Hindsight is 20/20. This common phrase simply points out that one can see clearly by examining what has already taken place. Prophecy, on the other hand, affords clarity to what is yet to come. God, in His providence, saw fit to provide a method by which man could know what was to happen in the future. Eschatology is akin to studying a map prior to departing in order to prepare properly for a future journey. With this in mind, this article will explore the why of eschatology by examining seven reasons for the study of last things.
God desires to inform His children of what lies ahead. This is made clear by the fact that over one-fourth of the Bible is prophetic. Therefore, God has provided all that is necessary in order to see what lies ahead, throughout the Bible, just like a road map. However, some are better at reading maps than others. This is not to disparage those who are not fond of maps; instead, the intent is to clarify why some are more interested in the study of prophecy than others. Think of it this way: two groups are fond of ice cream; some are fonder of strawberry than chocolate. While both groups are keen on ice cream, the strawberry group will more often choose strawberry. This experience is the same for those who are fond of studying the Bible; some will naturally gravitate toward eschatology.
God provided many prophecies over a vast number of years. Many of these prophecies have already found fulfillment. However, over five hundred prophecies remain unfulfilled as they are yet future.
Those who desire to study these prophetic statements are known as eschatologists. The definition of an eschatologist is: a theologian who specializes in eschatology. A theologian is one who studies theology. Theology is the study of religious faith, practice, and experience as it relates to the study of God and God’s relation to the world. Eschatology is the study of the final events in the history of humankind. Simply put, an eschatologist is one who studies the Word of God (The Bible) in order to determine what prophecies have already been fulfilled and those that are yet to take place for the purpose of understanding where the world is on its prophetic journey.
Now that definitions have been established, let the study turn to its purpose; why should eschatology be studied? There are many reasons to study last things. However, this article will focus on seven specifics as Bible prophecy: reminds us that God is Sovereign; proves that God is God; reminds us that God is good; encourages holy living; helps establish proper priorities; provides hope; finally, it will provide a distinct blueprint for those who are saved during the coming Tribulation. The latter will undoubtedly be one of the most important reasons since it may mean the difference between life and death in an extremely difficult period to come.
The very fact that God predicts the future with one hundred percent accuracy proves His sovereignty. Only the living God is able to perform such feats. Think about this: God gave humanity free choice (Duet 30:15-19), yet He still knows the outcome regardless of what man chooses. This indicates that God truly does know the end from the beginning (Isa 46:10), and He provides, in prophecy, the means for men to understand how to navigate an unsure future. The reason for God’s success is tied directly to His sovereignty, God is God, and He accomplishes all things for His pleasure. Said another way, God’s will shall find fulfillment regardless of opposition; no other force is greater than God; otherwise, He would not be God.
Jesus said, “And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe (John 14:29, KJV).”  This statement sheds light on the fact that God knows that prophecy fulfilled provides faith in God. Again, only the true, living God can predict the future and know it is coming to pass just as He has foretold.
Some examples of prophecy fulfilled are very simple and not necessarily illuminated as prophecy fulfilled. For instance, Elijah, after proclaiming that it would not rain until he gave his word, was told, by the Word of the Lord, to go to the brook Cherith which would provide him drink, and there the ravens would feed him (1 Kings 17:1-7). The fact that Elijah was fed by the ravens while drinking from the brook until it dried up is proof that God’s Word can be trusted and that God knows the future; therefore, fulfilled prophecy validates God, Himself. The reason things worked out so well for Elijah is the fact that he trusted God’s Word to him, without question. This is the reasonable service of any Christian today.
Studying the last of things proves that God is good by illuminating the contrast between the goodness of God and the emptiness of the wicked. One only needs to read through the book of Revelation to see a stark difference between the intent of God and Satan. God ‘desires’ that man repent and turn to him:
“And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts” (Rev 9:20-21).
Satan, on the other hand, ‘demands’ worship. In fact, he will kill all who refuse:
“And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed” (Rev 13:15).
“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years” (Rev 20:4).
These prophecies are easy to accept as part of a certain future by looking back at those who have been influenced by Satan throughout history. Hitler, Mao, Stalin, and Pol Pot are but a few whose lives demonstrate that the desire of the dark forces is to bend men to their will. God, however, is love, and he will not force himself on anyone. Instead, He simply shows man His goodness and affords the opportunity to choose. When presented these two options, one must decide to stay as they are or choose to repent and allow the Holy Spirit to mold and shape them into holy ones who follow Christ.
Holy living is one of the incredibly beneficial outcomes of exploring eschatology. In fact, knowing what is in store and how fast the last prophecies are approaching causes one to purify themselves in preparation of meeting a holy God:
“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (1 John 3:1-3).
