When it comes to studying Bible prophecy, it is easy to get buried in the details about what will happen in the future—to the point that we fail to focus on who Bible prophecy is all about: God.
Yes, it’s natural to want to understand what will happen and when. In what sequence will the rapture, second coming, and millennium take place? What major events today serve as clues about the signs of the times? And what can we know about the identities of the Antichrist, the two witnesses, the 144,000, and the ten entities that will comprise earth’s final kingdom as portrayed by the feet and toes of the statue in Daniel 2?
A lot of discussion continues to swirl around questions like these: Should Bible prophecy be interpreted literally or allegorically? Has the church replaced Israel in God’s plan, or are the two distinct? Does America appear in Bible prophecy? Were the prophecies in Revelation fulfilled in the past, or are they still future?
Studying Bible prophecy is a noble endeavor. The book of Revelation opens with this wonderful promise: “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it” (Revelation 1:3). The apostle Paul proclaimed that “all Scripture is…profitable…for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). “All Scripture” includes Bible prophecy.
Having a zeal to better understand Bible prophecy is good. That is part of being diligent to rightly divide the Word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). But we need to exercise caution so that we don’t inadvertently allow debate about the specifics of Bible prophecy to take our eyes off the one to whom all of Bible prophecy points to: God Himself.
Ultimately, Bible prophecy is all about God. As we survey the many prophecies of the Bible, these are the grand truths, the great themes they call our attention to:
- God is sovereign over all things, and nothing will keep His plans for the future from being fulfilled
- Christ will return in victory and rule the world—that is an absolute certainty
- Evil will be punished and justice will prevail
- The Lord will restore perfect peace and righteousness to all His creation
- He will reign forever and ever, and we will worship and dwell with Him for all eternity
One of the greatest benefits of Bible prophecy is that it nurtures within us an eternal perspective—one that looks ahead with anticipation to the glorious future God has in store for us. It keeps us looking upward when everything around us is trying to pull us downward.
As we pursue a clearer understanding of what is to come, may we always do so with an eagerness to stay wholly focused on God Himself—on His infinite power, wisdom, and majesty.