Three keys to focus on with Bible prophecy.
[Darris McNeely] We've been talking about prophecy in a series here on BT Dailies in regard to the importance of prophecy. We've been going through Matthew chapter 24 and the questions that were asked of Christ by His disciples. And we've also covered some of the mistakes that people make with prophecies especially when they get into predictions. But let's take a switch here. Let's talk about some of the positive purposes of prophecy. One of the things that we find about prophecy from the scriptures is that God tells us to watch. In Ezekiel, we understand the role of a watchman—3:17 God said to Ezekiel, a prophet in captivity, he said, "Son of man, I've made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Therefore, hear a word from My mouth and give them warning from Me" (Ezekiel 3:17 Ezekiel 3:17Son of man, I have made you a watchman to the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.
American King James Version×). Throughout the scriptures, and especially here in Ezekiel, God uses the idea of a watchman in terms of watching, standing on the walls, looking out over the landscape, looking for danger, looking for problems, and warning the people of impending danger. That's how Ezekiel was placed before the people here in God's eyes to be a watchman.
[Steve Myers] And I think the aspect that should apply to every one of us is as we're preparing, we're getting ready as we talked about in one of the other dailies. Not only that, but it's also a warning that we need to make sure that we're turning to God. That's got to be part of the purpose for prophecy is that—yeah, there's some serious times coming ahead, and so make sure we've got a right relationship with God. Turn to Him. Focus on Him. Make sure we have that relationship with God.
[Darris McNeely] In verse 18 of Ezekiel 3, God says to Ezekiel, "When I say to the wicked, 'You shall surely die,' and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand" (Ezekiel 3:18 Ezekiel 3:18When I say to the wicked, You shall surely die; and you give him not warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at your hand.
American King James Version×). One of the key things we learn here is that God wants individuals, and even nations, to heed a warning and to turn and to live—not die, not suffer any problems, not suffer the consequences of wrong behavior or sin, but to turn around and to live and to avoid certain problems that can come.
[Steve Myers] And so I think that we've got to make that specific point that it should turn us to God. Prophecy should lead us in that direction and develop a more important relationship with Him.
[Darris McNeely] One of the other aspects of prophecy as well is to really understand what is taking place in the world. And I think this ties in with what we have here in terms of watching and that is understanding of one's current world. So often we hear the headlines, we hear the stories and they're sensational and there's a lot of bad news. And we don't understand how it fits into the larger picture of not only history, but also Bible prophecy. And that's one of the key points to learn as well. And again, if you get off the timelines, if you get off of the predictions and the fascination with when certain things are going to happen and understand the broad trends in society, and politics, and in history and in culture, then you can begin to understand one the roles of prophecy, understand not only Bible prophecy, but the times in which we live.
[Steve Myers] And I think the important aspect of that is that when we see these things happening around us, even Christ made that point very clearly when you look in Mark chapter 13 He used the example of fig trees. And as they grow and they blossom, the figs come, you know there's going to be a harvest. There's going to be some fruit from that. So He says when you see these things happening in the world, we better be prepared. We better be ready. We better be watching. And so prophecy should move us that way as we see what's going on in the world to make sure we're right with God (Mark 13:28-29 Mark 13:28-29  Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near:
 So you in like manner, when you shall see these things come to pass, know that it is near, even at the doors.
American King James Version×).
[Darris McNeely] And when we see those things beginning to pass, there's a third aspect of prophecy that we learn and we see as well and that is courage. In John 16, Jesus said to His disciples, He said that when you see these things happen, then you will understand. And with that advance knowledge and understanding comes the ability to not be totally blown away and out of the water because of the severity of events or dramatic turns in world affairs. But with that understanding because we've been watching, because we've begun to make changes in our life, and we have an understanding—we have a certain level of courage, calm, and faith to deal with life not only on our own personal level, but what may be taking place around us. And we all know that a lot of changes are taking place in our society that are impacting families and individuals.
[Steve Myers] So we can take heart. Prophecy is history in advance. We can get a window into the future by reading the Bible, understanding prophecy. But even more than that, it should turn us to God so that we are watching. We're making ourselves ready and we're right with Him.
[Darris McNeely] That's BT Daily. Join us next time.