My name has been associated with the teaching of Bible prophecy for a long time.But I also understand the need for balance in the pulpit.The Bible addresses a whole range of issues that are pertinent to our lives.All those things need to be taught.
When I say churches should teach Bible prophecy, I am not saying that every pastor has to specialize in it.But I am saying it needs to be included in his teaching.Here are some reasons why.
1 — Prophecy teaching provides balance.We say we want balanced teaching.Somewhere between one-fourth and one-third of the Bible deals with prophecy.How can we be balanced if we leave out such a large and integral portion of scripture?
2 — Prophecy is God’s stamp of authenticity.Truth is God’s signature.The fulfillment of prophecy is His chosen way of authenticating His word.We see it in Deuteronomy 18:22 where the legitimacy of a prophet is proven by whether or not his prophecies come true.
In Isaiah 41:21-23 God shows the foolishness of idol worship by challenging idols to foretell the future.The New Living Translation says, “‘Present the case for your idols,’ says the Lord.‘Let them show what they can do,’ says the King of Israel.‘Let them try to tell us what happened long ago so that we may consider the evidence.Or let them tell us what the future holds, so we can know what's going to happen.Yes, tell us what will occur in the days ahead.Then we will know you are gods.’”
God alone tells us “what will occur in the days ahead.”Since He’s the only One who knows the future, prophecy proves that only He could have inspired the Bible.
3 — Prophecy aids evangelism.We’re all intrigued by the future.In that way, prophecy draws the curious.But it’s not like a carnival sideshow.Once they begin to seriously consider prophecy, they quickly see the truth and relevance of God’s word to all areas of life.
When people see ancient prophecies fulfilled in the world around them, it provides overwhelming evidence that they can and should trust God with their lives.With present-day fulfillment of end times prophecy, what seemed like an old book written by ancient primitives comes to life as God’s word for us today!
4 — Prophecy motivates us toward right living.2 Timothy 4:8 speaks of “all who have loved His appearing.”I have no statistics on this, but I have a lot of experience working with Christians through the years.From that experience I can tell you that those “who have loved His appearing,” tend to live their lives with an eternal perspective.That perspective causes them to invest their time, money, and attention in things that matter — things of eternal value.
5 — Jesus taught prophecy.The New Testament teaches us that Jesus is to be our example.(John 13:14-15, Mark 10:43-45, 2 Corinthians 8:8-9, Philippians 2:5) And Jesus taught prophecy.He used Old Testament prophecy to authenticate Himself as the Messiah.He used prophecy to explain that His coming would be in two parts.He foretold events of the end times.
He is our example.He taught prophecy.We should, too.