A new couple asked me after church, “Do you ever teach on prophecy?”
“Well, yes”, I answered. “Why?”
They explained that they haven’t heard a sermon on prophecy for years.
That made me sad, because it’s true. In this age where church is all about growth and trendy issues, many pastors feel that their people just aren’t “ready” for prophecy. I think that’s a terrible miscalculation.
It’s impossible to separate the explosive growth of the Church in Acts from its prophetic hope. The early Christians who turned the world upside down for Christ hoped in Jesus’ coming. They did not believe their world would ever get better apart from the resurrection power of Jesus. They did believe that they were a part of God’s ultimate rescue of their world in Christ. Paul said that he endured the suffering of serving Christ in this present time because he knew that the Church is part of God’s glorious plans for the future—the glory to come when all that creation groans for and all that we experience in the delivering power of Christ’s resurrection will be realized (Romans 8:18-25). They knew that Jesus would finally secure all that He accomplished through His cross and resurrection—the redemption and renewal of all that He created—when He returned. The early Church prayed constantly for and looked forward to the return of Jesus.
They knew their King was coming.
It is impossible to separate God’s message in His Word from its offer of prophetic hope. One fourth of the Bible was prophetic when it was written. Surely God meant for us to look into the future with eyes of hope, knowing His good plans and redemptive purposes for humanity and for the universe. Although Christians can’t agree on all the details, our common faith in a rock-hard hope for the future should never diminish. Unlike heathen religions, Christianity’s hope is brilliant and plain—we will not always feel the way we feel today and this world will not always be the way it is now. The life to come is better than this life and the world to come is better than the one we live in today.
The Bible says that our King is coming.
And it’s impossible for me to separate our zeal for Christ in the Jesus Movement of the sixties from our prophetic hope. I can’t know exactly how God used prophetic hope in the return of Jesus to fuel other revivals, but I do know how He used it in ours. He restored our belief in the purpose of life on earth, emboldened us with a confidence we had never before known, and burdened us with an urgency to tell others about Christ because our King was coming!
Is Your King Coming?
If you’re a Christian, your King is coming. And He’s given you a lot of indicators that He’s coming soon. Do you know the signs of His coming? You should!
Here are a few of my favorite prophecy passages you may want to look at for some encouragement: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11; Revelation 3:11; 22:7, 12).
“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.” –Jesus Christ, Revelation 22:12