Some evangelical Christians kiddingly state their position on Bible prophecy as “pan-tribulationist,” or “pan-millennial.” Then they give the punch line. “I believe it will all pan out.”
I understand what gives rise to such thinking. In order to understand Bible prophecy, you have to dig into scripture. “Rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV) requires diligence and effort. And to top it off, those who study prophecy sometimes come away with different opinions.
For that reason, many followers of Christ throw their hands in the air and say, “I’m not going to think about it. I trust God. He will take care of things. It will all pan out.”
Yes, God is sovereign. His side wins. But it is sad when people who love God ignore so much of His counsel. The Bible is a prophetic book. Some scholars say that one-fourth of it is prophecy. Others say the percentage is even higher — maybe one-third. Either way, prophecy is clearly important. If the only thing we need to know is that it will “all pan out,” then why did God put so much prophetic teaching in His word?
If you find prophecy intimidating, remember that all Bible doctrines seem inexhaustible to the human mind. Consider the Attributes of God. You can spend a lifetime on any one of His attributes — and barely scratch the surface. But just because we cannot exhaust a topic, does not mean we can’t have real knowledge of that topic. We can’t fully grasp God’s omnipotence, but because His word tells us about it, we can have a true and real understanding of it. Based on His word, we can know what it is, and we can rationally discuss it.
In John 14:3, Jesus said, “I will come again.” That is a clear and concise statement. He said it because He wants us to know it. We can trust those words. It doesn’t tell us everything about end-times prophecy, but it tells us something real — something we can build our lives on. Jesus is coming back!
Ironically, that’s where some so-called theologians begin to disagree. Jesus explained many times and in many ways that He will return. The fact that some dispute the obvious is no reason to doubt the obvious. “I will come again” is as clear as, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son….” (John 3:16)
Trust it. Lean on it. Find comfort in the knowledge.
At Christmas we often recite Isaiah 9:6-7. “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever.” (NKJV)
Those verses foretell Christmas, but they don’t end there. They take us from the manger into eternity future — and give us loads of information about what must happen along the way.
The Book of Revelation reveals amazing and glorious things about Jesus. It takes things said about Him in the Old and New Testaments to their logical and astounding conclusions. I hate to think that anyone would ignore Revelation because naysayers have convinced them that they can’t understand it. You may not understand all of it, but just reading it will build your faith and enlarge your vision of Christ.
Prophecies in Daniel give us tremendous evidence that the Bible could only be written under the inspiration of God. In Matthew 24, Jesus gave one of the longest of His recorded speeches, and it was all about His Second Coming.
More and more, I hear people say, “I heard all that stuff years ago. Nothing happened, so I don’t believe it.” In saying things like that, they are unwittingly fulfilling yet another sign of the coming Day of the Lord.
2 Peter 3 says, “In the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.’” (2 Peter 3:3-4)
Verses 8-10 say, “But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief.”
Bible prophecy laid out the first coming of Jesus with perfect accuracy and in stunning detail. As we look around at our own time, we can already see that the details about the Lord’s Second Coming are just as perfect and just as stunning. And we are seeing it all in our own time with our own eyes.
We live in one of history’s most amazing moments. And you’re here to witness it. So, watch and study. Don’t miss the joy and amazement of the times you live in.