Understanding End-Time Prophecy

The Bible is full of prophecies, some already fulfilled, and many yet to be fulfilled.  There are also many authorities on this subject, and I’m not one.

Some prophecies are easy to understand, especially if they have already been fulfilled.  But, prophecies that are yet to be fulfilled are not so easy to interpret.  This doesn’t stop the ‘experts’ from trying, though, and there are quite a few tons of books written which will tell you exactly what they mean.  Of course, there is also a lot of disagreement.

And, of course, I have my own opinion about prophecies and their purpose.  It’s doubtful the experts will agree with me on this, but I suspect the primary purpose of biblical prophecy is to assure us that God has a plan, and that He is executing His plan.  This would seem to be more important than the specifics of the prophecy itself.  Do I really care if the prophecy in Revelation depicts helicopters shooting weapons of war?  I suppose to some people this is really important, but it is a distraction.  What is more important is to understand that God’s plan for His creation includes a final chapter which will be played out just as depicted in the book of Revelation.  I’m not so sure it is important to understand if the destruction depicted is from a nuclear explosion or some other source.

I understand this posting flies in the face of those who are deeply involved in prophecy interpretation.  But, the simple fact is this – concerning the prophecies that were set forth for the first coming of the Messiah we missed the mark badly, and only a very few were able to put the prophecies concerning Christ together correctly.  What makes us think we are smarter than they were?

That’s right – prophecies are best understood in hindsight.  Does this mean they should be ignored, or that we cannot search to understand them?  Of course not.  But, we should understand there are aspects of prophecy that probably will not be completely understood until they are fulfilled, or about to be fulfilled.  So, speculating about the the weapons of mass destruction depicted in Revelation is fairly meaningless, at least in my view.  What is important is to understand that God’s plan for this world includes such destruction, and that there is a literal Great Tribulation as depicted in Revelation.  That is important.

So, what is my point?  Let’s not get sidetracked and distracted by the various interpretations of the prophetic Word.  Let’s embrace the ‘big picture’ which is to acknowledge God’s plan and power at bringing the prophecy to fulfillment.  That’s more important than determining if there is a helicopter or atomic bomb described in Revelation.  At least, in my humble opinion…

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2 Responses to “Understanding End-Time Prophecy”

  1. beamcguire@gmail.com Says:

    Such a great blog and I totally agree with you 100% (Not that you asked). I only know one thing, and that’s the Lord is coming…and soon! I concentrate my time on trying to live right and follow His plan. I don’t want to miss it when He returns! Blessings….

  2. Ron Edwards Says:

    It’s easy to spend a lot of time looking at “end times” prophecies in detail. It can become an obsession if it’s not God’s call on your life. It is wasted time, of no eternal significance – chaff that will be burnt in the fire.

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