There is great interest in the study of Bible prophecy. This can be good, or it can be destructive. The key is how it is handled and applied.We are commanded to study the Word and rightly divide it. Nowhere, is this more important than in the study of prophecy.
Prophecy is the greatest proof of inspiration. The four gospels are a record of how the birth, life, teaching, miracles, death, and resurrection of Jesus are proofs that He is the subject of Old Testament prophecies.
It helps give a point of reference to the believer. The study and understanding of prophecy will give the Christian a solid reference point if he knows how to rightly divide the Word of God.
Perhaps the greatest error in the study of prophecy is the failure to understand that most of it is written concerning Israel and their kingdom. There is very little prophecy concerning the church. Most of the things said about the church have to do with trends within it in its last days. There is a world of difference between what is said about the last days of the church and the last days of Israel’s prophecies.
Most prophecy will be understood after its fulfillment. This gives credibility to Scripture. There are many things we could not have understood 75 years ago. But with Israel in the land, the movement of the nations against them, the advent of the computer and the interned; the Second Advent seems imminent. Hindsight is 20/20. As we approach the end of the age, our understandings of prophecy will increase.
We must exercise special caution and discernment when listening to how one interprets prophecy. The great danger is the belief that we have prophets in this dispensation to whom God is revealing the future. Rest assured it is not happening. Another danger is that of eager souls see fulfillment of prophecy in every event. Jesus warned us that Israel’s last days would spawn many false prophets. Jesus said to His disciples, “ And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Matthew 24:6-8.
We must not assume that current events are the fulfillment of prophecy. They may be; they may not. Time will tell. History is replete with accounts of preachers and teachers who preached and taught that the events in their time were sure signs of the end of the world. That does not mean we should not study, but it should warn us not to be blown about by every wind of doctrine.
We must never set dates as to when prophecy will be fulfilled. It ought to be evident to all that no one knows the time of the rapture. We should be living in the reality that it could happen today, I hope it does, but it may not happen for years to come. No one knows.
There is great joy, and danger, in the study of prophecy. Don’t get caught up in following those who make prophecy their special ministry. We are told to rightly divide the whole Word of God. Also, preachers are to preach the whole counsel of God. Study, but don’t go to seed on this subject.
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.