By Elizabeth Prata
I love prophecy.
I love it because it is a significant part of the Bible. It matters to God, obviously. Up to 25 or 30% of the entire written word of God is prophecy.
I love prophecy because it demonstrates God’s sovereignty. It shows that God is in control, utterly and completely. As RC Sproul famously said, there is not one maverick molecule in the universe. Everything that happens is ordained and in control under God’s sovereign hand.
I love prophecy because it is a comfort. I can look into the word and see what God has said, and it came to pass. So I can trust that what He has foreordained will also come to pass in the future. The level of encouragement this brings to one’s heart in dark days is immeasurable. I read the following on Twitter and agree with it:
As the days go by, this world may become utterly unrecognizable to us. But as crazy as it all seems… this world is simply fulfilling every prophecy written Scripture. God knows exactly where it is going. And it is prophesied in the pages of our Bibles. #Bibleprophecy
If God razed His own city, Jerusalem, and dispersed His own people due to sin (several times!), and is where His own name resides (2 Chronicles 6:6), would He not also do the same to any or all countries that disobey Him?
(And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, Acts 17:26).
I love prophecy because it gives hope! Paul wrote to the Thessalonians to encourage them because they had been unsettled by a number of deaths and encroaching persecution. Did he buck them up by telling them to look around and enjoy their temporal blessings? To reminisce about their blessed past times? To just hunker down and wait till it passes? No! Paul reminded them of their blessed hope in prophecy! Of what is to come!
1 Thessalonians 1:10, 4:13, well, really all of 1 Thessalonians, is an effort by Paul to relieve the fears and concerns of the Thessalonians by reminding them of their great hope- the coming of the Lord and the blessed, joyous afterlife.
Prophecy isn’t on a see-saw, with the history on the other side. It isn’t a counterpoint in that it gives us a view to the future with specifics, as history gives us in the past. We see the future unclearly and imperfectly, and only what has been revealed. Prophecy is to give us the hope and certainty of God’s outer working of His stated and revealed plan for all people on earth. It points to his sovereignty, majesty, and orderliness. He is in control. We’re not. And that is a good thing.
Prophecy was therefore not given so much to detail the sequence of future events as it was to underscore the certainty of future events. ~Bible.org
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto you do well that you take heed, as to a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: (2 Peter 1:19).
Remember the future. Remember, as Paul encouraged, the blessed hope of future days. Unclench your hand from things of this world and reach to the heavens where Jesus is and will return from. His prophecies will come true, as they have already, for millennia. Prophecy IS encouragement. We have the hope above all hope, and we have the opportunity to share it in the world, darkening by the moment. Share that joy and our bright future with someone today. Because, prophecy.