Reasons to Study Bible Prophecy

Reasons to Study Bible Prophecy

If you love to study the Bible, then you must also love to study Bible prophecy. Do you know that approximately 1/3 of the Bible was prophetic at the time that it was written? The Bible is a book of prophecy; it contains about a thousand prophecies, of which about five hundred have already been fulfilled down to the smallest detail.

And with a proven track record of 100% accuracy with five hundred prophecies, we can be confident that the remaining five hundred unfulfilled prophecies will also come to pass at the appointed time.

But other than knowing that the remaining yet-to-be-fulfilled prophecies will happen, what other good reasons do Christians have for wanting to study Bible prophecy? While many reasons could be given for gaining a deeper understanding of biblical prophecy, we will look at these 7 Key Reasons that stand out.

1) The Subject of Prophecy is Jesus Christ

Prophecy begins and ends in the person and works of the Savior. In Genesis 3:15, where the very first prophecy in the Bible was given, a Deliverer is promised to crush the head of the serpent. Enoch’s ancient prophecy which is recorded in Jude 1:14-15 speaks of the second coming of Christ. And Revelation 19:10 tells us that “the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus.”

From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible is filled with prophecies that ultimately point in some way to the Savior. Below are some of the ways Jesus is revealed in prophecy:

Jesus is the coming Kinga. The Passover Lamb – Exodus 12; John 1:29; 1 Corinthians 5:7

b. The Son of Man – Daniel 7:13

c. Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace – Isaiah 9:6

d. The star from Jacob – Numbers 24:17

e. The resurrection and the life – John 11:25-27

f. A man of sorrows – Isaiah 53:3

g. The coming king – Revelation 19

Jesus did not fulfill one, or two or three of the more than 100 distinct “First Coming” prophecies about the Messiah; He fulfilled every single one of them. Studying Bible prophecy is vital because its very essence gives witness to Jesus the Messiah.

2) Prophecy Gives Us a Proper Perspective in Life and Provides Hope for the Future

Bible prophecy is important because it tells us the end of the story. Just as our world had a definite beginning in Genesis 1:1, it will also have an ending. This world will not continue on forever through infinite cycles of history. We know from Bible prophecy that there’s a consummation of human history and this present world.

There is no way to understand fully much of what’s going on in our present day and time apart from the detailed prophecies contained in the Bible. We do not have to worry, panic or get scared because, in light of Bible prophecy, they all make sense.

The rapture of the Church

As Jan Markell of Olive Tree Ministries always quotes by the end of her program, “Things are not falling apart, they are falling into place.” And these events are all leading up to one big thing – the return of Jesus Christ.

Prophecy assures us that Jesus is coming back, that He will either resurrect or rapture us, and that He will take us to live forever with Him and the Father. Knowing this truth gives us meaning, perspective and purpose and helps us embrace hope in life.

3) Prophecy is a Major Part of Divine Revelation

I mentioned earlier that prophecy constitutes nearly a third of the Bible. In Bible study, there’s a principle known as the “Law of Proportion.” This law simply means that you can discern the importance of a subject in Scripture by how much attention is devoted to it.

Consider the following statistics: (Reference: The End by Mark Hitchcock)

a. Percent of the Whole Bible that is Prophecy ………………………………………….. 27%

b. Number of Separate Prophetic Topics in the Bible ………………………………….. 737

c. Number of Predictions in the Old Testament ………………………………………….. 1,239

d. Number of Old Testament verses that contain predictions ………………………  6,641 out of 23,210

e. Percent of the Old Testament that is Prophecy ……………………………………….. 28.5%

f. Number of Predictions in the New Testament …………………………………………. 578

g. Number of New Testament verses that contain predictions …………………….. 1,711 out of 7,914

h. Percent of the New Testament that is Prophecy …………………………………….. 21.5%

i. Number of Verses in the Bible ……………………………………………………………… 31,124

Consider these facts:

Of the 333 prophecies concerning Christ, only 109 were fulfilled by His first coming, leaving 224 yet to be fulfilled in the Second Coming.

  • There are over 300 references to the Lord’s coming in the 260 chapters of the New Testament, that’s one out of every 30 verses.
  • Twenty-three of the 27 New Testament books mention the Lord’s coming.
  • Jesus refers to His second coming at least 21 times.
  • 1,527 Old Testament passages refer to the Second Coming.
  • For every time the Bible mentions the first coming, the Second Coming is mentioned 8 times.
  • People are exhorted to be ready for the return of Jesus Christ over 50 times.

Applying the Law of Proportion, biblical prophecy warrants serious study. To ignore or neglect it is to cast dishonor upon divine revelation. Moreover, if the prophecies were not in the Bible, the remainder of the Book would be meaningless.

4) Prophecy is a Key Tool for Evangelism

I was amazed to learn that the first Christian book many unbelievers read is a book on Bible prophecy. And this should not surprise us because Bible prophecy fascinates everyone – even unbelievers.

Most people have the same basic questions about the future. What’s going to happen to the world? When will the world end? Will the human race survive in the future? Is Jesus really coming back? Is there life after death? Are heaven and hell real?

