Uploaded on

The Truth About The Last Days, Antichrist, The Rapture, More.

The Truth About The Last Days, Antichrist, The Rapture, More.

  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Be the first to comment
    Be the first to like this
No Downloads

Views

Total Views
360
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0

Actions

Shares
Downloads
1
Comments
0
Likes
0

Embeds 0

No embeds

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
    No notes for slide

Transcript

  • 1. ==== ====The Truth About The Last Days, Antichrist, The Rapture, More.http://www.teachingfaith.com/content.cfm?id=304==== ====Is bible prophecy really important? And if so, how important? And arent people who expend morethan a passing moment examining bible prophecy simply uneducated crackpots and lunaticsyearning for the destruction of the world? These are just a few of the questions bombardingtodays Christians when it comes to the study of bible prophecy.That bible prophecy is irrelevant to the Gospel or a mere playground for the mentally unstable is amessage we constantly receive from the media, pop culture, and many so-called church leaders.Its unfortunate, because this false image of bible prophecy has succeeded in turning manyChristians away from the Gospel. Although recent history is marked by an untold number of datesetters and false prophets claiming to speak for God, this is no reason to ignore bible prophecy.Such people were never true Christians, but rather enemies of God in disguise.So instead of relying on the words of ministers, priests, journalists, and other humans, letsexamine the primary source. Heres what the bible says about prophecy, including every verse ofGods Holy Word:"All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize whatis wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is Gods way ofpreparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do." 2 Timothy3:16-17 (NLT)The word "all" includes bible prophecy, and thats good, considering more than 25% of the bible isfulfilled or yet to be fulfilled prophecy. Why is so much of the bible dedicated to prophecy? Thereare many reasons, but in the end, there is only one purpose: to direct the attention of the humanrace to Jesus Christ."For the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus." Revelation 19:10 (NLT)Previously fulfilled prophecies lend unprecedented credibility to the bibles claim to be the Word ofGod, and the Messianic prophecies fulfilled by the birth, ministry, crucifixion, resurrection, andascension of Jesus of Nazareth authenticate his claim to be the one true Christ. In essence, bibleprophecy is the most powerful witness to the divinity of Christ. So dont listen to those who claimthat bible prophecy distracts us from the true Christian mission. Quite to the contrary, all bibleprophecy points to Jesus Christ Himself.Jesus Instructs UsDespite its many detractors, the study of bible prophecy is an essential aspect of proper Christianliving. The Lord Himself expected his disciples to carefully examine the Word of God and to be
  • 2. prepared for His return:"So be prepared, because you dont know what day your Lord is coming." Matthew 24:42 (NLT)In fact, Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for not recognizing the signs of the times, for the religiousleaders of His day had full knowledge of the prophecies of the Messiah, yet they still chose not tobelieve in Him."One day the Pharisees and Sadducees came to test Jesus claims by asking him to show them amiraculous sign from heaven. He replied, You know the saying, Red sky at night means fairweather tomorrow, red sky in the morning means foul weather all day. You are good at readingthe weather signs in the sky, but you cant read the obvious signs of the times!" Matthew 16:1-3(NLT)Jesus expected the people of His day to fully recognize and eagerly await the time of His firstcoming. As we patiently await His second coming, he holds our generation to the same standardof accountability.There are many reasons for the Lords repeated command to study bible prophecy, but three ofthe most significant are found below:1) Authentication of the BibleBible prophecy offers the clearest indication that the bible is the verifiable Word of God. Yetdespite the millions of people who attend church and synagogue every week and the existence ofcountless books on the subject, most people are simply unaware of these prophecies. Theyfeverishly search through the writings of Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, the Koran, and countlessother "sacred texts" in hope of finding a profound truth or revelation concerning the future, only tobe disappointed time and again.Somehow, the most credible source of information on future events, the Bible, escapes notice. Yetthe fulfilled prophecies of the bible are backed by mountains of historical data, archaeologicalevidence, and the staggering mathematical probability of their occurrence merely being the resultof chance. No other source of historical knowledge can make the same claims, and for goodreason. No other source is the inspired Word of God."And do not forget the things I have done throughout history. For I am God - I alone! I am God,and there is no one else like me. Only I can tell you what is going to happen even before ithappens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish." Isaiah 46:9-11 (NLT)The very definition of God includes His unique ability to see from the distant past to the distantfuture, from the beginning to the end. He alone can foresee world events with 100% accuracycenturies in advance. The apostle Peter testified to this fact:"Above all, you must understand that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophetsthemselves or because they wanted to prophesy. It was the Holy Spirit who moved the prophets tospeak from God." 2 Peter 1:20 (NLT)
