When we look at our world, at times it seems hopeless with all the evil and chaos. Yet we know one day God will bring an end to evil and bring this earth back to the plan He had from creation—yet even better. Our people need a shot in the arm to encourage them during these turbulent times.
Some pastors and teachers avoid prophecy because they either believe it’s not important or they think it is beyond their ability to interpret. Helping our people look toward the certain future we have reminds us of the need to preach and teach on the end times. There are many resources available to pastors and teachers to assist in interpreting the end-time prophecies for their churches.
There are at least seven reasons that should motivate us to study and preach end-time prophecies to our congregations.
Paul tells Titus we are to live holy lives “while we wait for the blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13, CSB).
As Paul writes to Titus, it’s not just “hope,” but “blessed hope.” The word “blessed” can mean happy. Paul is saying the certainty of Christ appearing is above all other hopes we have and brings joy to the believer who looks to it. Joy in Christ is something that brings added meaning to our daily walk. The joy God gives us is one of the definitive characteristics that attracts a lost world to Jesus Christ.
You don’t need to turn on your television for long to see the evil that is in our world. It can be overwhelming if we focus on it. Christians can fall into the trap of asking: “Where is God?” “Does He not see the evil in the world?” “When is God going to do something?”
The psalmist Asaph in Psalm 73 was also perplexed about the evil he saw, yet he wrote: “When I tried to understand all this, it seemed hopeless until I entered God’s sanctuary. Then I understood their destiny” (Psalms 73:16-17, CSB).
We can lose sight of the certainty that one day God will bring an end to all evil—in His time, providence, and perfect will. End-time prophecies encourage our churches to hold on in the midst of evil days.
Related to evil is the source of all evil, Satan himself. God will one day put an end to Satan and his demons through judgment.
“The devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet are, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:10, CSB).
In Revelation, we read these words in the first and final chapters.
Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear the words of this prophecy and keep what is written in it, because the time is near. (Revelation 1:3, CSB)
‘Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.’ (Revelation 22:7, CSB)
As we read Revelation while leading our people to read and study it along with us, there is a promised blessing. Certainly, God will bless our congregations as they not only read but apply the teachings from the prophecy. God’s promises are always true. What Christian doesn’t desire to be blessed by God?
Not only will the gospel be proclaimed to your congregation, but because end-time prophecies pique the interest of many who are looking for answers, it will give them the opportunity to hear. It also encourages our people to know the time for Christ’s return is quickly approaching, so we need to be busy sharing our faith.
We cannot preach or teach end-times prophecies without working through passages that honor and glorify Jesus Christ.
And they sang a new song: You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because you were slaughtered,
and you purchased people
for God by your blood
from every tribe and language
and people and nation. (Revelation 5:9, CSB)
The whole of Scripture—from Genesis to Revelation—is God’s redemptive plan through His Son. End-time prophecy is no different.
Studying Revelation gives us an opportunity to remind our church that God has not forgotten His chosen nation.
I ask, then, has God rejected his people? Absolutely not! (Romans 11:1, CSB)
Because God keeps His promises with His chosen ones, we can be certain He keeps all His promises to those who presently make up His church. Teaching on this encourages us to cling to all the promises of God for His people.
As I continue to read and study end-time prophecies, I find myself echoing in my heart on a daily basis the words of the apostle John.
He who testifies about these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’ Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! (Revelation 22:20, CSB)
Steven Blake is the pastor at First Baptist Church in Bloomingdale, Georgia. He is married to DeLynn, and they are the proud parents of three daughters and 11 grandchildren.