End-times prophecy may not seem like the most practical topic. Why deal with future events when so much is happening in the present? End-times prophecy is not just about the end times. This topic, which arises frequently in Scripture, affects how we think about so many other areas. Prophecy about the last days shapes our view of the Bible, God, and the world today. Indeed, studying what God has told us about the future will help us live more faithfully for Messiah in our present contexts.
In this article, we will discuss some of the practical benefits of studying end-times prophecy. It is a significant theme in Scripture, reveals God’s purposes, shapes our view of Israel and the world, and gives us hope. There is much we do not know about what will happen when Yeshua returns, but what we do know should give us hope. Yeshua wins! As the great multitude declares in Revelation, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb” (Rev 7:10b).
1. End-Times Prophecy Is a Significant Theme in Scripture
When we think about end-times prophecy, the book of Revelation likely comes to mind. The theme, however, appears throughout the Bible. Not many people would think to turn to the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, to learn about the end times. These books in the Hebrew Scriptures, however, do speak of “the last days.” This key phrase indicates that the author is not simply talking about some point in the future. He is specifically addressing God’s long-term purposes for Israel and the world.
We find this phrase in many places in the Torah (e.g., Genesis 49:1; Numbers 24:14; Deuteronomy 4:30; and 31:29). In Genesis 49, for instance, Jacob blessed his sons before he died. To Judah, he said that one of his descendants would be like a lion and rule all the nations (Gen 49:9–10). This prophecy refers to the Messiah returning to reign over the earth.
The end times were also the concern of many prophets in the Hebrew Bible, especially Daniel, Isaiah, and Ezekiel. For example, the last several chapters of Isaiah (60–66) describe in detail Israel’s future glory. All the exiles will return to the land, and the nations will join them in worshiping the Lord. Revelation contains many echoes of this part of Scripture, especially as it pertains to the new heavens and new earth.
Jesus Himself taught about the end times in Matthew 24:3–31 and Mark 13:4–37. He warned His disciples not to trust in false messiahs. Instead, they—and we—are to be alert for His return. We find references to the last days in parts of the Epistles as well. Paul comforted the believers in Thessalonica by writing about Messiah’s return and the resurrection (1 Thess 4:13–5:11). Since Scripture addresses this topic frequently throughout the canon, we should pay careful attention to it.
2. End-Times Prophecy Reveals God’s Purposes
If we want to understand what someone is up to, we cannot simply look at a snapshot of what he is doing in the present moment. We must consider his goals—what he is working toward. According to Scripture, God is working toward a grand vision, which includes blessing the earth through Israel (Genesis 12:3). Grasping this vision helps us see how God is operating in the world today and how we can be part of it. Unlike our plans and goals, His are guaranteed. We may be working hard to save up money to buy a house, but a lot can go wrong. Perhaps we lose our money. Or we might be too busy caring for an aging parent to move into a house. There are very few guarantees in life, but God’s purposes will surely come to pass.
Scripture does not give us all the details, but it does consistently teach a few crucial points about the end of days. One is that the Messiah Jesus will return to establish His kingdom of peace and justice. Isaiah 11:1–10 describes the Messiah making fair decisions that benefit the poor and vulnerable. In summary, the prophet wrote, “They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Isa 11:9).
Knowing that God will bring the world to the knowledge of Himself tells us much about His love for His creation. God is working through the good news of Yeshua to draw people to Himself. Studying end-times prophecy shows us how evangelism and discipleship fit into God’s long-term vision for creation.
3. End-Times Prophecy Shapes Our View of Israel
Even a brief study of end-times prophecy reveals that Israel plays a crucial role. Ezekiel 36–37, which describes the valley of dry bones, has much to say on this topic. This prophecy came to Israel during the exile. God gave them hope that He would return His people to their land. Not only that—He would give them new spiritual life.
“Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances” (Ezek 36:26–27).
Some Jewish people returned to Israel under King Cyrus’ decree (Ezra 1:1–6). Still, a full regathering of everyone—much less a universal spiritual renewal—has not yet occurred. So, Ezekiel spoke of events that still lie in the future. In the last days, Jewish people will go to the land in stages and in unbelief. It was only when Ezekiel breathed on the bones that they came back to life. The amazing return of many Jewish people to Israel today after centuries of dispersion may very well be in fulfillment of this prophecy, though still only in part.
