When was the last time you heard a message on The Last Days? It’s probably been a while. The reason, some churches don’t like to tackle Bible prophecy is because it is scary…controversial…confusing…the list can go on.
But the fact is that the Bible is filled with prophecy. When we neglect to teach on Bible prophecy, we are neglecting a big portion of the Bible.
According to “The Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy” by J. Barton Payne, there are 1,239 prophecies in the Old Testament and 578 prophecies in the New Testament for a total of 1,817. These prophecies are contained in 8,352 of the Bible’s verses. Since there are 31,124 verses in the Bible, the 8,352 verses that contain prophecy constitute 26.8 percent of the Bible’s volume.
In Acts 20:26-27, the Apostle Paul sent for the elders of the church in Ephesus and said this, “Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of everyone’s blood, for I did not shrink back from declaring to you the whole plan of God.”
Neglecting prophecy means we neglect the whole Word of God.
Joel Richardson, in his book The Islamic Antichrist says this about learning and knowing Bible prophecy…
One of the primary reasons that we all need to make eschatology part of our regular spiritual diet is that through such, we become prepared. This preparation is not primarily a physical preparation. It is not about the stockpiling of food or finding a safe route of escape from your city (although, to a degree, it certainly could be). It is primarily a spiritual preparation. This preparation or “readiness” occurs for two reasons and neither should be ignored. The first and most important reason is based on the spiritual effects that the study of eschatology has on our hearts. These spiritual effects affect our actions and the way we live. One of these effects is a desire for personal holiness (Hebrews 12:14). When we read about the events as described in the Bible and the terrible and fearful events that will occur, followed by the glorious appearing of Jesus from heaven, we find ourselves desiring to throw off all sin and focus on the hope of one day seeing him face to face. Indeed, “everyone who has this hope fixed on him purifies himself, just as he [Jesus] is pure” (1 John 3:3).