Biblical Prophecy: An Essential Element In Living A Genuine And Useful Christian Life -- By: Paul Benware
JODT 11:32 (March 2007) p. 5
Biblical Prophecy: An Essential Element In Living A Genuine And Useful Christian Life
Professor of Biblical Studies, Philadelphia Biblical University
Some years ago a woman approached this author at the beginning of a prophecy conference where the author was ministering and informed him that she was not a fan of messages on Bible prophecy. This author was, of course, intrigued as to why this was the case. Her reason was that she was tired of the speculation and the sensationalism that seemed to always surround prophetic preaching. What she wanted was a Bible message that helped her to live her Christian life in a more authentic way. She felt that when Jesus returns, then He will return and there is nothing that can be done to hinder or hasten His return. Meanwhile, she had to live her Christian life in the “real” world. Bible prophecy to her lacked substance and was simply not relevant with “real life.” What she failed to recognize was that “real life” can only be lived to its fullest when prophetic truth is known and embraced by the believer.
At another prophecy conference where the author was participating, the pastor of the church said he was very glad that this author was there, since he knew very little about Bible prophecy and felt his people should have some exposure to the subject. It seems that at the seminary he attended, the consensus was that eschatology was so unclear and controversial that time was better spent on matters of greater significance. The pastor did not seem to be convinced of this but nevertheless was a product of that school which helped shape his approach to preaching and teaching. What he failed to appreciate was that prophecy was a key ingredient in bringing his people into a genuine walk with the Lord, the very thing he wanted to witness in his church.
The woman and the pastor seem to represent a significant part of the church today. Unfortunately it is true that prophecy has been abused by too many preachers and, of course, by non-preachers such as those on the History Channel. However, the church must not ignore biblical prophecy or marginalize it to the periphery of the unimportant. Pastors who do not regularly include the truths of the prophetic Word in their preaching and teaching deprive their people of one of the most significant elements in living godly, authentic Christian lives in today’s world. In doing so, they really do a terrible disservice to their people.
Those who fail to inform their flock of things to come do not follow the example of Christ and the Apostles whose teachings were peppered through and through with truths about future things. Even New Testament writings that are not normally considered eschatological are filled with exhortations and i...
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