PROPHECY, REVELATION, AND END TIMES - Bible Study Lesson Outline
PROPHECY, REVELATION, AND END TIMES
- Revelation is the one book of the Bible that we should be paying the most attention to.
- Jer 29:13
Amos 3:7 says, "Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets."
Who are the prophets?
1. Biblical prophets, whose writings we can read
2. Prophets before Jesus who told people God's words
3. Preachers today - forth-tellers of God's word
Do people have dreams? Do prophets have visions? Do people hear from God?
1. Disclaimer: God can speak any way He wishes to. (But does He?)
2. Be wary and distrust anything except the written words of God in the Bible.
3. The Bible contains all we need to know - more than enough to keep us busy!
If you search the internet you can easily find many articles and videos regarding end times dreams and prophecies. Could it be happening today? Maybe, but I tend to think it's mostly hysteria and people who are easily influenced.
Do we have prophets today? Can we trust “prophets” today?
Hebrews 1:1-2: it makes it clear that our prophet is Jesus.
So where can we find the end-times prophecies of Jesus?
1. The Gospels have some end-times prophecy.
2. The Book of Revelation. Rev. 1:1 tells us this is Jesus’ book of prophecy.
How can I learn what the Book of Revelation says and means?
1. Read it. More than once and often.
2. Read the whole Bible. Many old testament verses tie in to Revelation.
3. Pay attention to what’s happening in the world.
4. Study prophecy. Many books, videos, websites available. (Be careful!)
Can and should I prepare for the End Times? If so, how?
1. We are “in” the end times, and events can and will happen quickly.
2. It’s always wise to be ready for/aware of trouble. There is a difference between having your treasures on earth, and counting on those to save you from trouble, and being reasonably prepared for things. (Hurricane preps are one example. Don’t walk alone at night in a bad area is another example.)
3. The rapture is a real event that will occur. It is consistently God’s nature to deliver believers before divine judgment. Believers are not appointed to wrath (Romans 5:9, I Thess.1:9-10; I Thess. 5:9). The church cannot enter "the great day of his wrath" (Rev. 6:17).
4. We don’t know what afflictions will come before the rapture! Wars, rumors of wars, ethnic conflict, natural disasters, terrorism, sicknesses, etc. are all real threats and either the result of human sin, the curse on the world, or satanic influence.
1. Christ warned His disciples about turmoil before the Tribulation, and gave them specific advice that would help them. [He endorses preps.]
2. We have an accountable responsibility to provide for our family and friends (I Timothy 5:8).
3. We are commanded to be "...sober [serious minded], and watch unto prayer..." in the end times. (1 Peter 4:7)
4. We should be even more vigilant to make our days count for eternity.
5. Warn the lost, encourage the brethren, set aside the stumblingblocks, and live for Christ - not this world.
Should I be afraid of or worry about the end times?
Not at all! (1 Thess 4:18)
1. Because you can't change it either way.
2. Because we know the end times unfold as part of God’s plan and He is in control. Know that the problems will be solved, and justice will be done.
3. Because the physical events we see come from a spiritual conflict. Spiritual preparation and understanding can give you peace.
4. Because the world that we live in is temporary! You have a bigger, better world to hope for and don’t need to be attached to this place.
5. Because a Christian will be raised up, unharmed, perfect, to live forever – even if the “worst” happens to them here on this earth.
I can accept the end times because I'm in Christ - so I have total peace. I don't believe in being unprepared - since we don't know what trouble will befall us day to day - but I'm certainly not relying on my own power, my preps, or anything else on earth to ultimately save me.
We should be wise, aware, and prepared as much possible, but never put our treasure or confidence in anything on earth. Put it in Christ!