  • 3. Unlike other sacred texts that claim divine origin, the bible can point to its unprecedented trackrecord in foreseeing future events. This is because the bible is not the product of imaginative men,but rather the testimony of prophets who were moved by the Holy Spirit to speak from God.Fulfilled prophecy authenticates the bible, proving it to be the Word of God. For this reason alone,bible prophecy is worth every iota of our attention.However, when it comes to spreading the Word of God, there is no greater tool of evangelism thanbible prophecy.2) Assistance in Spreading the GospelOne of the easiest and most natural methods for spreading the Gospel is the sharing of bibleprophecy. In fact, in the early days of the Church, sharing of fulfilled bible prophecy was theprimary method for spreading the Gospel. On the day of Pentecost, Peter gave a rousing speechin Jerusalem in which he cited fulfillment of the Messianic prophecies as clear proof that Jesuswas the long awaited Messiah (Acts 2:14-42). This speech led to three thousand people devotingtheir lives to Jesus Christ. Later in the same book, we learn the story of Philip and the Eunuch, inwhich Philip uses a fulfilled prophecy from the Book of Isaiah in order to explain the Gospel to anEthiopian traveler (Acts 8:26-39). These are just two of many instances in which the early churchemphasized bible prophecy as a tool for evangelism.In one of the New Testament books which bear his name, Peter underscores the important role ofbible prophecy:"For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the power of our Lord JesusChrist and his coming again. We have seen his majestic splendor with our own eyes. And hereceived honor and glory from God the Father when Gods glorious, majestic voice called downfrom heaven, This is my beloved Son; I am fully pleased with him. We ourselves heard the voicewhen we were there with him on the holy mountain. Because of that, we have even greaterconfidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. Pay close attention to what they wrote, fortheir words are like a light shining in a dark place - until the day Christ appears and his brilliantlight shines in your hearts." 2 Peter 1:16-19 (NLT)In Peters words, bible prophecy is "like a light shining in a dark place." Bible prophecy provides uswith confidence in the coming glory of Christ and the necessary hope to see us through the dailyrigors of life until that day appears. He further proclaims his confidence in the words of theprophets, both fulfilled and unfulfilled, because he has witnessed firsthand the authenticity of thescriptures.Therefore, we should afford the utmost respect for the words of the prophets, and rejoice in thefact that we are able to understand their fulfillment in the life of Christ:"This salvation was something the prophets wanted to know more about. They prophesied aboutthis gracious salvation prepared for you, even though they had many questions as to what it allcould mean. They wondered what the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he toldthem in advance about Christs suffering and his great glory afterward. They wondered when andto whom all this would happen. They were told that these things would not happen during theirlifetime, but many years later, during yours. And now this Good News has been announced by
  • 4. those who preached to you in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. It is all so wonderfulthat even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen." 1 Peter 1:10-12 (NLT)The prophets yearned to know more about bible prophecy, and the Spirit of Christ was withinthem. Even the angels are eagerly awaiting the fulfillment of bible prophecy. If this is true, thenhow can we say bible prophecy is insignificant or of secondary importance?3) Encouragement of Holy LivingIn the end, dedicated study of bible prophecy leads to holy living. Fulfilled prophecy is a constantreminder of Gods awesome power, the glory of Jesus Christ, and the absolute certainty thatpromises yet unfulfilled will come to be. This breeds a number of Christ-like characteristics in thelife of a Christian, a fact attested to by Paul:"For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed toturn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with self-control, rightconduct, and devotion to God, while we look forward to that wonderful event when the glory of ourgreat God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed." Titus 2:11-13 (NLT)If we acknowledge the prophecies of the Second Coming as well as the command of Jesus to stayawake and alert, we will be driven to live godly lives. Paul also emphasized this in his letter to theRomans:"Another reason for right living is that you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for thecoming of our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed." Romans 13:11 (NLT)Peter also recognized the power of prophecy to motivate Christians toward holy living, citing faithin the imminent return of Christ (unfulfilled prophecy) as reason for modifying behavior and living alife in harmony with God:"So think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the special blessings that will come toyou at the return of Jesus Christ. Obey God because you are his children. Dont slip back into yourold ways of doing evil; you didnt know any better then. But now you must be holy in everythingyou do, just as God - who chose you to be his children - is holy." 1 Peter 1:13-15 (NLT)James underlined the important role of bible prophecy in fostering patience in the life of Christsfollowers:"Dear brothers and sisters, you must be patient as you wait for the Lords return. Consider thefarmers who eagerly look for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They patiently wait for theprecious harvest to ripen. You, too, must be patient. And take courage, for the coming of the Lordis near." James 5:7-8 (NLT)Harboring the hope that Christ can return at any moment encourages patience in our daily lives.In addition, Paul points out the importance of studying bible prophecy in order to identify falseprophets and recognize evil:
