Dear Precious Saints of MBC,
I trust you are doing well and looking forward to this Sunday.
During the 1992 Presidential Election, Presidential Candidate, Bill Clinton had played at every rally and the Democrat Convention, as his theme song, Fleetwood Mac song "Don't Stop." His rallying cry was simply this: Don't stop thinking about tomorrow. That advice is applicable to Christians. We are never to stop thinking about tomorrow and God's plan and purpose for the future.
It is for that reason that one week from today, MBC, along with Ariel Ministries will be hosting a prophecy conference entitled The Church, Israel and the Latter Days. The purpose of this conference is to provide our church family and community an overview of future events.
Sadly, Many Christians have negative attitudes toward the study of biblical prophecy. Some say, "I'm only concerned about the present, so don't bother me with ideas about the future." Or, "Nobody can understand the prophecies in the Bible, so why bother to study them?" Or, "We will not study biblical prophecy in our church because it is divisive."
These attitudes prompt people to avoid 20 percent to 25 percent of God's biblical revelation - revelation He wants mankind to possess and heed.
Let me suggest three important reasons why Christians should study biblical prophecy:
#1 You cannot understand God's purpose
for history apart from prophecy.
God who has a sovereign purpose for history. In the past He planned and purposed what would happen on Earth and, through prophets, declared to mankind what would happen, even to the end of this earth's history. Then, during the course of history, He sovereignly causes it to happen just as He planned, purposed, and declared it. No one can prevent God from fulfilling His sovereign purpose for history. The last book of the Bible written - Revelation - is the capstone of God's divine declaration to man and tells how He will complete His purpose for history.
#2 You cannot understand God's plan
for Israel apart from prophecy.
God has established a unique eternal relationship with Israel as a nation. Through Israel, God has brought great blessings to the world in not only bringing us the Bible, but more importantly Israel's Messiah and the World's desperately needed Savior: The Lord Jesus Christ.
Biblical prophecy indicates that Israel's key role is yet future when God will totally crush Satan and his forces and establish His future theocratic Kingdom. The people of Israel will "be named the priests of the Lᴏʀᴅ," and the Gentiles will call them "the servants [ministers] of our God" (Isa. 61:6). "In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, 'Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you'" (Zech. 8:23).
God has irrevocably appointed Israel to play a key role in the future fulfillment of God's purpose for history.
#3 God intends the study of biblical prophecy
to purify our lives and change our priorities.
Jesus Christ could come at any moment. Since we do not know exactly when He will come, we must be ready for Him at any moment.
The apostle James clearly indicated that, since Christ could return at any moment and confront His church saints as judge, Christians should be careful how they treat their fellow believers:
You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door! (James 5:8-9)
Christ's imminent return should make a difference in the way we live. We should live holy, godly lives every moment of every day because in the very next moment, Christ could step through the door of heaven and confront us face to face.
I want to encourage you to make next weekend's Bible Conference a priority. What's more, invite others who would benefit from this time of learning.
Bible prophecy is an integral part of Scripture. Those who consider it irrelevant or fail to study it are missing out on one of the greatest blessings for the believer!
See you on Sunday - and at the Conference!
I the light of His glory and grace,