Prophecy and the Lord’s Coming: Its Practical Effect in Our Lives

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 7
Prophecy is important to us; it is “the testimony of Jesus,” showing how He will have His rightful place. Because He has called us His friends, He wants us to know what is coming. He said to His own, “All things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you” (John 15:1515Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. (John 15:15)). The Christian is the only person who has an intelligent outlook on what is taking place in the world.
Peter speaks of prophecy as “a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star [or the morning star] arise in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19). Prophecy has particularly to do with the earth — with the kingdom being established, where the Lord Jesus will be known as “the King of kings, and Lord of lords.” It tells us that the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ. All the prophecies point on to that time when this will be fulfilled. But before that — just as the morning star arises before the day — we look for the Lord Jesus to come. As we see events moving onward (I do not say prophecy actually being fulfilled, but movements in that direction), we can say that the moment is drawing near. Prophecy is a light that shines in a dark place. So the Christian, instead of being surprised by developments in this world, knows that God has foretold them.
Light in a Dark Place
But what should be the result of this? It is a dark place in which we live; if it were not for the light of prophecy, it would indeed look gloomy. Man trembles as he sees the breakdown of everything committed to him, but prophecy is “a light that shine[s] in a dark place.” All these events are only to cause us to look up, to lift up our heads, knowing that our redemption draws nigh.
Peter says, “Until the day dawn, and the day star [the morning star] arise in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19). The Lord Jesus comes for us as the “bright and morning star.” For Israel He is spoken of as the “Sun of righteousness  ...  with healing in His wings” (Mal. 4:22But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. (Malachi 4:2)), because when Israel shall be delivered, it will be for earthly blessing. But just as the morning star arises before the sun comes up, so we look for the Lord Jesus to come as “the bright and morning star.”
The Reign of Christ
At the commencement of the thousand-year reign of Christ, often called the millennium, God will deal with all those nations who have left God out, who thought that they could get along and treat the world as if it belonged to themselves (see Matt. 25:31-4631When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (Matthew 25:31‑46)). Then, as we read in Revelation 11:1515And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 11:15), “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ; and He shall reign forever and ever.”
Because of this, “what manner of persons ought ye to be, in all holy conversation and godliness” (2 Peter 3:11)? How should this affect us? We know what is coming. If we know the Lord Jesus as our Saviour, can we be indifferent to all this? I believe that the time is drawing very, very near. We do not know the day nor the hour, but we should be a waiting and watching people.
Adapted from an address
by G. H. Hayhoe