The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.John 10:10
In the last post, I highlighted 3 practical benefits to studying Bible prophecy. Here is a deeper explanation of the first benefit I mentioned. Enjoy!
Growing Spiritually Mature
There’s an unholy trinity we have to face down. We fight the world, the flesh, and the Devil on a daily basis. Sounds like an old-school sermon, but it’s as true as it ever was. First, you and I live in a fallen world system that constantly tries to draw us away from a life of faith and obedience. With ever increasing pull, the world is darkening and tempting us to lower our standards.
Second, there’s a battle within us. You and I live in a fallen body that has a sin nature. We have a natural bent toward sinfully destructive thoughts, actions, and patterns. We can cater to our flesh or our Spirit. When we accepted Christ, we received the Holy Spirit who gives us power to overcome sin. Our flesh and our spirit war against each other. We have to decide daily which one we’ll feed and which one we’ll starve.
Third, you and I have a fallen enemy. His name is Satan. He doesn’t have red horns and a pitchfork. He morphs. He lies. He comes as an “angel of light”. He’s real and he wants to destroy you. Not hurt. Not damage. Destroy. John 10:10 states that Jesus came to give “life to the fullest”, but we often overlook the first part of the verse. It informs us that the enemy comes to “steal, kill, and destroy”.
Your eternal enemy wants to keep you from salvation, then if he can’t do that, he wants minimize your effectiveness and hurt you in order to hurt God who loves you. The worst way to hurt a parent is to hurt their child. When Satan rebelled against God the Bible tells us that he convinced 1/3rd of the angels to rebel with him. They are now fallen angels who do his bidding in the unseen realm all around the globe. So, there is a very real unseen battle around us that leverages the fallen world and our sin nature to do everything possible to steal, kill, and destroy. A study of Bible prophecy brings this battle and its future results into clear view. We know how it is going to end. We win.
What we’re really talking about is discipleship. Very simply, discipleship is following and obeying Jesus which leads to spiritual growth. It means we are learning to be like Jesus or growing toward “Christlikeness”. We will never be sinless or perfect, but should see growth in our lives as we overcome sin and serve Jesus through or actions and decisions. Positionally, we are perfect before the Lord because of his sacrifice. Practically, we still struggle and we are in process. You have probably faced some struggles and want to grow in your faith and grow closer in your walk with the Lord. You want to serve Jesus through a life of passionate commitment and wholehearted devotion. You want to be strong in the face of temptation.
I’ve found that a personal study of prophecy drives people into scripture where they begin to get answers for themselves. More importantly, as we get more into scripture more scripture gets into us. This is always a good thing. The Bible is a supernatural book and it does supernatural things to us as we digest it. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” As you study Bible prophecy you have no choice but to grow as a disciple.
Stay tuned for the next post in this series!