December 18, 2017

Why Prophecy Matters – FrontLine, July/August 2015

July_August 2015

The Importance of Prophecy

Kent Ramler

It was the early 1990s. The pastor of the church where my wife and I served announced that we would be having a wellknown evangelist coming to speak on the topic of prophecy. I was looking forward to it. My sweet, godly wife was not. I remember being surprised that she would react so negatively. Frankly, prophecy scared her. The events of the Tribulation terrified her, and films such as A Thief in the Night and its three sequels did nothing to assuage those terrors. She did not doubt her salvation, but the magnitude and scope of divine judgment on the world left her unsettled. Besides, could one really know that we would not go through those troubling times? Even though I was pursuing a graduate degree in Bible, I still had difficulty convincing her of the value of prophecy.

Years have passed, and we have both grown in our understanding of Scripture. Since over twentyfive percent of the verses in Scripture deal with prophecy to some degree, it has been a topic that demanded our attention. We have come to realize that prophecy is much more than a stick of butter melting on the street.[1] Recently I helped to draft a position statement explaining the importance of prophecy that was then accepted by the FBFI Board. The statement reads as follows:

Although many believers avoid the study of Bible prophecy because of the misuse of prophetic passages and because of differences among the interpreters, prophecy is a very important component of Biblical revelation and properly understood is a great blessing to God’s people. We should preach the whole counsel of God, including prophetic portions. Promises and predictions of the future are an integral part of both Old and New Testament preaching.

Prophetic teaching serves as a warning to the unsaved. It is also profitable for the believer’s life and ministry. The Scriptures promise a special blessing on those who study and apply prophetic teaching. Specific benefits include a greater appreciation for the glory and trustworthiness of God, a fuller understanding of the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, the promotion of evangelistic zeal, a motivation for holy living and mutual exhortation, comfort in sorrow, encouragement in affliction, and a calming of fears.

This issue of FrontLine features six articles dealing with different benefits of prophecy. Certainly, prophecy enhances our understanding of Jesus Christ by manifesting Him in all of His regal and divine splendor. Such knowledge then challenges us to repent and serve Him, but it also motivates us to meet together as believers and serve others (Heb. 10:25). For the obedient Christian, prophecy provides comfort in times of great distress and trial.

Growing up I often fantasized about being a prince and wondered what it would be like to be part of a family with fabulous wealth and power. One fictional story captured my imagination as a child. The story concerned a boy whose family was wealthy beyond belief. He lived in a house that grew bigger and bigger each year because nobody told the construction workers to stop building. The boy and his friends had wonderful adventures exploring in his magnificent home. His riches provided opportunities and experiences about which I could only dream. Not long ago the thought struck me that I am a prince and a part of a family with fabulous wealth and power. My Father’s home is far larger than any manmade structure, and my future is secure. I have a retirement plan that is out of this world! Prophecy teaches us that our reality far exceeds whatever fantasy we may have dreamed up as children.

How then ought we to live as we “see the day approaching”?

Kent Ramler has a PhD in New Testament Interpretation from Bob Jones Seminary, where he taught for several years. He has been pastoring People’s Baptist Church in Frederick, Maryland, for six years.

July/August 2015 | VOLUME 25 | NUMBER 4

Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled:
Why Prophecy Impacts Our Lives

Prophecy: A Revelation of God’s Sovereignty
Fred Moritz

The promise of Christ’s imminent, or “any moment,” return permeates the New Testament.

Prophecy: A Warning to the Sinner
Charles Farley

Many prophetic passages were given specifically to reprove, rebuke, and exhort and are useful in our day-to-day ministries.

Knowing What’s Coming Will Help You through What’s Happening
Mike Davidson

Eschatology is usually loved in proportion to the believer’s love of Christ.

The Purifying Power of the Blessed Hope
Ron Webber

The study of prophecy has, at times, led to fruitless speculation without a profitable change of life.

Prophecy: A Reason for Ministry to Believers
Mike Smith

“Consider one another . . . as ye see the day approaching.”

Prophecy: A Motivation for Missions
Matthew Barfield

What does the Lord want us to do in light of the knowledge we have about what He will do in the future?

10 Categories of Truth to Teach and Preach
David C. Innes

At a Glance The Story of David, Part 2
Layton Talbert

On Language & Scripture
Mark L. Ward Jr.

95th FBFI Annual Fellowship
John C. Vaughn

Annual Chaplains Training and the Annual FBFI Fellowship
John C. Vaughn

Making Decisions That Lead to Ruin
Jerry Sivnksty

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  1. This is a reference to a gripping scene in the popular 1972 film A Thief in the Night, which over 300 million people saw. A young girl who had recently trusted Christ as her Savior is sent to retrieve a stick of butter from a neighbor across the street but is raptured on her return home. The dropped stick of butter is left melting in the road. []

Although Proclaim & Defend is the blog of the FBFI, the articles we post are not an expression of the views of the FBFI as a whole, they are the views of the author under whose name they are published. The FBFI speaks either through position statements by its board or through its president. Here at Proclaim & Defend, we publish articles as matters of interest or edification to the wider world of fundamentalist Baptists and any others who might be interested.

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