End Time Prophecy Course: How Crucial is it to Your Eternal Salvation
by Steve Sterling 11/06/2011 / Prophecy
Without fear of contradiction, a prophecy course on end-time events is far more important a branch of study than what you learn in college or in any institution of learning for that matter. After all, what you learn in school today is only for your temporal sustenance. But your knowledge of the Bible is a means of preparing you for eternity. The primacy of the word of God in the lives of mankind is thus summed up in the words of Job:
"My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined. Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food." Job 23:11, 12 (KJV).
The importance of the knowledge of last-day prophecy has never been as pronounced as it is today. And there is good reason for this the very signs of the times have given us enough reason not to be under any illusion that we are indeed living in the time of the end. This fact is not only acknowledged by Bible-believing Christians but the very worldians themselves are much more aware of end-time Bible predictions than we would give them credit for.
However, there are many today who seem to think that Bible prophecy is a non essential; that a prophecy course is of academic interest only and therefore, not important for our eternal salvation. While one could get away with that kind of assumption in former dispensations, holding that view today is a mistake that could be detrimental to your spiritual survival and, hence, your eternal future. If we think that Satan was working against the Christian in former dispensations we need only to take look at what is predicted to befall the church in the latter days.
THE URGENT NEED TO PREPARE: The purpose of prophecy education is not to get you into a fit of excitement about impending end-time events only to become listless after the excitement wears off, but to adequately prepare you to face the challenges that the fulfillment of prophecy brings. Awareness of any adverse event before it happens is always essential to its anticipation. In Daniel 12 and Matthew 24 we are told of a "time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation", and so serious is this forecast that many church goers are quaking in fear believing that they will not be here when it happens.
In the course of the fulfillment of end-time predictions, the Lord does not want you to respond in ignorance, but to treat it as something you were always looking forward to and not surprised about. This can only be achieved when you are thoroughly prepared through prophecy study. As the apostle Peter admonished His disciples, "We have a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts." 2Pet. 1:19 (KJV).
THE NEED TO FORTIFY YOUR MIND AGAINST DECEPTION: The scriptures does not intend to leave us in any ignorance about the kind of battle we are going to have to fight in the last days when it declares:
"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" 1Pet. 5:8 (KJV)
If such an admonition was needed in the apostolic era when the church was at the height of her militancy, how much more when she is not as vigilant (as is the case today)! Becoming a candidate fit to be drafted in the Lord's end-time army to fight Satan and his host, will require more than a passing knowledge of what is to come upon the earth not very long from now. Just as how a computer course is needed for one to be prepared to handle the challenges of data entry, programming, and other related aspects, a prophecy course is needed to enable him/her to deal with the harsh realities of end-time events predicted in the scriptures.
One of the most effective ways in which Satan will exercise his roaring-lion approach to ensnare souls, is through false teachings. This fact is underscored by Christ's warnings against the proliferation of false prophets in the last days. When you read the 24th chapter of the Book of Matthew, you will see where the Lord issued this very warning in three places! This must be an indication of how crucial it is for you to fortify your mind with the truths of the Bible so as to enable you to withstand the fiery darts of deceptions in the last days.
A PROPHECY STUDY COURSE IS DESIGNED TO REKINDLE HOPE FOR THE FUTURE: When you study Bible prophecy, it does not only introduce you to the harsh end-time realities but it also tells you about a glorious future beyond the storm. We will not be able to inherit such a future if we are not prepared to cross the proverbial 'Jordon River' overflowing all its banks. Only the Lord will be able to take us across, and He has already provided us a means of preparation (the Bible).
Describing the final triumph of the saints and their eternal security in the heavenly abode, the prophet John thus declared:
"And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither has received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years." Rev. 20:4 (KJV).
This is clearly a vision of people like you and me who will be severely harassed and persecuted, but in the end will yet be victorious in their resolve to remain faithful to Christ. In this verse the Lord is showing us a transition between a great tribulation and the inheritance of eternal, immortal bliss. The last two chapters in the book of Revelation have given us a graphic presentation of what will be the lot of all who served the Lord during their earthly sojourn, and that will include those who have educated themselves in the prophecies of the end times. Therefore, we have no warrant to entertain the thought that the sacrifice of a few hours per day in the study of the prophetic word is too costly to obtain the promise of everlasting happiness.
Studying end-time Bible predictions, via a prophecy course is not without its rewards. You may think that you have all the time in the world to engage in such a course of study but it may well cause you to end up like the five foolish virgins who took their lamps but no oil with them (see Matthew 25:1-13). In other words, they have their Bibles but did not study it that they might be prepared for the midnight cry, "Behold, the bridegroom cometh". Let us, therefore, rest in the strength of Christ's admonition to His disciples saying,
"And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe." John 14:29 (KJV)