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By Jim Nichols
Pastor - Seventh Day Adventist Church 

The purpose of prophecy

 


Prophecy can save lives if heeded. A merchant seaman, Morgan Robertson, wrote a novel called “The Wreck of the Titan.” Many publishers refused to publish it because the story was “too unbelievable.” But more than 13 years later, the Titanic would set sail and prove those publishers very wrong. Some of the eerie parallels of the voyage of the Titanic and the fictional vessel, the Titan, are almost beyond belief. Both vessels were about 800 ft. long and 90 ft. wide. Both ships could travel at a top speed of 24 knots, and carried approximately 2,000 passengers. Both were on their maiden voyages, and both ships sank after striking an iceberg, with only one third of the passengers on each ship surviving. The parallels are incredible, yet they are true. Thought Question? What lives could have been saved if the story of the Titan had been heard and heeded as a warning before the Titanic voyage? Like the Titan, Bible prophecy serves as a warning to save lives for all eternity.

Why is prophecy so intriguing? I believe people are looking for a purpose and a reason to hope for the future. The ancient Greeks consulted the Oracle of Delphi, others gaze into crystal balls, study tea leaves, flip tarot cards, consult Ouija boards or mediums in séances, or have their palms read. Of course, all you have to do today for the latest-and-greatest predictions is to check out at your local supermarket and scan the tabloid headlines. Right? Prophecy sells big! But I believe the God of prophecy provides a better solution. In Isaiah 42:9, God declares, “Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.” The Bible teaches us that God has the power to see into the future with perfect clarity, and it has nothing to do with tea leaves and tarot cards.

I often get asked the question, “Why spend so much time looking at prophecy? Aren’t there other, more important things to talk about?” Yes, there are. But prophecy is vital to our Christian experience because it has the power to inspire us with confidence in God’s wisdom and knowledge and gets us back on track when we wonder about the future or we wander from His counsel. In other words, prophecy is more than just about knowing the future: it introduces us to the one who holds our future, none other than Jesus Christ. This is well expressed in 2 Peter 1:19 – “ We also have the prophetic word made more sure, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star (Jesus) rises in your hearts.”

There are at least 3 aspects of prophecy that reveal its purpose.

1. Prophecy warns the lost and keeps us safe. Prior to the devastation of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina, the Louisiana government knew for days that serious trouble was coming and pleaded with its Citizens to flee. Whether it was stubbornness, ignoring the warnings, or simply the inability to evacuate, many remained behind, were trapped by the floods, and died needlessly. It is the same with God and Bible Prophecy. Today, we study prophecy to be prepared for what is coming. Prophecy can save lives, but only if heeded.

2. Prophecy prevents deception and strengthens our faith. Jesus said, “Take heed that no man deceive you,” “Many false prophets will rise and deceive.”(Math 24:4,11) True prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, and John the Revelator, if heeded, can help us avoid being misled and give us courage and strengthen our faith in God to guide into all truth and take care of the details of our lives.

3. The ultimate purpose of prophecy is to lead us into a trust relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am He.” (John 13:19) Jesus pointed people to himself as the fulfillment of prophecy. “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” (Luke 24:27) All True prophecy points to Christ and the ultimate message of prophecy is redemptive.

The last book of the Bible begins with, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ” and reveals to us that Jesus knows what’s ahead and ultimately will carry us through in the end. “Blessed is he that reads and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keeps those things which are written there; for the time is at hand.” (Rev. 1:3) I want to personally invite you to have a group Bible study experience, beginning Wed., March 19, 7:00 p.m., at the Sidney Seventh-day Adventist Church, as we go through the book, entitled, “Meeting Jesus In the Book of Revelation,” by Mike Tucker. Contact Pastor Jim Nichols – (308) 254-6135 or just show up Wed. evening.

 

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