David Reagan — The Importance of Bible Prophecy
There is probably no portion of the Bible that has been more ignored or abused by the Church than Bible prophecy. It has been trashed by liberals; it has been spiritualized into meaninglessness by those who do not believe that it means what it says. And it has been trivialized by fanatics who have used it as a playground for sensational speculations.
Greetings in the name of Jesus our blessed hope and welcome to Christ in Prophecy. This is the first in a series of programs of programs on the fundamentals of Bible prophecy. We’re going to begin with a discussion of the abuse of prophecy. In the second program we’ll take a look at the importance of prophecy. During our third program, we’ll discuss the fascinating variety of prophecy.
The fourth program will focus on the interpretation of prophecy and we will see that the best way to understand it is to look for its plain sense meaning. In our fifth program we’ll take a look at the various end time viewpoints. Or to put it another way, we’ll take a look at the four major ways in which people have interpreted end time prophecy.
The sixth and final program in the series will be devoted to a presentation of an overview of the signs of the times that point to the soon return of Jesus. And now let’s begin this series of programs with a look at the abuse of Bible prophecy. My topic is the abuse of Bible prophecy. Folks, let’s face it. Bible prophecy is held in contempt by most people. Non-Christians just scoff at the very idea that anything supernatural could be going on in this world, that anyone would have supernatural knowledge.
But the tragedy is that many professing Christians share this particular attitude, this scoffing attitude. The consequence of this is a paradox. The paradox is that we worship a God of prophecy, and yet we ignore the prophetic Word. There’s a great passage about this in Isaiah 46:9 that I’d like to bring your attention to. In this passage, God, speaking through Isaiah says, “I am God. There is no other. I am God there is no one like me. Declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying ‘my purpose will be established and I will accomplish all my good pleasure, truly I have spoken, truly I will bring it to pass.”
Now God is saying here, “I am the one and only unique God. And I can prove this, because I know what’s gonna happen in the future. I am omniscient. And, I can prove it because I have the power I’m omnipotent to see to it that what I say will come to pass.” And because of this, we are exhorting throughout the scriptures to pay attention to Bible prophecy. For example, in first Thessalonians 5:20, Paul admonishes us with the words “do not despise prophetic utterances.”
And in Second Peter chapter 1 verse 19 Peter wrote these words. He said “We have the prophetic Word to which you do well to pay attention, as to a lamp that is shining in a dark place.” And yet, despite these warnings, there is a long and sad Christian heritage regarding Bible prophecy. Throughout most of Christian history for the past 2,000 years Bible prophecy has been abused and Bible prophecy has been ignored. In fact, the only portion of God’s Word that has been as abused and ignored as Bible prophecy is the very beginning of the Bible, the creation story.
In fact, I don’t know if you’ve ever stopped to think about this, the two areas of the Bible most abused and most ignored throughout history have been the beginning of the Bible, and what the Bible says about the End Times. Those two areas Satan has concentrated on in trying to convince people that they are not true, that they are to be skeptical of them, that they do not mean what they say. Let’s take a look for a moment at people today who are causing the problems with regard to Bible prophecy.
There are three groups that I want to talk about, in fact before I do that, let me just make a point. And that point is that the very scoffing that we’ve been talking about, the very attitude of scoffing is in itself a fulfillment of Bible prophecy and an indication that we are living in the End Times. Look here at Second Peter chapter 3. “Know this first of all that in the last days, mockers with come with their mocking, following after their own lusts and saying “Where is the promise of his coming?
For ever since the father’s fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” And we have people like that all over the place today; you know “Where is He coming?” “Why hasn’t He come? He never will come.” He’s delayed so long. It’s all a fable, it’s all a myth.” Even professing Christians are saying these sorts of things.
Well, of the groups that are abusing Bible prophecy the first group that I would mention are what I would call the apostates. The apostates are people who are professing Christians but who scoff at the Word of God not only regarding Bible prophecy, but just about everything in the Word of God, and yet they profess to be Christians. These are people who do not accept the Bible as the revealed Word of God.
Instead what they argue is that the Bible is man’s search for God, and therefore it is full of myth and legend and superstition. They argue that there is no such thing as Bible prophecy. They argue that every prophecy in the Bible was really written after the effect and manipulated to make it appear to be prophetic in nature. They hate for example the book of Daniel. Despise it completely because it is so accurate in its prophecies. And yet, our Lord Jesus Christ quoted the book of Daniel.