Why Study Prophecy?
Updated: Feb 9
Day 1 of the 24 Day Prophecy Study
Notes compiled by Steve McAtee and Marty Zide
Unsaved People Are Interested In Knowing the Future.
They are looking in all the wrong places.
Fortune Tellers, Palm Readers, Astrologers, Tarot Cards, Psychic Hotlines.
The Bible is the only literature on earth that reveals with certainty the future of mankind.
Is 46:9-10 - Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure.
Here are six reasons why we should study prophecy:
1. It is profitable
Prophecy is in the Word of God so we know it is profitable. It is a part of what Paul calls “all Scripture” in 2 Tim. 3:16-17. The very fact that it’s in the Bible makes it useful.
2 Tim 3:16-17 - All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
Prophecy is just as important as the other doctrines that are found in the Word of God. It is true that there are some differences in the way some prophecies are interpreted, but no true believer will deny that Jesus is going to come back, and it is something that should be taught.
2. It inspires hope
The great prophetic promises that God has given in both the Old and New Testament produces hope in the hearts of believers. It’s like a child when they are told that in a few weeks they are going to go on a family outing. Until the time comes they will be thinking of this often and anticipating it. The same should be true concerning God’s prophetic promises.
Titus 2:13 - looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.
1 Pet 1:3 - Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus the Messiah from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.
The return of the Lord Jesus is the great hope of the believer. Our future home in heaven where our inheritance is reserved for us should be something that is frequently on the minds of believers. We are exhorted to be heavenly minded during our journey here on earth.
Col 3:1 - Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Messiah is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.
3. It helps to comfort the hurting
Comfort is found in understanding the prophetic Scriptures. In fact, Paul uses the subject of prophecy to bring comfort to believers when they are faced with the most difficult of circumstances, the loss of a loved one. It’s prophecy that Paul turns to as he seeks to comfort the Thessalonian believers.
1 Thess 4:13-18 - But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Messiah will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
The major point of the passage in 1 Thes. 4 is not to give detailed teaching on the rapture (although it does that), but the primary point is to bring comfort to those believers who have lost loved ones. This is one of the most practical demonstrations of the importance of knowing doctrine that I know of.
4. It promotes holy living
This is another example of the extreme practical nature of doctrine and especially in the area of prophecy. Understanding the future should have a marked impact upon our daily lives and our desire to live for the Lord.
1 John 3:2-3 - Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
2 Pet 3:10-11 - But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness.
Knowing and understanding that one day each of us will give a personal account to the Lord (as it is prophesied), should persuade us to live lives that are pleasing to Him. That’s just one way in which prophecy can impact our desire to live lives for His glory.
5. It reminds us that God is Sovereign
That which God has prophesied will come to pass. No human needs to assist in the process, nor can they do anything to keep them from being fulfilled. The prophecies will come to pass as stated in the Word and when God chooses.
Dan 4:35 - All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, But He does according to His will in the host of heaven And among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, What have You done?
The prophetic Scriptures are a manifestation of the fact that God is in control and that things happen because He has decreed them. Things are not happening without a purpose or haphazardly.
6. It gives insight on how one should interpret the Bible
If we discover how the Bible interprets itself in the area of Bible prophecy, it will show us how we should interpret the Word in all areas, including future prophecies awaiting their fulfillment.
There are dozens of prophecies that speak of a regathering of the people of Israel. Some of the prophecies have already come to pass and some look to future fulfillment. The fact that the past prophecies came to pass literally, indicates that the future ones will also be fulfilled literally. Notice how clear and literal the prophecies of Judah’s captivity in Babylon and return to the land that Daniel read about in the book of Jeremiah came to pass.
Jer 25:11 - This whole land will be a desolation and a horror, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
Jer 29:10 - For thus says the LORD, When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place.
Dan 9:2 - In the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of the years which was revealed as the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years.
Those are just some of the reasons why it is important to spend time studying the prophetic Scriptures. As we study them, let us remember that they are intended to change our lives and to conform us into the image of God’s Son.