They used to say that the Puritan preachers were so heavenly minded they lived in heaven 6 days a week and came down on Sunday to preach. I don’t think it could be said that the Puritans gained biblical knowledge for knowledge’s sake and failed to apply it. In my opinion, the more you study the Bible, including prophecy, the more you want to apply it. Why study prophecy? Aside from the fact that we are commanded to? (Mark 13:37)
I study prophecy because –
–it is part of the Bible, God’s revelation of Himself through holy inspired word
–it is commanded (See above)
–it instills in me an urgency to live righteously and to witness. We don’t study just for the information and go our way. It has to affect our Christian walk, just as any scripture does.
–It comforts me to think of these things being fulfilled:
“In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and peoples will stream to it. Many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. (Micah 4:1-2).
If you are driving in a fogbank, you get disoriented. You slow down. You look carefully. You are on high alert. You see a fogline at the edge and you know how far to go.
When in the fog you look for distinct landmarks, but the fog may be so heavy you don’t see them unless they are large or unless they are close. Eventually you start to emerge from the fogbank and you can see more clearly, landmarks near and far. The Bible in all its glories clear the mind and allow us to see with a Christian worldview. The more we study all of it, the clearer our minds become.
It’s sad that many people avoid studying prophecy because they think it’s isn’t a worthy part of the canon…or they don’t know how (as if the prophetic scriptures are less or more challenging than the scriptures of Law or Poetry or History), or it causes arguments.
Again, why study prophecy? Observing and studying not just for knowledge but
–to learn the entire sweep and scope of God’s promises,
–to instill a wonder at His sovereign hand from beginning to end
–to create in us an urgency so as to live righteously and to share boldly
–to be encouraged
A good commentary can help. Also a good study Bible. James Montgomery Boice preached well through the prophetic books that most preachers don’t pay attention to, such as Haggai, Daniel, Amos, and the like.
What a glorious prophetic future we have to look forward to:
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place[a] of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. (Revelation 21:1-3).