Do you view prophecy as something that is frightening or exciting? A few years ago at a weekend seminar, I gave a presentation about learning to discern the times according to Bible prophecy. A man in the audience later wrote me a letter of appreciation for the approach I took with the prophetic scriptures. This man had been taught from his preteen years about various prophecies. The approach taken by some of his teachers had left him with a frightened and uncertain view of this subject.
He made two points that are important for readers of World News and Prophecy to understand. The first is that prophecy should not be seen as a means or an excuse to escape today’s world with its problems and challenges. While Christ’s return is the only hope for the physical and spiritual salvation of mankind, a Christian cannot ignore the plight of his neighbor. The apostle Paul said, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:9-10 Galatians 6:9-10  And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good to all men, especially to them who are of the household of faith.
American King James Version×).
The second point he made was that we should not shortchange ourselves by failing to plan for the long term for matters such as marriage and family, education and career, even retirement, because “the world will soon come to an end.” Through the centuries, far too many people have fallen into this trap, setting too firm a date for the return of Christ and thinking they could circumvent the plain teaching that only the Father knows the “day and the hour.”
Through experience, this gentleman came to a balanced view of prophecy. He learned to truly watch and discern the times, maintaining an urgency about life, while at the same time providing and preparing for his family and himself, should Christ not return in their lifetime. This is a mark of wisdom.
Bible prophecy is an exciting subject. While the future time of Satan’s wrath and God’s judgment on the nations will indeed be a frightening experience, the overarching message of prophecy is one of hope for a better time and an encouragement to live righteously in today’s evil world. Prophecy is a tool of motivation from a loving God to change one’s behavior, to turn from sin, repent and live a godly life based on tried and tested laws that make life work at its highest and best. Prophecy should never be used as an excuse to avoid personal responsibility and accountability.
Each issue of World News and Prophecy chronicles the sad story of a world adrift from God and careening recklessly toward a climax. In this issue, you will read a startling analysis of world conditions by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, reported on by Clyde Kilough, who adds the all-important biblical perspective with its bottom line of good news. Our goal is not only to show you the problems of today’s world, but also to give you the vision of hope for a better world to come. We know the only lasting hope for peace lies in the coming Kingdom of God.
If you knew with certainty that Jesus Christ would return tomorrow, what would you do today? Someone once said he would plant a tree. I like that thought. Planting a tree is a statement of responsibility. It takes a long-term affirmative view. As we wait and look for the times when Christ will step into history and restore “all things,” let’s also attend to today and plan for tomorrow. By doing so, we plant the seed of the Kingdom into our present lives. These are exciting times, which offer us the opportunity to prepare for eternity in the world to come.—WNP