Make no mistake, God is preparing His church for the rapture, and anyone who is faithful is aware of it. Many are calling out to God ‘daily’ and asking for forgiveness for things that just a short time ago they would not have considered a problem. This, in itself, indicates the Lord is working holiness into the bride who awaits her upward call.
This brings to mind priorities. When the aforementioned unction toward holiness becomes manifest as proven by eschatological fulfillment, establishing proper priorities becomes a priority, pun intended. For an extended period, the church was focused on living a pure life until death. This has changed in that people now focus on holiness because they sense the end of the age. Most are busy getting their house in order and doing all they can to inform loved ones of their soon departure. Stark is the contrast of this generation and the former. Perhaps, more than ever, the encouragement to assemble and exhort one another rings true:
“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Heb 10:25).
Without doubt, that day approaches, and the body of Christ hungers and thirsts for righteousness like never before (Matt 5:6).
All of the aforementioned coalesce into the understanding that the child of God has hope like none other.
The Apostle Paul had a great deal to say about the rapture. In his letter to Titus, he encouraged holy living with godly priorities while looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13). This hope is borne out of proper understanding of eschatology. Knowing that Jesus is coming for the faithful provides great hope. This hope becomes increasingly important as the world grows darker each day.
Though Paul said more about the rapture, Jesus was the first to teach it. At the Last Supper, He informed the disciples that He would return to take them and, by extension, the rest of the church to the place He had prepared for them in His Father’s house (John 14:1-3). This is the genesis of the blessed hope of which the Apostle Paul spoke. Because of this, all who know Jesus now long for His appearing. Incredibly, this longing is actually associated with a crown of righteousness awarded to all who love His appearing (2 Tim 4:8).
When the blessed hope arrives, and the church departs in the rapture, the ‘Day of the Lord’ will commence. This ‘Day’ covers the entire period called the Tribulation. This period is also known as Jacob’s trouble (Jer 30:7). Some have said, “The purpose of the Tribulation is for the salvation of the Jewish Nation.” This subject is much larger than will be covered here; however, suffice it to say, this terrible time will impact all who live on earth for the purpose of extending one last chance, over a seven-year period, to all who will believe while simultaneously bringing judgment upon the wicked and unrepentant. With this in mind, knowing how to navigate this time is crucial.
Those who decide to turn to the Lord after the rapture will have access to the greatest map ever made regarding their immediate future, the Bible. Unfortunately, many will lack understanding of what they read. Secondarily, those who assume power in the early stages of the Tribulation will attempt to eliminate as many godly resources as possible. This is where eschatologists come in. Undoubtedly, God is developing the study of end times throughout His body in every type of church, large and small. In fact, as the earth darkens, more and more people are delving into eschatology. This newfound interest will serve the dual purpose of informing local congregations and those left behind.
The aforementioned culling of materials from the easiest of sources, the internet and publishing companies, will greatly impact the availability of study resources. However, all of these groups that have been studying will have their own testimony until departure, and they will leave behind a great deal of personal study materials. Indeed, many are preparing information packets for those who might come to their house seeking shelter and food.
One thing is for sure, those left on earth after the rapture will be searching for leadership. Hopefully, they have heard the gospel message, quickly repent, and begin to immediately gather the needed biblical resources left by loved ones. After all, knowing what is coming next may allow those in this group to survive the Tribulation while avoiding the many pitfalls and major deception. Without this understanding, survival is doubtful. Hidden within God’s Word is the greatest blueprint ever made. God provided this map of sorts so those who need it may traverse a time that is like no other (Matt 24:21). God has provided the greatest leadership possible in His Word.
These seven reasons for exploring eschatology ultimately provide credence for the undertaking. Knowing that God is, that He is sovereign, and He is good encourages godly priorities which involve hopeful, holy living. Those who live this way will undoubtedly leave the best blueprint available to those who need it most during the worst of times. Many of the Tribulation saints will have seen one of these Christians ‘walking their talk,’ and this will cause them to know they can search their dwellings for much-needed resources. Sadly, even this type of help will only be available for a limited time due to the ever-intensifying nature of the persecution of the last days. 
If you are reading this before the rapture, prepare diligently for the Master’s call and leave as much, in the way of resources, as you can for those who will come to the Lord during earth’s darkest days. If, on the other hand, you find yourself in this terrible time, take heart; just reading this article will have provided you some keen insight into what you may do to understand what lies ahead. Either way, the most important thing anyone can do is come into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Do not delay; today is the day of your salvation (2 Cor 6:2). Therefore, call upon the name of the Lord and be saved (Rom 10:13).
Website: In His Commission
 “Unless otherwise noted, all biblical passages referenced are in the King James Version.”
2 For greater understanding, read the article, “Open Letter to Those Who Miss the Rapture.“