Only God Can Foretell the Future
Someone has described Bible prophecy as history written in advance. The Bible, in fact, has more prophecy in it than any other book in the world. More than 27 percent of the Bible’s content was prophetic at the time that it was written.
Only the true God of the Bible can predict the future, and He does it with 100 percent accuracy 100 percent of the time. All others who claim to predict the future are imposters – including Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, Harold Camping and Punxsutawney Phil.
The late Dr. John Walvoord, in his classic book: The Prophecy Knowledge Handbook, listed over 1,000 distinct prophecies found in the Bible. He further showed that more than 500 of these had already been fulfilled – literally!! The remaining 500 apply to events that are still yet future.
This solid track record of fulfillment is our assurance that the prophecies not yet fulfilled will come to pass on schedule and in sync with God’s end-time prophetic timetable.
Revelation 22:7 (NIV) Jesus said, “Behold, I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book.”
Inquiring minds want to know what the future holds for planet earth: What does Bible prophecy reveal about the end-times and where are we headed? Are we now living in the last days foretold in the Book of Revelation?
What is Really Going on in the World?
Political turmoil, international conflict, national debt spiraling out of control, extreme weather conditions, famine, killer viruses, rampant immorality, shooting sprees, radical Islamic terror groups, and the threat of nuclear war – we seem to be living in a world that’s falling apart.
Are there specific signs that indicate the end of the world is near? Will the world be destroyed in a nuclear holocaust? Who is the Antichrist? What is the rapture and when will it happen? What is the meaning of 666? When will Armageddon occur?
“The Rapture: The moment, predicted in Thessalonians, when Jesus suddenly removes the faithful from the earth… Over fifty-five percent of Americans think that the faithful will be taken up to heaven in the Rapture.” – Newsweek Magazine May 2004
Where is America mentioned in biblical prophecy? What happens to Israel and will there ever be peace in the Middle East? What about Iran’s development of nuclear weapons? What will take place at the Second Coming of Christ? What should we expect? How should we prepare?
The questions are almost endless. And for real answers we must not turn to the evening news or the front page of the newspaper, but to the pages of the Bible.
The future of planet earth may seem like a giant mystery – but it doesn’t have to be! God has made His end-time plans evident to all. And when you know what He has revealed, you can face the last days with confidence and be ready for the Lord’s return.
Why Should We Study Bible Prophecy?
Prophecy makes up 27 percent of the entire Bible, which equals 8,352 verses. God places a high priority on Bible prophecy: one out of every four verses is prophetic! Of the 260 chapters in the New Testament, there are over 300 references that point to the return of Christ.
Entire Books of the Bible are prophetic such as Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel and Revelation. Whole Chapters are prophetic such as Matthew 24; Mark 13 and Luke 21 and many in Isaiah and the Psalms.
For God to have given that much coverage to prophecy it makes it obvious He wanted us to be mindful about the future – especially with so much “fake news” and speculation about the signs of the times and dark days to come.
1 Peter 4:7 (NKJV) The end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.
In the light of current world events studying Bible prophecy will keep us informed about God’s end-time plan for the future, and give us strong faith and encouragement for living in these last days.
An understanding of the prophetic Scriptures will protect us from spiritual deception. It will motivate us to get serious about living for Christ, and serves as a constant reminder that time is running out and there are many lost souls still to be reached.
Studying and getting to grips with Bible prophecy is a sure cure for spiritual lethargy, apathy and lukewarmness. The more knowledgeable we become about God’s plan for the future of planet earth the more it should stir our hearts to live with eternal values in mind.
Knowing God’s chronological order of end-time events will awaken and ignite our hearts afresh to the urgency of the hour and make a real difference to every believer’s priorities, values, actions, goals and lifestyle.
2 Peter 3:10 (NKJV) The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat.
Did you know that God has promised a “special blessing” to those who will read and study end-time prophecy?
Revelation 1:3 (NIV) Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.
Historically throughout the church age, whenever Christians have studied biblical prophecy, they have become energized about the Lord’s return, which has produced three very powerful results…
- A renewed desire for godly living in an ungodly age.
- A burning zeal for evangelism and soul-winning.
- A purposeful activity in world missions that produces more praying, more giving, and more going “into all the world” to tell the untold and preach the gospel of God’s saving grace.
Jesus Himself declared, “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14).
Our generation has witnessed more fulfilled Bible prophecy about the end-times than any before us. There has never been a more urgent time when believers needed to know God’s prophetic timetable for the future, and it can only be found in the one book that tells us the whole truth – the Bible.
Are We Living in the Last Days?
As twenty-first-century Christians we are certainly living in exciting times. We don’t know exactly when Jesus will return, but we do know that His coming is drawing closer and closer.
“I turn back to your prophets in the Old Testament and see the signs foretelling Armageddon, and I find myself wondering if we are the generation that is going to see that come about. I don’t know if you have noted any of those prophecies lately, but, believe me, they accurately describe the times we are going through.” – President Ronald Reagan, 1983
The irrefutable evidence around us indicates more and more that we now live in the very kind of society the Bible warned would arise in the final days before the Second Coming.
2 Timothy 3:1-4 (NIV) Mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.
Notice the Scriptures reveal in 2 Timothy 3:1-4 that narcissism, materialism, and hedonism are three of the most prominent philosophies in twenty-first century culture, and three undeniable last day signs seen in our world today.
