Hi friends! We have successfully launched the Bible study, Looking for the Blessed Hope. I plan to share major points from the study, and all are welcome to follow along with us. I also plan to remain faithful to share thoughts and Biblical insight on current events as they happen. (It is not too late to join the study live if you are in the Phoenix area. Click here for details and join us next Sunday morning.)
On Sunday (4/26/15), we opened the study by talking about the motivation for the study, and we answered the question, “Why study prophecy?” Motivation comes primarily through two passages:
- Ezekiel 33:2-6 warns that if a watchman sounds the alarm, but people don’t heed the warning, their blood will be upon their own head. However, if a watchman sees danger coming, but does not sound the alarm, then the blood of those taken by danger will be upon the head of the watchman. God has called me to stand watch and to sound the alarm. Jesus is coming and we must be ready! That motivates me to teach passionately about His return.
- Matthew 24:42-44 commands us to be on the alert, for we do not know which day our Lord is coming.
So, my objective is to exhort others to be ready and alert, and I want to be found faithful to what the Lord has called me to. If we are to “keep looking for the Blessed Hope,” as we’re encouraged to do in Titus 2:13, then we must know how to prepare for His coming!
There are lots of reasons to study prophecy and we discussed several of them:
- Prophecy cements the fact there IS a God. There are about 1,000 prophecies in Scripture, roughly 500 or so which are already fulfilled. For example, prophecy accurately predicted where Jesus would be born, to whom He would be born, the method of death, and many other prophecies. If the Bible got it exactly right on the first 500, we can be absolutely certain the Bible will prove to be accurate on the remaining 500!
- Prophecy protects us from false teaching. Today we have “religious leaders” claiming to be the messiah or his spokesperson. We have televangelists “tickling the ears” of their congregation with prosperity and “feel good” gospel. Knowing and understanding prophecy concerning the last days helps us be able to identify false teaching. The more we study the real thing, the more obvious the counterfeits are.
- Prophecy promotes evangelism. If you knew for certain that Jesus was coming back tomorrow, would it increase your boldness to share the Gospel? Of course it would! Prophecy helps us know that Jesus is coming back soon…so let’s be bold!
- Prophecy exhorts us to pure living. Would you want Jesus to appear while you are doing the things you are doing?
- Prophecy provides hope to the believer. Despite the chaos and heartbreak in this world, we have hope…the Blessed Hope! And that Blessed Hope…Jesus Himself…is coming soon to take us out of this chaotic world!
- Prophecy teaches us to love His appearing…which results in a crown! 2 Timothy 4:8 tells us there is a crown laid up for those of us who love His appearing! I love to look forward to His coming, and that crown of righteousness will be an instrument of worship when we cast it at the feet of Jesus!
- Revelation 1:3 promises a blessing to those who read, hear and heed prophecy. I want to be blessed…how about you?
So, there you have it, my friends! Lots of reasons to study prophecy. I hope you will follow along with us as we focus on Israel, prophecy and current events.
See you tomorrow!