You may be asking: “Why should we study end times prophecies?” My answer: Nearly one third of scripture is prophetical in nature. If God thinks it is important enough to spend that much time on prophecy, shouldn’t we? But even more importantly, Christ commands us to do so!
You say: “WHAT in the world are you talking about, Christ commands us to know? Huh?
1 Thessalonians 5:20 says: Do not treat prophecy as if it were unimportant.
2 Peter 1:19 says: You do well to be attentive to the prophetic messages.
Turn to Luke 19:41-44: 41As he came near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42saying, “If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43Indeed, the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up ramparts around you and surround you, and hem you in on every side. 44They will crush you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave within you one stone upon another; because you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God.” Because the people did not recognize the “season”, 40 years later the Temple was destroyed and the Jews scattered to the ends of the earth.
The word time, καιρός kairos [G2540], means: an occasion, a set or proper time, opportunity, or season. It always designates a fixed or special occasion.
Matthew 24:32-33 — 32“Learn a lesson from the fig tree: When its branches become green and soft and new leaves appear, you know summer is near. 33In the same way, when you see all these things happening, you will know that the time is near, ready to come.
The word know, γινώσκω ginōskō [G1097], a prolonged form of a primary verb; to “know” (absolutely), means to — allow, be aware (of), feel, (have) known (-ledge), perceive, be resolved, can speak, be sure, understand.
Again, in Matthew 24:42-44, Jesus says: 42Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 44Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.
The word translated keep awake, γρηγορέω, grēgoreō[G1127]; is an active verb meaning to be awake, to watch, to be alert, to keep watch, to keep watching, to be keeping alert, to stay on the alert, and to stay awake. It expects active and concentrated behavior, to be continuously seeking.
This is repeated in the phrase “Therefore. . . .must be ready”: οὗτος houtos [G3778] ἑτοιμος hetoimos [G2092]; which means: to be especially prepared, ready. Twice in one paragraph Jesus commands us to be on the alert and ready, to know when the time is near.
Mark 13:33-36 puts it this way: 33“Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come. 34“It is like a man away on a journey, who upon leaving his house and putting his slaves in charge, assigning to each one his task, also commanded the doorkeeper to stay on the alert. 35“Therefore, be on the alert—for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, or when the rooster crows in the morning— 36in case he should come suddenly and find you asleep. 37“What I say to you I say to all, ‘Be on the alert!’”. Three times in one paragraph Jesus commands us to be on the alert and ready, to know when the time is near
Luke 21:29-36 affirms: 29Then He told them a parable: “Behold the fig tree and all the trees; 30as soon as they put forth leaves, you see it and know for yourselves that summer is now near. 31“So you also, when you see these things happening, recognize that the kingdom of God is near. 32“Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all things take place. 33“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. 34“Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap; 35for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth. 36“But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” Again, three warnings.
Warnings to listen
Numbers 12:6, Deuteronomy 18:15 & 19, 2 Chronicles 20:20, John 6:45, Acts 3:22
Warnings for not listening
2 Chronicles 24:19 & 25:16 & 36:16, Jeremiah 25 3-6, Jeremiah 29:19-23, Jeremiah 35:15, Jeremiah 37:2, Zechariah 1:4, Zechariah 7:12, Acts 3:23
So, why study end times prophecies, why be alert to the season, why be able to recognize the nearness of the kingdom of God? Because . . . . . . . Christ commands us to do so! One can only ask: “How close are we to the return of Christ?”