What does the Bible say about the end of the world?

People want answers to these questions and the Bible has them. Christians can and should use this knowledge to share the Gospel with others as God opens the door of opportunity.

5) Prophecy Helps Protect People from Heresy

Do you notice how almost every book in the New Testament contains at least 1 section that addresses false teaching? You may want to look at some of the more notable sections such as 2 Corinthians 10-12; Philippians 3; 2 Timothy 3 and Titus 1.

There are even cases where the whole book is devoted almost entirely to combating false teaching and the corrupt lifestyle it produces (Colossians; Galatians; 1 Timothy; Jude and 2 Peter).

“But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly  bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring in on themselves swift destruction.” – 2 Peter 2:1

From the earliest days of Christianity, the true teachings of the church have been attacked and corrupted by false teachers. In 2 Thessalonians 2, the apostle Paul corrects a false teaching that the Day of the Lord has already come. In 2 Peter 3, a group of scoffers took the false teaching in another direction; mocking the idea that Jesus was coming again.

The same kind of speculative errors has continued throughout church history in the likes of William Miller, Harold Camping and the JW’s who all made failed predictions about the rapture and the return of Christ.

Taking the time to study the Scriptures and having an accurate understanding of Bible prophecy will protect God’s people from false teachings and from those who misuse it.

6) Fulfilled Prophecies Prove the Truth of God’s Word

No other religious book has ever been written that contains so much prophecy as the Bible. Prophecy scholar John Walvoord said the Bible contains about one thousand prophecies of which about five hundred have already been fulfilled. This is absolute proof that the Bible is the inspired Word of God.

Just as Bible prophecy establishes that God is the One true God, it also proves that God’s Word is true and that we can put our faith in what it teaches. And we’re not just talking of general prophecies about the future but very specific prophecies.

Below are some of the fulfilled Bible prophecies: (Reference: The End by Mark Hitchcock)

a. Four Great World Empires in Succession

In Daniel 2 & 7, the prophet Daniel (around 530 BC) predicted that there would be 4 great Gentile powers that would rule the world in succession: Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome. Well, there have been four, and only four, world empires. Though others have tried since the fall of the Roman Empire, they all failed.

b. The 70-Year Babylonian Captivity

The prophet Jeremiah (627 – 582 BC) prophesied that the wicked people of Judah would be taken captive by the Babylonians and that their captivity would last for 70 years (Jeremiah 25:10-11; Jeremiah 29:10).

This specific prophecy was given decades before it took place. The people were taken into captivity in 605 BC by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and were allowed only to return to Judah in 538 BC.

c. The Fall of Nineveh

God revealed an amazing prophecy to Nahum between 650 and 640 BC. God showed him in details how the great city of Nineveh, which is the capital of the Assyrian Empire, would be destroyed. History records that in 612 BC this was fulfilled. The Babylonians and Medes invaded, plundered, and utterly destroyed the powerful city of Nineveh.

d. King Cyrus of Persia

During the Golden Age of the Hebrew prophets, around 700 BC, the prophet Isaiah in his writings identified a Medo-Persian king by the name of “Cyrus.” But Cyrus didn’t come into power for nearly 150 years (Isaiah 44:28; Isaiah 45:1).

Isaiah goes on to predict in Isaiah 45:2-6 and Isaiah 44:28 that Cyrus would conquer Babylon, restore the Jewish people to their land, rebuild Jerusalem and restore the Temple. All of this was completely fulfilled about 160 years later (2 Chronicles 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-11).

7) Prophecy Motivates us to Live Godly Lives

Charles Dyer, a prophecy expert, emphasizes the practical purpose of Bible prophecy which is this:

“God gave prophecy to change our hearts, not to fill our heads with knowledge. God never predicted future events just to satisfy our curiosity about the future. Every time God announces events that are future, He includes with His predictions practical applications to life. God’s announcements about the future carry with them specific advice for the ‘here and now.’”

Christians should not treat prophecy as a purely intellectual pursuit with no practical applications. Prophecy was not given only to stir our imagination or capture our attention. God intended prophecy to change our attitudes and actions so they will be more in line with His Word and His character.

Conclusion

There have been oppositions, both aggressive and passive, to the study and teaching of prophecy as a result of the failed predictions of some date-setters and fanatics whose only intentions were to get crowds.

But Bible prophecy should not be shunned merely because of the discredited teachings of some cults and self-proclaimed prophets who have distorted the Word of God to serve their own purposes.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God (including prophecies), and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

What about you, what’s your reason for wanting to study Bible prophecy? Please share your insights by leaving a comment.


*Recommended Resource:

The Amazing Claims of Bible Prophecy: What You Need to Know in These Uncertain Times – eBook
By Mark Hitchcock

8 Replies to “Reasons to Study Bible Prophecy”

  1. I loved that you mentioned how the prophecies in the Bible start and end with Jesus Christ. It is interesting to see all the interpretations you can get from all the prophecies from ancient times. I would love to get a book that lets me see a different perspective on them so I can have a better idea of the end times.

