Friday, June 22, 2012

What You Need to Know About Bible Prophecy

The book What You Need to Know About Bible Prophecy by Max Anders is one installment of his ten part series called What You Need to Know. This book is published by Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Anders’ book can be used as a Bible study course, complete with not only 12 lessons, but with discussion questions, fill in the blanks, information for additional study, and “speed bumps” to slow down and focus on the main point.

This book was not written as a way to say that the author has cracked the code of Bible prophecy; Anders humbly presents multiple viewpoints and lets the reader decide for himself. Anders, who was the general editor of the Holman Bible Commentary, has a high view of the authority of inspired Scripture, so he rejects prophecy that does not have it’s roots in the Word of God.

In this book Anders tackles some of the biggest biblical prophecies, such as the rapture, judgments, the afterlife, and the Millennium. He presents the leading schools of thought within each group: for example, in his chapter about the rapture he presents arguments for a pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation-and post-tribulation rapture. In his chapter on the Millennium he lays out the pre-millennial, post-millennial, and a-millennial views. Dealing with the afterlife Anders demonstrates how some interpret hell literally, some symbolically, and some hold to an annihilation concept.

In addition to looking at these major events on the prophetic calendar, Anders also has chapters that discus the need for studying prophecy, getting the big picture of prophecy, accounting for the differences in interpretation of prophecy, and he ends with understanding the universals upon which we all agree. Far from being ecumenical, this final chapter was an appeal to deal peaceably with those who might not hold to our own interpretation of prophecy, realizing that whether pre- , mid-, or post-tribulation, we all serve the same God and will one day live with him forever in heaven.

Anders makes his point by concluding: “When prophecy is used to beat non-Christians over the head, when it is used to create animosity among Christians, when it is used as an interesting subject to be studied as an end to itself, then the purpose of prophecy is not being realized.”

And finally, I want to leave the reader with this appeal from Anders’ conclusion. He admonishes the reader to “plan as though Jesus were not returning in our lifetime but live as though he were returning tomorrow.”

This book is available through 

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