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The Value of Studying Bible Prophecy
by Richard Burroughs
8/13/2009 / Bible Studies
Biblical scholarship and the study of Bible Prophecy, what importance could it contain for today's Christian? Shift your attention back about ten years in the past, year of 1999, the dawn of the new millennium. People seemed to have been making wise investments, preparing for the coming "Y2K Disasters" as many self-proclaimed prophets were prophesying. Throughout the year of 1999 you could visit any Christian Bookstore across the nation and find numerous books offered on the subject of Y2K. Particularly, I remember driving to work, listening to Christian Radio along the way, hearing different speakers advertising their "Y2K Survival Kits", following having preached concerning the supposed imminent disasters. Amazingly, throughout that year, several gullible Christians depleted thousands of their hard earned cash on these survival kits that they would never need. Sadly, these preachers are not in prison for racketeering, rather they persist in preaching on the same stations toward the same naive audiences.
Interesting as this might appear, you may perhaps question what significance this has to the value found studying Bible Prophecy? Vast numbers of Christians never invest any of their time in the study of Bible prophecy and therefore when some minister with a little charisma comes along, so many are attracted to their teaching. However, pursuing a disciplined study of Bible prophecy will in turn guard against following after every wind of doctrine that may arise, Eph. 4:14. Considering the scriptural basis for testing prophecy, found in Deut. 18:22 "if the thing follow not nor come to pass, that is the thing the Lord hath not spoken", many would avoid following these self-proclaimed prophets. The track records of many of them present them as what the Bible refers to as false prophets, and if that is what the Lord calls them, so ought we.
Again, some of these prophecies that came about as the turn of the millennium approached actually suggested that the Lord would return in 2000 to set up His kingdom for his millennial reign. This belief had originated from people taking scripture out of context as in the case of 2 Pet. 3:8, "one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand year is as one day", and Ps. 90:4, "for a thousand years in thy sight are but yesterday." Rather commonly this has been interpreted as meaning that one day is a thousand years and that this corresponds with the creation week. This philosophy suggests that the earth was created in six days and God rested the seventh day and likewise, the earth would undergo six thousand years of history followed by a thousand year period of rest. Concerning this interpretation, I particularly appreciate what Henry Morris wrote in an article in the Dec. 1999 issue of Back to Genesis:
"More importantly, with all due respect to the many sincere Bible students who advocate this interpretation, the Bible nowhere says that the seven days of Creation Week correspond to seven millennia of earth history. II Peter 3 does not say that "one day means a thousand years," but rather that "one day is with the Lord like a thousand years."
That is, God can do in one day what would normally require a thousand
Furthermore I would add that the Scriptures tell us in Mt. 24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. (KJV)
Persistence in the study of the Bible, with a portion of time dedicated to prophecy will prepare us to resist erroneous teachings when they arise. Those who will invest time in a structured study of the Bible are less likely to be persuaded by flawed doctrines. Proper discernment of anything claiming to be a word from God involves a thorough assessment of the material against the Word of God. Practicing this sort of analysis of messages about Y2k may have prevented many from being fooled by such fallacy.
I am a young minister who loves the truth of God's Word.
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