What is the point to Biblical prophecy?
This is an important question to ask, especially since we have been reading much of it the last few months. First, when people hear of Biblical prophecy their minds go right to forecasting the future. In one sense this is right. Today we read some biblical prophecy from Zechariah telling of the future of the city of Jerusalem. But in another sense going right to future discussion when the term biblical prophecy comes up is very wrong. Most of the prophecy in the Bible is either past forecast that has already taken place, like the coming of Jesus as a baby, or is a Word from the Lord to challenge His people of the prophet’s day. So most, like 95%, of Biblical prophecy is not forecasting our future. This is a serious truth that we, the church today, need to keep in mind.
But then the question comes, what is the point of God telling us the 5% of prophecy as a future forecast for us? We have 3 options in how to answer that question. First, God could be giving us clues to the future so we can figure them out and have a map for the future. Second, God could be telling us the future so we can think nothing of it and enjoy the moment we are in. Third, God could give us clues to the future so we can be a different people and be transformed because of it. The third option is the only correct option. God did not give us clues to the future so we can enjoy the moment or so we can figure them out. God did not give us Biblical prophecy so we could set dates, call down His judgement, or try to figure it out. God does not want His children to figure or even guess at any of the future, He wants His children to know the outcome and trust Him to get us all there. God gave us prophetic forecast so that we would be changed, ready, waiting, and most importantly telling others what is ahead so they can also be transformed by the power of God. God gave prophecy so His children would have hope and rejoice waiting in anticipation for Him to bring it about. So here is 3 important and timely implicational questions thinking about the purpose of biblical prophecy of the future for the church.
-Is the church full of hope and joy waiting in anticipation of Jesus triumphal return?
-Is the church ready for His return, in that it is being transformed, obedient to the mission, and unified around the Gospel?
-Is the church falling into the trap, sin, and heretical predictions of figuring out the future when it was never intended to be that way?