Paul also wrote about the spiritual restoration of Israel in Messiah: “all Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:26). The physical and spiritual renewal of the Jewish people is the work of God. Still, He invites us to partner with Him in bringing the gospel to all nations—“to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16). Understanding God’s plan and purposes for His people motivates us to support Israel, serve Jewish people, and share the gospel with them.
4. End-Times Prophecy Shapes How We View the World
Studying end-times prophecy fosters a proper perspective of the world today. The war, suffering, and strife we see are not unexpected. As Yeshua said:
“When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be frightened; those things must take place; but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will also be famines. These things are merely the beginning of birth pangs” (Mark 13:7–8).
A quick look at the news reveals the truth of His statement. There is always some form of mass suffering in the world. It takes many forms—wars, natural disasters, health crises, crime sprees, famines, accidents, pandemics, and more. We should never grow numb to the horrors of living in a broken world. Still, we should not be surprised when conflicts arise. Note, too, that He tells us not to be afraid. Knowing that there will be conflict and challenge should not cause us to be pessimistic or paranoid, just waiting for the next crisis. Rather, Yeshua’s words should free us from placing naïve, vain hope in temporary peace.
We should work for peace and abundance whenever possible, but always remember that full and lasting peace will only come with the reign of the Davidic king. Take poverty, for instance. Many people have tried different economic systems, including capitalism and communism. No system, however, eliminates poverty because none of them solve the root problem of sin. None of them have the antidote for greed and selfishness. End-times prophecy reminds us not to place our ultimate hope in any merely human solution for suffering. While we should work to alleviate suffering, it will still be with us in some form until Yeshua reigns on earth.
5. End-Times Prophecy Gives Hope
End-times prophecy often brings to mind dark, dramatic imagery, including fire, plagues, war, and judgment. Still, Scripture presents a bright and glorious view of the future. There will be no more tears or death. The Messiah will usher in universal peace. Knowing that this will come gives us hope as we face the challenges of this present age.
One common question we hear is, “Will there ever be peace in the Middle East?” The answer is yes!—when Jesus returns. In the meantime, we should still pray and strive for peace whenever possible. Our actions now can make quite a difference. Full and lasting shalom for the people of the Middle East—and the world—awaits the Messiah’s righteous rule. While we mourn the suffering in the world today, we know that it will not always be this way. Our hearts cry out for an end to the pain and death that wreaks havoc in our communities. We should help where we can, but so much is out of our control.
As Scripture assures us, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4). The book of Revelation is difficult to understand, and people have many different and conflicting interpretations. Still, it is plain to all that the book has a happy ending. The Messiah will conquer evil, rule from Jerusalem, and bring universal flourishing and renewal to the world. While judgment is certainly one theme in end-times prophecy, the story does not end there. Rather, everything leads to blessing for the entire earth through Israel.
In the end times, God’s promises to Israel and the world will fully come to pass. We do not yet know exactly what that will look like. Maintaining a humble and teachable spirit is essential when studying end-times prophecy. No one knows the “day or hour” when these events will happen (Mark 13:32). We trust the details to God, believing that He will bring true justice and peace to the earth. In the meantime, “to live is Messiah” (Philippians 1:21). We live for Him and eagerly await His return as King of kings and Prince of Peace.
 Seth D. Postell, “Numbers 24:5–9: the Distant Star,” The Moody Handbook of Messianic Prophecy: Studies and Expositions of the Messiah in the Old Testament, ed. Michael Rydelnik (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2019), 267–68.
 Various Bible translations will render the Hebrew differently: “the last days” (KJV), “days to come” (NASB), “latter days” (ASV), and others. The Hebrew phrase אַחֲרִ֥ית הַיָּמִֽים is based on the word with a range of meaning including “end,” “last,” and “after-part.” For more on the use of this phrase throughout the Old Testament, see William Burt Pope, A Compendium of Christian Theology: Being Analytical Outlines of a Course of Theological Study, Biblical, Dogmatic, Historical, Volumes 1-3, vol. 1 (London: Beveridge and Co., 1879).