The start of a new year is a popular time to set goals and make plans for the future. Perhaps because we are made in the image of a creator God, we are wired to look beyond the circumstances of today and look ahead with hope. Scripture tells us that the plan for Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection was made “…before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake” (1 Peter 1:20). God’s plan for our future is presented in the prophecies contained in many of the Biblical books. The most intriguing prophetic book in the New Testament is Revelation, which is a book filled with vivid symbolism representing the literal second return of Christ that is yet to take place. Analysts have been trying to determine the exact time, place, and circumstances of Christ’s return since He ascended into heaven.
Every word of Scripture is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16) and the prophecies are intentionally mysterious. Jesus himself said that no one but the Father knows the time of His return (Matthew 24:26). So what is the point of studying the prophecies? In an interesting book by Mark Hitchcock, entitled The End: A Complete Overview of Bible Prophecy and the End of Days, he gives ten reasons to study biblical prophecies that go beyond trying to unravel the plans of Christ’s return:
- “Prophecy is a major part of divine revelation.”
- “Special blessing is promised on those who study prophecy and pay attention to what it says.”
- “Jesus Christ is the subject of the prophecy.”
- “Prophecy gives us a proper perspective in life.”
- “Prophecy helps us understand the whole Bible.”
- “Prophecy is a tool for evangelism.”
- “Prophecy helps protect people from heresy.”
- “Prophecy motivates us to live godly lives in light of eternity.”
- “Prophecy reveals the sovereignty of God over time and history.”
- “Prophecy proves the truth of God’s Word.”
Prophetic messages point to our Hope for all of eternity – Jesus. With an entire section of the Old Testament dedicated to the prophets and major New Testament discourses contained in Matthew 24 and Second Thessalonians in addition to the book of Revelation, it would be easy to overlook the prophecy that is woven into much of the Scriptures. In order to get a glimpse of God’s future plans, you must know the entire Biblical story, to recognize the prophecies that have already been fulfilled and which we are still awaiting. Every book of the Bible points to Jesus; shouldn’t we know them all?
The Amazing Collection: The Bible, Book by Book is an excellent tool for learning the contiguous story of God and understanding the times we live in now in relation to the second coming of Christ.
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” (Matthew 24:42).
For more information about The Amazing Collection: The Bible, Book by Book or any other Big Dream Ministries’ study, visit us at www.BigDreamMinistries.org or email us at CustomerCare@TheAmazingCollection.com
 Mark Hitchcock, The End: A Complete Overview of Bible Prophecy and the End of Days (Tyndale House Publishers; Carol Stream, IL: 2007), pages 4-15.