- Narcissism: In the last days people will be “lovers of self” (verse 2).
- Materialism: In the last days people will be “lovers of money” (verse 2).
- Hedonism: In the last days people will be “lovers of pleasure” (verse 4).
The biblical description of the end of days is startling and is becoming a reality before our very eyes… it’s truly amazing to watch end-times prophecy rapidly unfold at an ever-increasing pace.
Ten Signs the End is Near
Study the prophetic sign posts in the Books of Daniel and Revelation along with Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 and you will soon realize that the “signs of the times” have now become the signs of our times. Here are ten biblical signs that are unmistakably being fulfilled in our day…
- Exponential increase in knowledge and technology breakthroughs.
- Intensification of extreme storms, wild weather and devastating natural disasters.
- Surge of militant, radical Islam and increasing global terrorism.
- Unbridled sexual immorality, the redefinition of marriage and a breakdown of the family.
- Widespread deception: False messiahs, false prophets and religious charlatans.
- Increasing paganism, witchcraft and occult practice.
- Escalation of international unrest: North Korea, Iran and the Middle East crisis.
- Rampant crime, wickedness and violence: A law-abiding world is a thing of the past.
- Increasing plagues, famine, killer viruses and pestilence.
- Increasing apostasy and mass defection from true biblical Christianity.
Luke 21:28 (NKJV) Jesus said, “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”
This list of last day signs could be greatly expanded, but all of these developments show that we are now living in the season of the Lord’s return.
What’s Coming Next on God’s Prophetic Timetable?
According to Bible prophecy a planet shaking event is coming next, when on a massive, global scale millions of people will suddenly disappear from the face of the earth in less than a millisecond.
2 Thessalonians 2:1 (AMP) Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to meet Him.
The New Testament clearly teaches that the next major event on God’s calendar is the rapture of all genuine believers in Christ – both living and dead – to meet the Lord in the air. The word “rapture” simply means “to remove suddenly and transport from one place to another.”
In a flash all true Christians will be caught up from the earth, and raptured into the presence of the Lord before the seven-year period of the Tribulation, and extreme horror, breaks throughout the earth as detailed in Revelation chapters 6 through 18.
John 14:3 (NKJV) Jesus said, “I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
The word rapture comes from the Latin word raptus meaning “to seize forcibly or to carry off by an irresistible force.” In the Greek New Testament, it comes from the word harpazō meaning “to be caught up by a sudden swoop; or to be snatched away speedily” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51-54).
According to the Bible there will be a generation of Christians who will never die, but will supernaturally fly upwards to be with Jesus forever.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 (NLT) And now, dear brothers, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with Him the believers who have died. We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet Him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be “caught up” (raptured) in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.
At the rapture, the Lord Jesus Christ will descend from heaven to the earth’s atmosphere with a shout and a trumpet of God. In the blink of an eye, millions of graves everywhere will burst open and the dead in Christ will be resurrected, and living Christians will be instantly translated into their resurrection bodies.
Supernaturally both groups will be caught up to meet Christ in the air – there will be a great reunion in the sky of all dead and living believers with the Lord, and then He will escort them to heaven to live with Him forever.
1 Corinthians 15:52 (TLB) It will all happen in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For there will be a trumpet blast from the sky, and all the Christians who have died will suddenly become alive, with new bodies that will never, never die; and then we who are still alive shall suddenly have new bodies too.
The rapture is not simply a prophetic possibility; it is an absolute imminent certainty.
Will You Be Spiritually Ready?
The world and those left behind will never be the same after the rapture. This glorious event is called the “blessed hope” of all true believers in Jesus.
Titus 2:13 (NKJV) Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.
Who is Jesus coming for at the rapture? Who will be included in the rapture? Jesus is not coming for good, moral, or respectable people who faithfully attend church, or those who observe religious rituals. He is coming for the righteous – and not the religious!
At the rapture, Jesus is coming for every person who is “born again” (John 3:3-7).
He is coming only for genuine believers who are “in Christ” and have trusted in God’s saving grace through the atoning work of the cross and resurrection (Romans 5:8-11; Romans 10:9-10).
“When we put our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, we transfer from the road to Armageddon to the road to Glory.” – Dr. John F. Walvoord
The rapture and snatching away of the church is a coming historical event, and it is the next event on God’s prophetic timetable. Will you be ready to meet Jesus when He returns?
The bottom line message of Bible prophecy is that we are now living on borrowed time. And the crucial question for every human being is are you spiritually ready?
Are you ready for the rapture (Hebrews 9:28). Are you prepared to meet the Lord?
Now that you know the truth of the rapture and that those who fail to receive God’s free gift of salvation will be left behind to suffer the Tribulation, won’t you receive the gift of eternal life today?
Make certain you are rapture ready by placing your trust 100 percent in Christ alone by calling upon Him to save and forgive you today (Romans 10:9-10, 13).
“Yes, it’s truly amazing that we have sent men to the moon; but it’s not as amazing as sending men to heaven.” – Charles C. Ryrie
If you have put your faith in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then you are under God’s grace. Your sins have been forgiven and forgotten, and you can look forward with confidence to that glorious day when Jesus will appear in the heavens.