© 2023 United Church of God Australia
All correspondence and questions should be sent to . Send inquiries regarding the operation of this Web site to .
God’s prophets were the messengers who spoke and wrote down His revelations. Some prophecies apply to nations, some to individuals and some to both. Many prophecies are conditional, especially those that apply to individuals.
Prophets had a dual role. God sent the prophets to predict or foretell the future and to preach that people should repent of their sins and turn to God—“to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life” (Ezekiel 3:18). Prophecies included both warnings about punishments and promises of rewards.
In Deuteronomy 11:26-28, we read a concise summary of the kind of message God’s prophets were to preach: “Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God… and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord your God.”
Some of the main purposes for biblical prophecies are:
Fulfilled prophecy is a proof of God God’s many prophecies always come to pass exactly as He foretold: “... I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done… Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass.” (Isaiah 46:9-11).
Fulfilled prophecy is a proof of the accuracy of the Bible At times, God’s prophets wrote down what they heard God say to them. At other times, they preached, inspired by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20-21). Every single biblical prophecy of a past event has been fulfilled perfectly. As future prophesied events happen, we will have even more proof of the divine inspiration of the Bible.
- Prophecy helps us understand world news and events, and enables us to “watch” with understanding (Mark 13:28-37). Because Bible prophecy is accurate and reliable, it gives us a foundational worldview and framework by which we can analyze the news.
- Advance knowledge prepares us to be calm and courageous when hardships come. “These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble (John 16:1). When trials come Christ does not want us to be shocked, to panic or to fall away. This is a major reason our loving God “reveals His secret to His servants” (Amos 3:7). When God’s prophecies come to pass as He foretold, it strengthens our faith.
- God gives people understanding and warnings before holding them accountable (Luke 12:47- 48). God is fair and merciful, holding people accountable for what they know, and being willing to overlook their “times of ignorance” (Acts 17:30). God will not finally judge anyone without first teaching and warning about the dire consequences of sin, as well as revealing the wonderful results of living His way (James 4:17; John 9:41).
The primary commission Jesus gave to His disciples—to His Church was to “‘Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation’” (Mark 16:15). The “Gospel” means good news because it is primarily about Jesus Christ’s return to establish the Kingdom of God, including a “witness” or warning about the end-time trials leading up to Christ’s return (Matthew 24:14). As John the Baptist prepared the way for Christ’s first coming (Matthew 3:1-3; Luke 3:2-6), the preaching of the Gospel today prepares the way for Christ’s second coming.
Christ’s commission to His Church can be compared to the duty given to a “watchman” (Ezekiel 33:1-7 and 11). A watchman was to sound a warning whenever he saw danger approaching. Today, the Church serves in the role of spiritual “watchman.” God is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
Beyond Today Magazine (May-Jun,2016)