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The Importance of Prophecy

INTRODUCTION:  Why should we study prophecy.  Isn’t it too difficult, too controversial, too unknowable?  What makes it so important?

  1. Prophecy Makes Up Over One-Fourth of the Bible
    1. In the Old Testament
      1. Isaiah through Malachi (minus Lamentations)--16 books
      2. Much of Psalms and many other passages (Psalm 2; Genesis 49)
    2. In the New Testament
      1. 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Jude, Revelation--4 books
      2. Many other passages (see Matthew 24 and Matthew 25)
    3. Some Statistics
      1. First prophecy--Genesis 2:16-17
      2. First Messianic prophecy--Genesis 3:15
      3. Last prophecy--Revelation 22:20
  2. Prophecy is Exalted by God Himself
    1. Prophetic Declarations Exalt God (Isaiah 41:26; Isaiah 46:9-11)
    2. We Are Commanded to Take Heed to Prophecy (2 Peter 1:19)
    3. We Are Blessed in the Reading, Hearing and Obeying of Prophecy (Revelation 1:3)
  3. Prophecy Proves the Authority of Scripture - fulfilled prophecy is one of the greatest proofs of the absolute authority of scripture--2 Peter 1:16-21
    1. The Destruction of Cities and Nations
      1. Tyre--great detail given in Ezekiel 26
      2. Samaria
      3. Gaza and Ashkelon
      4. Jericho
      5. Ninevah
      6. Edom
      7. Babylon --to list a few 
    2. The History of Israel
      1. The making of the nation (Genesis 12:1-3)
      2. The years of captivity (Genesis 15:13-16)
      3. The promise of a land (Genesis 15:18-21 cp.Genesis 49)
      4. The establishment of a monarchy (Deuteronomy 17:14-15)
      5. Captivity and worldwide scattering (Deuteronomy 28:63-65; Deuteronomy 29:28)
      6. Return from captivity (Jeremiah 25:11-14; Jeremiah 29:10)
      7. Israel’s blindness to the true Messiah (Psalm 22:21-23)
    3. The History of the Nations (Daniel 2, 4, 11)
    4. The Prophecies Concerning Christ (There are over 300 OT references identifying over 60 details about the first coming of Christ.  They were all fulfilled!)
  4. Prophecy Explains the Meaning of History - Without prophecy, history becomes endless and useless; through prophecy, history becomes:
    1. God Honoring - Resulting in the Ultimate Triumph of God
      1. The defeat of the wicked (Revelation 19:11-21)
      2. The subduing of all things (1 Corinthians 15:24-28)
    2. Dispensational - Proving the Grace of God
      1. From law to faith (Galatians 3:21-26)
      2. From Gentile to Jew and back again (Romans 11:25-29)
    3. Providential - Providing Good For the Saints
      1. Promise (Romans 8:28)
      2. Provision (Titus 2:13)
      3. Fulfillment (Romans 8:18; Revelation 21:3-7)
  5. Prophecy Arms the Believer Against Cultism
    1. Against Those Who Date Christ’s Coming (Matthew 24:36)
    2. Against Those Who Claim to Be Christ (Matthew 24:5)
    3. Against Those Who Pervert the Events of Prophecy (i.e., Jehovah Witnesses)
      1. Their claim to be the 144,000 (Revelation 7:5-8)
      2. Their teaching concerning Armageddon (Revelation 16:16)
  6. Prophecy Motivates the Church to Evangelism - this is true historically
    1. The Imminency of Christ’s Return
      1. Redemption draweth nigh (Luke 21:28)
      2. Comes as a thief in the night (1 Thessalonians 5:1-3)
    2. The Urgency to Reach the Lost
      1. Now is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2)
      2. It is high time to awake (Romans 13:11-14)
  7. Prophecy Challenges the Believer to Holy Service
    1. To Watchfulness (Matthew 25:13)
    2. To Faithfulness (Luke 12:42-44)
    3. To Comfort (John 14:3)
    4. As an Encouragement in the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:26)
    5. To Confidence (Philippians 1:6)
    6. To Sincerity (Philippians 1:9-10)
    7. To Faithfulness to the Word (Philippians 2:16)
    8. To Heavenly Conversation (Philippians 3:20-21)
    9. To Moderation (Philippians 4:5)
    10. To Mortification of Fleshly Lusts (Colossians 3:3-5)
    11. To Waiting (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10)
    12. To Brotherly Love (1 Thessalonians 3:12-13)
    13. As a Source of Consolation (1 Thessalonians 4:14-18)
    14. To Sanctification (1 Thessalonians 5:23)
    15. To Obedience (1 Timothy 6:13-14)
    16. To Pastoral Diligence (2 Timothy 4:1-21 Peter 5:2-4)
    17. To Love the Second Coming (2 Timothy 4:7-8)
    18. To Separation (Titus 2:11-13)
    19. To Look For Him (Hebrews 9:27-28)
    20. To Patience (James 5:7-8)
    21. To Endure Temptations (1 Peter 1:7)
    22. To Soberness (1 Peter 4:7)
    23. To Bear Persecution (1 Peter 4:13)
    24. To Godliness (2 Peter 3:11-13)
    25. To Abide in Christ (1 John 2:28)
    26. To Purity (1 John 3:2-3)
    27. To Repentance (Revelation 3:3)
David Reagan

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 21:26

He coveteth greedily all the day long: but the righteous giveth and spareth not.