings comfort to the believer. While so many think that prophesy is meant to scare the daylights out of you, the fact is the opposite. It comforts believers (I Thessalonians 5:11);
4. Edification: Brings edification to the believer (I Thessalonians 5:11). Edification means to build people up. When you are built-up, you can withstand anything the devil or world throws at you;
5. Establishment and prosperity (II chronicles 20:20): When you believe God and His prophets, you will be well grounded and optimally positioned to bear much fruit (Psalm 1:3; John 15:2-5);
6. Evangelism: Prophecy spawns evangelism (II Timothy 4:1-5);
7. Holiness: Prophecy is an incentive for holy living (II Peter 3:11-13);
8. Affirms Christ and Scripture (II Peter 1:19-21).
Are we in the last days? The simple answer is ‘Yes.’ I John 2:18 says we are in the ‘last hour.’ Hebrews 9:26 says that Christ was crucified ‘at the end of the world.’ If it was the ‘end of the world’ and ‘last hour’ in the time of the New Testament, it is even more so today.
Remember, the last days to which prophecy speaks is a time of transition. And where you have major transition, you also have turbulence. The kingdoms of this world are being shaken and phased out so that there is room for the unshakeable kingdom of God (Hebrews 12:25-29).
Since we live in a fallen world, where Satan is the god (2 Corinthians 4:4) and prince (John 12:31) of this world, he knows that his reign is short. He also knows that it is impossible to stop the coming of God’s kingdom. Despite all this, he will still try to cause as much trouble as he can. For this reason, in the fallen world in the last days, perilous times come (II Timothy 3:1).
Understanding: Knowing the nature of the problem will bring you halfway to the solution. How should we respond? By hearing and doing the words of Jesus! The Lord says that when you ‘hear and do,’ you are a wise person who builds his house on the rock. The inevitable rains, winds, and floods may be furious but you will be kept safe and intact because you are on the rock.
In light of the last days, wisdom decrees that we put the kingdom of God and spiritual life above all else (Matthew 6:33).
LESSON FOR LIFE: If you want to understand the future, know that prophecy is your first key.
Next month we will give you the second of seven pillars to understanding the future.