One of the areas of theology that has caused extensive debates and division is the discussion of End Times prophecy in eschatology. Many Christians avoid studying this area of theology because it is difficult to understand at times and there are various interpretations, such as premillennial, amillennial, and postmillennial interpretations of eschatology.
Because of the challenges and heated debates surrounding End Times prophecies, some believers avoid learning more about the sections of the Old and New Testaments that include vital information about the future.
While believers should avoid hurtful or divisive discussions, they should not evade passages of Scripture that cover areas of eschatology.
If we believe that “all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” then we should not neglect sections of prophecy, such as the ones found in Daniel, Matthew, or Revelation (2 Timothy 3:16).
End Times prophecies are significant because God has given us this information as part of His inspired Word for a reason.
1. Provides Information about the Future
First, prophecy is important because it informs us about the future events of the world. From Genesis to Revelation, God has been working out His great plan of salvation for His glory.
Even though humans brought death and sin into the Lord’s perfect world, He provided a solution through His death and resurrection. In the future, Christ will return to set up His kingdom and make all things right.
Before Jesus’ return, the earth will experience a time of trouble that will affect people (Daniel 12:1). Many catastrophic events are described in the Book of Revelation.
Although believers hold to different interpretations and timelines of the events in Revelation, we all can agree that those times will greatly affect life on earth.
For lots of Christians, this future, unprecedented time of trouble is known as the Tribulation, which will last seven years (Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:21). God will pour out His wrath on the earth and work to bring Israel back to Himself.
Knowing that the earth will experience redemption and that death and suffering will end is comforting and encouraging.
Evil and sin may seem victorious in the world today, but the Bible declares that God’s purpose will prevail. He will make all things new and cast away evil.
2. Encourages Believers to Live Fully for God
Since we know that the world will soon pass away, we should live differently. Peter addressed this in his second epistle when he wrote, “Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives” (2 Peter 3:11).
He had just described the destruction of the elements and how the earth will be laid bare on the Day of the Lord (2 Peter 3:10).
Also, he reminds believers of their future home in the New Heaven and New Earth (2 Peter 3:13). We study End Times prophecies to know about the future and to live differently because of our knowledge.
Instead of living like the rest of the world, we should live for Christ and make the most of our time (Ephesians 5:15-16).
Jesus has promised to return soon, and we should be ready (Luke 12:42-46). Our perspectives change when we stop focusing only on the present and consider eternity.
When we remember Christ’s return and our future with Him, we can better evaluate our priorities.
End Times prophecies are significant because they urge us toward living more fully for the Lord and making the most of our time.
3. Answers and Questions about the Afterlife
In addition to giving information about the future, prophecies also answer questions about the afterlife. We know from the Bible that people either go to heaven or hell when they die based on their belief in Jesus.
Many people commonly think of heaven or hell as the final destination, but Scripture informs us that there will be a future resurrection of the righteous and unrighteous (Daniel 12:2-3; John 5:28-29).
At the resurrection of the “righteous,” which refers to those who have trusted in Jesus for salvation, Christians will be raised to everlasting life. At that time, believers will receive glorified, imperishable bodies (1 Corinthians 15:42-44,53-54).
In contrast, those who do not trust in Jesus will be resurrected at the end of time for the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11-13).
Although they will receive bodies that will last forever, unbelievers will face the dreaded “second death” of being cast into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:14).
As Scripture teaches, “Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15). Thus, the future dwelling of the lost is in the Lake of Fire since hell is only an intermediate place that will also be cast into the burning lake.
Studying the final dwelling places mentioned in Scripture is important because we learn that there are consequences for what we believe about the Lord Jesus.
Believers can earnestly look forward to their future home, rejoicing in God’s salvation (2 Peter 3:13). They can also allow their knowledge of the future of the lost to motivate them to share the good news of Jesus’ loving sacrifice and resurrection with others.
4. Demonstrates the Reliability of God’s Word
Prophecy is found throughout Scripture. The Bible includes both already fulfilled and yet to be fulfilled prophecies. For instance, the prophecy about Judah’s captivity in Babylon has already been completed (Jeremiah 29:4-14; Daniel 9:1-19).
Jesus also fulfilled prophecy at His first coming as the promised Messiah, sent to die for our sins and raised from the dead (Luke 9:22; 24:44).
However, there are prophecies that are yet to be fulfilled in the future. Some of these include the restoration of Israel (Jeremiah 24:7; Ezekiel 36:24-32; Zechariah 8:8), Jesus’ second coming (Acts 1:11; Revelation 19:11-16), and the establishment of His kingdom (Revelation 20:6). Isaiah, Daniel, and Revelation are other examples of Scripture that includes prophecy.
End Times prophecy is important because it lends support to the validity of the Bible. Scripture presents itself as the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 3:16). As Jesus said when He was praying to the Father, “your word is truth” (John 17:17).
If the prophecies in the Bible did not come true, then God’s Word would not be true either. Scripture would thus be unreliable.
Since we know that certain prophecies have already happened, then we can trust that the Lord will keep His Word. An unchangeable part of God’s character is that He is true and honest.
He cannot lie (Numbers 23:19; Hebrews 6:18). Every promise and prophecy spoken by the Lord will be fulfilled. We know that He has kept all His promises and will not forsake the ones that are yet to happen.
Why Does This Matter?
End Times prophecy is significant because it helps us know about the future of the world and our eternal dwelling place if we reject or trust in Christ. Also, studying prophecy supports the validity of the Bible and can impact how we live.
If we genuinely believe that Jesus is coming soon and that this world is passing away, then our lives should be much more focused on serving God and helping others know Him.
Since God has given us prophecy in His Word, we are wise to study eschatology and consider how it can impact our everyday lives.
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Sophia Bricker is a freelance writer who enjoys researching and writing articles on biblical and theological topics. In addition to contributing articles about biblical questions as a contract writer, she has also written for Unlocked devotional. She holds a BA in Ministry, a MA in Ministry, and is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing to develop her writing craft. As someone who is passionate about the Bible and faith in Jesus, her mission is to help others learn about Christ and glorify Him in her writing. When she isn’t busy studying or writing, Sophia enjoys spending time with family, reading, drawing, and gardening.
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