Unique among all books ever written, the Bible accurately foretells specific events-in detail-many years, sometimes centuries, before they occur. The ones which already have been fulfilled have been fulfilled to the letter—no errors. As we approach the return of Jesus, we see many more that will be fulfilled.
Prophecy prepares us for other future events as well. Hardly a day goes by without news of wars or rumors of wars, natural disasters or lawlessness. These grim headlines are discouraging. Yet Jesus told His disciples to look for such events as signs of the end of the age. In John 16:4, Jesus said, “These things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them.” By studying biblical prophecy, we prepare ourselves for the days ahead. Even though a time of tribulation is approaching, the day of redemption also is drawing near.
Some Christians treat prophecy as an intellectual pursuit with no practical application. If we just walk away and feel smarter than when we started, or if we can boast of our academic studies, what useful difference does that make? The Biblical Prophecy is not only for understanding—it is for action. We must not become so steeped in study that we forget the practicality of prophecy in our daily activities.
Taking prophecy seriously will affect the way we live. One of its most important applications is evangelism. When we live with an awareness of Christ’s imminent return, our enthusiasm to share the Gospel with others is renewed. Some of the most energetic people in the Church have been transformed by their study of prophecy. They are ministry–oriented, reaching out to the lost because they understand what will happen in the future. Prophecy is a driving force behind evangelism and righteous living.