  • 5. "Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on towhat is good. Keep away from every kind of evil." 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 (NLT)If a Christian ignores bible prophecy, that Christian is ignoring a large portion of Gods Word. As aresult, they will be unable to adequately counter arguments and false doctrines put forth by falseprophets and enemies of God. Like the people of Berea (Acts 17:11), we are encouraged topersonally examine the Word of God and use it as the yardstick by which we measure truth. AChristian who lacks knowledge of bible prophecy will be severely lacking in this area, and as aresult, they will be more susceptible to errant teachings.Reward AwaitsAs if the above reasons werent enough, the bible promises special blessings to those whofaithfully examine bible prophecy. As an example, one of the most prophetic books in the bible, theBook of Revelation, promises a special blessing to those who merely read it. Moreover, Godfurther blesses those who listen to what this book has to say and take it to heart:"God blesses the one who reads this prophecy to the church, and he blesses all who listen to itand obey what it says. For the time is near when these things will happen." Revelation 1:3 (NLT)Remember, the Book of Revelation is the revelation of Jesus Christ. Despite what some think, itsnot the revelation of John, or the imaginative writings of a cave dweller. It is direct correspondencefrom Jesus to His followers, and although some of it is difficult to understand, it contains some ofthe most wonderful promises from God to man in the entire bible. As Paul states:"That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and nomind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him. But we know these thingsbecause God has revealed them to us by his Spirit, and his Spirit searches out everything andshows us even Gods deep secrets." 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 (NLT)Paul knew the importance of bible prophecy and the significant role it played in the daily life of aChristian. In fact, he earnestly looked forward to the day when he would be rewarded for his hopein an unfulfilled bible prophecy - the glorious appearing of Jesus Christ:"And now the prize awaits me - the crown of righteousness that the Lord, the righteous Judge, willgive me on that great day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly lookforward to his glorious return." 2 Timothy 4:8 (NLT)This crown of righteousness is not just for Paul, but for all who "eagerly look forward to Hisglorious return," providing those who receive it with an eternal reward. Still think bible prophecy isunimportant?ConclusionRemember, the early church warned the last generation that unfulfilled prophecies would be asource of derision:"First, I want to remind you that in the last days there will be scoffers who will laugh at the truth
  • 6. and do every evil thing they desire. This will be their argument: Jesus promised to come back, didhe? Then where is he? Why, as far back as anyone can remember, everything has remainedexactly the same since the world was first created." 2 Peter 3:3 (NLT)Our generation has done more to fulfill Peters prophecy than any generation before. Today, bibleprophecy and those who study it are mocked and ridiculed. And its not just the general populationattempting to marginalize prophecy. In most cases, its prominent leaders of mainstream Christiandenominations - ministers, priests, and community leaders of all types.Such people attempt to justify their personal disdain for prophecy by relegating it to second tierstatus behind salvation and evangelism. They say, why waste time studying bible prophecy whenit detracts from good works and spreading the gospel message? They fail to realize that prophecyis the essence of the gospel message.Almost every one of the promises Christians hold near and dear are based on prophecy. Thepromise of heaven is. The hope of salvation is. The joy of eternity with Christ is. Each of these is apromise from God guaranteeing our future. And what is a prophecy if not a guaranteed futureevent? So dont let the mockery of others discourage you from studying bible prophecy.Remember, Jesus Christ Himself was mocked and ridiculed by this world. If you want to followHim, He says you must be willing to be mocked and ridiculed yourself. Bible prophecy is themessage of Jesus, and as Christians, we must be willing to endure persecution for it:"Then he said to the crowd, If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfishambition, shoulder your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to keep your life for yourself, you willlose it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find true life. And how do you benefit if you gainthe whole world but lose or forfeit your own soul in the process? If a person is ashamed of me andmy message, I, the Son of Man, will be ashamed of that person when I return in my glory and inthe glory of the Father and the holy angels." Luke 9:23-26 (NLT)To learn more about bible prophecy, visit Britts website, End Times Bible Prophecy, a Christiansite examining the relationship between bible prophecy and emerging technology.Article Source:http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Britt_Gillette==== ====
  • 7. The Truth About The Last Days, Antichrist, The Rapture, More.http://www.teachingfaith.com/content.cfm?id=304==== ====