My blog on the danger of Dispensational prophecy caused a little bit of a stir.
Many people wrote to agree.
And some wrote to disagree.
For example, one woman commented:
“All the things the article mentioned had NO relevance to ANY Bible prophecy. 2020 is VERY different. If you don’t see that, I would question whether you are too drunk on the world to want to see.”
As I said, some people love newspaper exegesis.
But what is a responsible Bible believer to do? If you shouldn’t be reading Daniel or Revelation with a newspaper in hand, what should you be doing?
You should definitely study prophecy. It will grow your knowledge and your faith in God’s providence over a troubled world. And it will help you defend your faith to others. In fact, I think prophecy is one of the very best apologetic tools we have.
If you’re an absolute beginner in studying Biblical prophecy, I recommend the following four books:
- Alva J. McClain, Daniel’s Prophecy of the 70 Weeks. This is a short work that explains Daniel’s incredible prophecy about the arrival of the Messiah and the mysterious break between the 69th and 70th week. Daniel’s 70 weeks give a basic timeline for the rest of human history. You need to understand Daniel to understand Jesus and Revelation.
- Zane Hodges, Jesus, God’s Prophet. Have you ever thought about Jesus as a great Biblical prophet? Well, you should, and Hodges has written an excellent and concise introduction to the topic. Once you have a grip on Daniel, you’ll be able to understand how Jesus enlarged on Daniel’s prophecy. Hodges shows that much of what we know about the end times comes from Jesus Himself.
- Tim Lahaye and Thomas Ice, Charting the End Times: A Visual Guide to Understanding Bible Prophecy. McClain and Hodges give you the broad strokes for Biblical prophecy. Lahaye and Ice help fill in the details. If you are a visual learner like me, you’ll appreciate all the graphics and concise explanations of major prophetic events in end times prophecy.
- John Walvoord, Every Prophecy of the Bible. My mom had an earlier edition of this book in her library. I read through it as a teenager. My point is, you can read it, too. Instead of focusing only on one prophet or one period of time, Walvoord gives short explanations for all the prophecies given in Genesis to Revelation.
After you read and study and pray about what you’ve read, then what?
Bill Fiess, my fellow Grace in Focus contributor, gave a very succinct answer: “I agree with you, Shawn. All Jesus said to do is to watch!”
“Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming” (Matt 24:42).
“But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into” (Matt 24:43).
“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming” (Matt 25:13).
“And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” (Mark 13:37).
“Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame” (Rev 16:15).