Bible Prophecy Enables Us to See the Future
What Only God Can Do
At the beginning of each new year, prognosticators love to predict what will happen in the 12 months ahead, but you know how it goes. Nobody gets it all right, for no man or woman can accurately forecast the future.
Only God can perfectly predict what will occur, and that's because He makes the future. He knows exactly what He is going to do. He has it all planned out, and then at the right time, He brings it to pass: Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure (Isaiah 46:9-10).
What amazes me is that such a large portion of the Bible is prophetic, precisely predicting events that occur in the future. Maybe you have read some of the Old Testament verses which tell us about Christ's first coming (Psalm 22:1-21; Isaiah 7:14, 9:6; Micah 5:2; Zechariah 9:9, among others), but I want to focus on the many verses from both the Old and New Testaments that predict and describe Christ's Second Coming.
Our Vantage Point
God didn't have to tell us about the future, and about Christ's return, but He did, for He wants us to know His plans for planet Earth, the Jewish people, and the Church. He doesn't want us to be surprised or afraid when calamitous events take place. He wants us to anticipate Christ's Second Coming, and to be excited about being with Him.
God also knows we need hope, especially in this world of evil and increasing darkness. God's prophetic word gives us hope, for it helps us see the future that God has planned and prepared for us: We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts (2 Peter 1:19).
As we are getting closer to the end of this age, we need to comprehend our vantage point, and the incredible view we have of God's end-time's working. I am not talking about a physical vantage point, but a geo-prophetical one, a perspective informed by God's Word which helps us to rightly understand events taking place. By looking at God's prophetic Word and the world around us, we can clearly see that Christ's return is drawing near: Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand (Revelation 1:3).
What about the coming year? What is going to happen? No person can specifically know what will happen, but God gives us a general idea of what will take place in the near future. There will be preaching of the Gospel (Matthew 24:14), making of disciples (Matthew 28:19-20), and growth of the Church (Matthew 16:18). Wickedness will increase (Matthew 24:12). There will be increasing globalism and an emerging world ruler (Revelation 13). There will be more wars, famines, economic problems, and earthquakes (Matthew 24:4-8). Countries will be reshaped and realigned, leading to that final, God-planned configuration of nations (Ezekiel 38:1-6; Daniel 2:36-45).
On the Horizon
But there are also very specific, identifiable, God-predicted prophecies which will be fulfilled. These include:
1. A treaty between Israel and a number of other nations will be signed or confirmed. This event, whether globally observed or not, will occur at the beginning of Daniel's 70th Week, a prophetically strategic seven-year time frame (Daniel 9:27).
2. The Antichrist will be revealed at the midpoint of Daniel's 70th Week (Daniel 9:27).
3. A great, global persecution of Jewish people and Christians will take place after the midpoint of Daniel's 70th Week, but will then be cut short (Matthew 24:9, 21-22).
4. The Rapture of the Church will occur sometime during the second half of Daniel's 70th Week (Matthew 24:31-36; Revelation 7:9-14).
5. A remnant of Jewish people will be saved at the end of Daniel's 70th Week (Daniel 9:24).
6. The kingdom of the world will be transferred from the control of Satan to the control of Jesus Christ at the end of this 70th Week (Revelation 11:15).
7. A new and glorious Kingdom with Jesus Christ ruling and believers reigning with Him will begin and then continue on for 1,000 years (1 Corinthians 15:22-28; Revelation 20:1-6).
All these things will occur because God has told us so, and because He will make sure they are carried out. The Lord God of Heaven and Earth is on the move, and nothing will derail His purposes. He is continually and faithfully working out all the details needing to take place to bring this present age to a close.
As for the present, there won't be a wasted second, day, or week, for all which will occur is part of God's eternal, sovereign, and perfect plan to bring about the return of Christ, the Rapture of the Church, and the reign of Christ.
Be humble and holy, pray and work, and wait and see!
‚Ä¶and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other (Matthew 24:30-31).
Steven J. Hogan has been a pastor-teacher for the past 25 years and at Hope Bible Church of Tampa since 2003.