Dr. Couch, what does Paul mean in 1 Thessalonians 5:20 when he writes, "Do not despise prophetic utterances"?
Both 1 & 2 Thessalonians, in proportion, have more prophecy than any other books by Paul. Here he writes about the judgment of the tribulation, the tribulation itself, a ton about the rapture of the church, the apostasy, the antichrist, his desecration of the temple, etc.
And just like today, there were Christians who did not want to hear about Bible prophecy. Rick Warren repudiated prophecy, saying we had too many other issues to deal with rather than prophecy! How foolish!
Paul makes it short and sweet—he says "Do not be continually rejecting, tossing out prophetic discourses, utterances." He uses a Present Command with the verb exoutheneo. "Do not be continually throwing out prophecy teaching." In his day, as today, there were folks who were fearful of the future, disagreed with prophecy, thought the study of prophecy was divisive! I hear all of these arguments today! Or, the most stupid argument that is still around: "Well, there are so many different views, we just should not study the subject." And, "I am a pan-millennialist—it'll all just pan out in the end! How ignorant and blind! There are not many views of prophecy. There is only one view, the right one that is defendable! The pre-millennial position, that takes the prophetic Word in its normal, natural, literal interpretation. All other views are bogus. They are foolish and false. They are mystical, allegorical, and misleading! Also, they are anti-Semitic! And they are inspired from the pit. They deny the Lord's plans for His chosen people, Israel. They deny the literal reign of the Son of God, as promised, from Jerusalem! Satan loves this view!
The study of prophecy gives to the believer a historic timeline of what God is doing in His world. It gives to us a proper priority of what is important. It stops us from clinging to this world, as if we're going to exist forever in this physical state. We are not!
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch
Click here to view all