By ANDY WOODS, J.D., Ph.D.
What are some of the practical benefits of studying Bible prophecy? Let us consider just a few of them. As we do, I trust you will realize just how important it is that we devote ourselves to understanding God’s prophetic plan.
For one thing, prophecy has a calming effect on the believer. It is tempting to look at national and world events today and lapse into fear. However, when we see things moving in the exact direction that God’s Word has predicted, this reminds us that God is in control of a world that seems to be spinning wildly out of control. Rather than seeing things as falling apart, they are actually falling into place. God is sovereign. When we are reminded of this great truth of divinely determined history, prophecy provides the benefit of calming us down.
Furthermore, prophecy is a reminder of God’s faithfulness. God has been faithful to a rebellious nation, the nation of Israel, for thousands of years merely on account of His promises to them. Studying God’s end-time program for Israel reminds us of His faithfulness to His Word. If God were not faithful to His promises then Israel should have been eradicated a long time ago. If God is going to be faithful to His wayward nation, then He is certainly going to be faithful to you and to me (cf. Phil. 1:6)!
People often debate eternal security. However, one of the greatest arguments that God preserves us and keeps us regardless of our spiritual fruit (or lack thereof) can be made by observing His pattern with wayward Israel. Israel has no corner on God. God does “not change” (Mal. 3:6). Hebrews 13:8 indicates that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Second Timothy 2:13 says, “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.” If God will be faithful to His apostate nation, then He will be faithful to us as well in spite of our glaring imperfections. When we study God’s faithfulness over these many centuries to the harlotrous nation of Israel (Ezek. 16 and 23), eternal security becomes an easy idea to accept.
The Holidays Illustrate an Important Truth
We must remember that we are living on borrowed time.
Christmas lights, Christmas trees and Christmas songs are all signs that Christmas is approaching—and we are already beginning to see them now! However, they are also signs that Thanksgiving is coming—since Thanksgiving takes place earlier on the calendar than Christmas. In fact, it will be here in just two weeks. So the signs of Christmas indicate that the Thanksgiving holiday is approaching even more rapidly.
More importantly, the signs of the looming tribulation events are perpetual reminders that the rapture, which precedes all of these events, is coming even faster.
Living with this reality should motivate our evangelism. There are people that we all know that need to be reached with the gospel or they will be “left behind” to face the events of the tribulation. Knowledge of prophetic events and how our world is being prepared to experience them should create within us a sense of urgency.
Let’s allow these prophetic truths to stimulate us to greater personal holiness (cf. 1 John 3:2-3) and evangelistic zeal.
Dr. Andy Woods is a prolific author and speaks nationally on Bible prophecy and related issues. He is senior pastor of Sugar Land Bible Church in Sugar Land, Texas, a full professor at the College of Biblical Studies in Houston and an adjunct professor at Dallas Theological Seminary. We greatly value the opportunity to work with him as a contributing author to Dispensational Publishing House.
Copyright © 2015 by Dr. Andy Woods. Used by permission of the author.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®.
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
I enjoyed reading this little essay as I try to understand the Dispensational viewpoint.