The importance of this subject in the Bible is underscored by the fact that God declares that the words of Jesus are "the spirit of PROPHECY" (Revelation 19:10). The apostle Peter reminds us that its importance derives from the fact that it is not the creation of the mind of man but rather something that originates from God himself (2Peter 1:21).
There are many reasons why we should study what God's word says about this subject. For starters, almost two-thirds of Scripture, in one form or another, is related to Bible prophecy. This alone warrants our attention! Additionally, the apostle Paul states that the prophetic word, in both the Old and New Testaments, exists for our instruction and benefit (2Timothy 3:16 - 17).
It is foolish to dismiss studying different parts and subjects in the Bible as not being necessary for one's spiritual maturity. The last few verses of Scripture warn all humans that how all of God's words are treated has serious consequences (Revelation 22:18 - 19).
Proof of God's existence
The second and third reason regarding the important of this subject is that it is a proof of God's existence and that he has the power to do as he wills. The accurate fulfillment of predictions in the Bible, in every detail within a specified time frame, testify that a divine Creator does exist and that he has the power to influence people's lives and foreordain events on planet earth.
God accurately predicted in advance, and made come to pass, the rise of world empires like Persia and Rome (Daniel 2:32 - 33, 40 - 41, 7:7, 8:3 - 4, 20). God also predicted the rise of the Greek empire through Alexander the Great. Additionally, he foretold that NOT ONE of Alexander's family would rule the empire after his death and that it would split into FOUR pieces (Daniel 8:21 - 22). For more information, please see our article "World Empires from Babylon to the Beast."
Proof Jesus is the Messiah
The accurate prediction of his own death and the exact length of time he would be dead was the ONLY sign Jesus gave religious leaders that he was the Messiah (Matthew 21:38 - 40). Jesus testified of his own divinity during his unjust trial when he foretold what the hateful religious leaders, who wanted him dead, would soon see.
'Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed God?' 62 'I am,' answered Jesus, 'and you will all see the Son of Man seated at the right side of the Almighty . . . ' (Mark 14:61 - 62)
Reveals God has a plan
Bible prophecy testifies to God's plan for man. For example, it predicts at least two resurrections from the dead. The first one shows God has planned a reward to those who believe in him (1Thessalonians 4:16, Revelation 20:6). The second resurrection tells us God will soon offer ALL humans a full chance at understanding and receiving salvation (Ezekiel 37:1, 5 - 6, 11, see also John 5:28-29, Revelation 20:5, 13).
Warnings to Christians
In what is referred to as his Olivet message, Jesus warns those who believe in him about the deceptions, false Christs and other things that will come in the End Time.
4 Jesus answered (to his disciples who asked him when the end time will come), 'Watch out, and do not let anyone fool you. 5 Many men, claiming to speak for me, will come and say, 'I am the Messiah!' and they will fool many people. 24 For false Messiahs and false prophets will appear; they will perform great miracles and wonders . . .' (Matthew 24:4 - 5, 24)
Warnings to all humans
Prophecy in the Bible is, many times, God's advance warning that there are very REAL consequences to the choices we make and actions we take in this life. Nobody ultimately "gets away with" sinning. What we do will, eventually, catches up with us.
"Some men’s sins are open to public view, going before to judgment; and some men’s sins follow after." (1Timothy 5:24)
God used Jonah to warn ancient Nineveh that its sins would soon bring his judgment upon them (Jonah 1:1 - 2, 3:4). In a rare occurrence that warranted its mention by Jesus (Matthew 12:41), the people of Nineveh heeded the warning of their destruction and repented. Their actions CHANGED the declaration of their demise (Jonah 3). All human beings have been warned that if they REFUSE to repent of their sins the Eternal's final judgment will come upon them (Malachi 4:1).
Bible prophecy serves many purposes. It helps us not only understand the mind of our Creator but also can teach us valuable lessons.