    1. Hi Marcus, thank you for stopping by.

      It’s truly amazing how everything that’s prophesied in the Bible are being fulfilled down to the smallest details. And this gives us confidence that the Word of God is not only true before but it’s true even until today.

      If you’re looking for a book on Bible prophecy with different perspectives, I recommend The 8 Great Debates of Bible Prophecy by Rhon Rodes. Here’s a direct link to it:

      The 8 Great Debates of Bible Prophecy: Understanding the Ongoing Controversies
      By Ron Rhodes

      You’ve heard about the tribulation, millennium, rapture, and antichrist, but you may wonder, what’s all the debating about? Do most Christians agree on the big issues? And what about other topics–dispensationalism, interpretive views, timing of events…are they too complex for most folks to understand?

      Not at all! In this concise and easy-to-read review, Bible teacher Ron Rhodes identifies eight of the most important end-times discussions. Avoiding complex arguments, he highlights the most important biblical passages, summarizes a few of the most popular interpretations, and provides succinct conclusions. He demonstrates that the Bible’s end-times teaching is intended to be a blessing for every believer.

      As you compare and contrast the various viewpoints, you’ll be able to enjoy constructive conversations with other Christians and support your own informed convictions. You’ll also enrich your reading of the Scriptures and see how passages fit together in God’s great plan for the ages.

      I hope this helps, Marcus. Have a blessed day!

  2. Yes, prophecy in the Bible indeed makes a big difference for Christians.

    If we would not have all the prophecies fulfilled that you mentioned in your article, we would not have hope for eternal life.

    I am so glad Jesus came down to earth to fulfill salvation’s plan as it had been prophesied hundreds of years before. That is why I believe that Jesus is coming again to take us home eternally! What a great prophecy.

    The only thing with prophecies is that they are misunderstood so often. There is so much doubt about what they all mean and it seems that everybody finds their own understanding of them. And sometimes that makes them believe things that will actually never happen!

    Thanks for sharing this great article,
    Oscar

    1. That’s right Oscar! The Bible is the only book that contains fulfilled prophecies with 100% accuracy, which makes it unique among all other religious books. Knowing this is a great encouragement for all Christians because we know that the remaining unfulfilled prophecies are sure to come to pass according to God’s timeline.

      The only downside about Bible prophecy is that people tend to give their own interpretation based on their own understanding. The key to the proper understanding of Bible prophecies is to keep in mind that the center is Jesus Christ and God’s plan of redemption for mankind. Not to forget also that Israel plays a huge role in the fulfillment of Bible prophecy.

      Thanks for taking the time to read the article, may the Lord bless you more!

  3. Hi Alice, thank you so much for this very informative article.

    I am an avid student of eschatology. How important it is for Christians to understand that the Scriptures that we have been given are jam-packed with prophecy. I have witnessed a significant decline in devotion to this throughout the body of Christ.

    I am in full agreement with you that prophecy is one of our safe-guards against false teaching that is rampant in these last days. We have been clearly told that in the days before Christ’s return, wickedness will abound and are we not seeing this to a degree that is horrifying?

    Maranatha!

    Thank you,
    Brian

    1. Hello Brian, thanks for stopping by.

      You are so right, for some reasons many Christians today ignore Bible prophecy. Church leaders and pastors do not teach Bible prophecy to their congregation for fear that it might cause a negative perception. But as Dr. Ed Hindson always say whenever he teaches Bible prophecy: “God did not give us prophecy to scare us, He gave us prophecy to prepare us.” After all, the focus of Bible prophecy is no other than the Lord Jesus Christ and His soon-to-be return to the earth.

      We can see nowadays how wickedness is greatly increasing. We are told in Matthew 24:11-12 that many false prophets will arise to deceive many and because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. There is also a warning in 1 Timothy 4:1 that in the last days Christians will turn away from their faith to follow the teachings of demons. We see this happening right before our very eyes. We really are in the last days; Bible prophecy will not fail to come to pass.

      Shalom!

  4. I’m not knocking christianity, but I’m curious to know how the Bible would fit into someone’s life who has different religious beliefs, such as Native American beliefs.

    1. Hello Aria,

      I understand that Native Americans also have various religious or spiritual beliefs, in the same way that Christianity has many denominations under it. But while Christians believe in the existence of a Supreme Being whom they call God and who created the heavens and the earth, and everything in it, I suppose Native Americans also believe in some kind of a divine Creator.

      So how does the Bible fit into the life of a Native American who has different beliefs on regards to God or a divine being? I think it has to start with a sincere desire to know the truth about creation, human life and existence and the meaning and purpose of life. Otherwise, the Bible will not make sense.

      As I said in my article, we can be sure that the Bible is really the Word of God because of the thousands of prophecies that have been fulfilled. These prophecies were very specific and were given to man many years before the events took place. The Bible is the only book that predicted in detail the events that were to happen.

      So if you are searching for the truth about the Creator, I encourage you to consider the Bible, God’s revelation to man. The Bible is unique, no like and no equal. Although it was written by more than 40 authors, on three different continents, in three different languages over a period of 1500 years, yet there is unity all throughout.

      Blessings!

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