The Bible contains a great deal of prophecy, somewhere between one third and one fourth of the Bible is prophetic, but why?
We all know that any student of the Bible knows that Jesus Christ plays a prominent role in many of these prophecies, especially those set in the latter days.
Now if the Great God saw to it that so much of our Bibles concern prophecy, there must be some good reason for it. Again, I ask the question: Why Prophecy? What does prophecy have to do with modern Christianity, and why should you and I take any interest in it?
We all know, or at least should know, that prophecy is history that is written in advance and outlines certain things that are going to happen! Isa. 46:9-10: “Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other, I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient time things that are yet done, saying My counsel shall stand and I will do all My pleasure.”
Now, unlike false gods, the one true God accurately and faithfully tells His people about the future and hope beyond the time of trouble. Read and understand how God throws out a challenge to all mankind. Isa. 44:7-8 “ Who can proclaim as I do? Then let him declare it and set it in order for Me. Since I appointed the ancient people and the things that are coming and shall come. Let them show these to them. Do not fear, nor be afraid, have I not told you from that time, and declared it. You are My witnesses, is there a god besides Me? In deed there is no other Rock, I know not one.”
This is the prophet Isaiah telling us that only the one true God can reveal the end of the story as well as the beginning.
II Chron. 36:22-23 “Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing saying. Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of heaven has given me, and He has commanded me to build Him a house (or Temple) at Jerusalem which is in Judah. Who is among you of all His people? May the Lord his God be with him and let him go up.”
In the Book of Ezra chapter 1: 1-4 Cyrus gives the Jews some more instructions about building the temple.
Isaiah 45:1 “Thus says the Lord of His anointed to Cyrus whose right hand I have held ( or strengthen or sustained) To subdue nations before him and loose the armor of kings to open before him the double doors so that the gates will not be shut.”
Now, what you have just read was Isaiah’s prophecy written in the late 700’s B.C. long before Cyrus was even born. In fact Cyrus did not conquer Babylon and free the Jews until 539 B.C., more than a century and a half after Isaiah prophesized of him by name.
So Great and Awesome is our God that He made this known long before the fulfillment of the event.
Now here is the point of this article, just as the Jews were impacted by the Babylonian captivity and also the fall of Babylon some 70 years later, so will people yet be impacted by the events foretold in the Word of God.
Wars are going to take place, freedom to worship the one true God will be taken away, persecution and even martyrdom will come upon
Before the second coming of Jesus Christ to rule this earth the Bible prophesized of a time of great trouble called the great tribulation. You can read about this in the Gospels of Matthew 24 and Luke 21 and also Mark 13. These men wrote of a time of great distress that is coming upon the whole world. It will be a time of suffering that this world has never seen, and especially for the nation called Israel.
Now, let us think for a moment, people that were born after 1945 have never lived in a world at war, there have been other wars, the Vietnam war, the Korean war, the Middle East war, and the wars going on in Africa. The thing about these wars is that they really haven’t had a great impact on our lives. We haven’t gone hungry, or had to seek a bomb shelter. In fact, our lives have not been really interrupted for safety or prosperity, have they?
This future war, World War III, that God said is coming, will be with greater force and power than any before. And, as hard as it is for us to imagine, this world will have to suffer much more before the return of Jesus Christ than at any other time in history. And, God’s own people are not going to escape without feeling the impact of some of these events.
Luke 21:36, “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass and to stand before the Son of Man
II Peter 3:10-11, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night. In which the heavens will pass away with great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat, both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be, in holy conduct and godliness.”
Peter and Luke in the passages above are not telling us that these prophetic warnings were written just for our fascination, but to prompt us to righteous living and to live God’s way. You see, we have to do something with the knowledge of prophecy. Prophecy isn’t all about the mysteries of the beast and dates, it also involves other things. If we understand prophecy, we must live according to the laws and instructions of the Bible--if we want to be part of the future history of this planet.
The time of suffering that this world will experience will be short, somewhere around three and one half years, afterwards, these terrible days will begin to seem like a bad dream as the saints of God begin to reign with Jesus Christ in the Kingdom of God. God Himself will offer life and happiness to all through His laws and His Son Jesus Christ. This too has been prophesied to happen, and according to God’s Word, it will.