Why should God’s people be passionate about studying prophecy today?
When many of God’s people consider those who study prophecy and the prophecies of the Bible itself, they seem to hit a wall in their relationship with Him. It is the one part of God’s Word they hesitate to understand. They love Him, but they just don’t know to get over their feelings of discomfort when they think about all the things that the prophecies of God tell them about. War, plagues, and the ever-controversial mark of the beast fill them with an anxiety that moves them to close their hearts to those books of the Bible.
But as they see the world changing for the worse, they can’t help but wonder where this is all going. Even the hearts of people who don’t believe in God (and those who have abandoned their faith entirely) begin to tremble as they see the various conflicts of the world escalating to a higher degree.
But the prophecies of God give us hope and comfort in times like these. This is what God gave them to man for. Not for instilling fear within us (contrary to popular perception), but to draw us closer to Him. As such, we need not fear understanding them. In fact, we should cultivate a passion for studying them. Why?
Because studying Bible prophecy testifies that He is an all-knowing God. History testifies of the rise and fall of global kingdoms, the rebellions and reformations among God’s people that (in some cases) happened over the course of many years. The testimonies of God’s prophets were designed to give His people confidence that they were worshipping the God that delivered their fathers from the hands of their enemies. They were there as a reminder that God was always with them. They will certainly know this when He brings them to His kingdom, as He prophesied from the beginning (Gen. 3:15.)
It affirms and strengthens faith. Throughout the Gospels and the book of Acts, one can see that prophecy greatly aided the cause of the early church.
Jesus’ disciples remembered after His Ascension that He said to the Jews that if they destroyed His body, He would raise it up in three days. The Jewish leaders also remembered this prophecy, and when they failed to stop this prophecy from happening, it strengthened the faith of those who read of the account (Mt. 27:63; Jn. 2:18-22).
The disciples on the way to Emmaus, sad and grieved at the loss of their Lord, soon found their hearts burning within them as “a stranger in Jerusalem” opened their minds to the things spoken of Him in the Scriptures by Moses and the prophets (Lk. 24:17-32). Before He departed from this world, Jesus taught those who were in the upper room of the things spoken of Him in the Scriptures (Lk. 24:45-48). His prophetic teachings prepared them to begin their global ministry.
Indeed, they were the foundation of Peter’s address to the Jews that had assembled for Pentecost. When He addressed the people concerning the 120 speaking in the many tongues of the world, Peter told them that this event was a fulfillment of the prophecy the Lord gave to Joel (Acts. 2:14-47). He also told them about Jesus through the prophecies of the late King David (Acts 2:25-28, 34-36). Through these prophecies being brought to mind and by the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, the people repented and were baptized in the name of He who they condemned to death.
Studying Bible prophecy draws His people into a closer relationship with Him. The Scriptures tell us that Daniel was “greatly beloved” by the Lord. What did this Jewish exile do in his life that such a testimony would be given to him? He studied the prophecies, the messages that God gave to man! Near the beginning of the Babylonian exile, Daniel and his three friends prayed for the understanding of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (Dan. 2:17-19).
Daniel grew so close to God that He gave no heed to the decree designed by Darius’ wicked counselors to put him to death. Even the threat of death did not deter Him from his passion for communing with God. The fruit of this relationship can be seen in the swift sending of Gabriel to answer Daniel’s prayer in the first and third years of the reign of Darius. The testimony of it is given twice (Dan. 9:24; 10:19). Studying Bible prophecy brought Daniel close to God and God loved him greatly.
It is this affirming and strengthening of faith and this closer relationship that God’s people need now. The trials to come before the coming of the Lord will be unlike anything that the world has ever seen. Many of God’s people do not consider these messages for one reason or the other, but they do not know that studying them is the key to prepare God’s people for the challenges to come. It is not by a mere knowledge of future events that one will be saved. It will be by the strong relationship that they have with their God that will secure their deliverance.
Seeking the understanding of the prophecies of God calls upon them to fast, to pray, to put aside the sins that would impair their understanding, to seek the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. God wants to be closer to His people and reveal to them the things hidden from the world is how He does it. God is passionate for His people and for thousands of years, He has given us evidence of this. Who else would send prophets and prophetesses to keep His people from sin? Who else would sacrifice His own Son’s life for a world that hates Him?
Why would anyone sustain sinful mankind for thousands of years? Why would He prepare a paradise for them that they, by choosing their own ways, constantly turn their backs on? Because He is passionate for His people and He gave us Bible prophecy as a means by which we can cultivate a passion for Him!
While one cannot tell why God’s people have largely abandoned the means of kindling an on-fire faith within themselves, one can tell by looking at their spiritual conditions today that this study is needed right now. God gives an impassioned plea to His people in the last days to study that which will kindle a burning passion within their hearts. He pleads that we study the prophecies that which will make us wise unto salvation.
Do not let your lack of understanding keep you from taking up study. Take advantage of resources such as this site and the many others out there. Prophetic understanding, passionate faith, a closer relationship with God, and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit are all within your grasp. Taking one step forward in claiming this promise will change your life forever. Ask God to awaken your passion to grow closer to Him. Ask Him to help you study the prophecies of the Bible today.