You Can Understand Bible Prophecy
e strive for security,longfor stability and dream of a glowing and predictablefuture for ourselves and ourposterity. But for most of us these hopes anddesires are far from certain to be realized.Our world is ﬁlled with rapid and oftenperilous change.We could easily fall victim to an acci-dent,act of violence,debilitating diseaseor natural disaster. The turbulent winds of economic and social change threaten ourﬁnancial stability. Wars and acts of terror-ism threaten to endanger the fabric of soci-ety and make even more elusive the securitywe seek.Uncertainty is a way of life.
Consider today’s youth. A lack of con-ﬁdence in the future is a major cause of anxiety among teenagers. Thousands areconvinced the good life will evaporatebefore they’re old enough to enjoy it. Theycrave assurance and purpose. Nihilism—the absence of conﬁdence and hope inanything—is epidemic. The staggeringnumber of teen suicides illustrates theirdisillusionment. Some vent their anger andfrustration by setting up an alternativesociety of gangs.But teens aren’t the only ones anxiousabout their future. Adults turn to psychicsand astrological readings in unprecedentednumbers,attempting to peer into themurkiness of the future. Books about thefuture are best sellers. Millions of peoplelong for reassurance that some kind of light shines at the end of the tunnel. KingSolomon’s observation,that “man isgreatly troubled by ignorance of thefuture”(Ecclesiastes 8:7,Revised EnglishBible),holds true today.Why is our world so uncertain? Have weno alternative? Is nothing predictable? Mustwe live in ignorance of our future? Can wediscover a source for information aboutwhere this world is headed?Indeed we can,and it tells us a great dealabout what lies ahead. We can also knowthe
of our uncertainty and the amaz-ing turn of events that could change it forthe better.Where can we ﬁnd answers?The answers have been waiting for us allalong. They’re in the pages of the Bible.The Bible is unique among all literature.Though penned by many writers fromvaried cultures over a span of 15 centuries,it is the masterpiece of a single author,theCreator of the universe.Bible students for centuries have mar-veled that so many writers,from strikinglydissimilar backgrounds,could maintain theconsistent message and purpose to be foundin the pages of Scripture. No other compila-tion of writings from such varied authorscould compare with the Bible’s continuityand harmony.This consistency gives the Bible unri-valed distinction among literary works.This constancy is one of the proofs of itsdivine inspiration. As the Bible itself powerfully proclaims about its origin:
“All Scripture is given by inspirationof God ...”
(2 Timothy 3:16,emphasisadded throughout).Much of this remarkable book isprophetic. Its prophecies reveal crucialinformation about the future of mankind.When we realize that the Bible is theinspired Word of God,then we begin torealize the signiﬁcance of its prophecies.They are reliable because
inspired them.What does the Creator tell us about Him-self and the future? “... I am God,and thereis none like Me,
declaring the end from thebeginning,
and from ancient times thingsthat are not yet done ... Indeed I havespoken it;
I will also bring it to pass.
I havepurposed it;
I will also do it”
(Isaiah 46:9-11). God not only claims to reveal thefuture,He has the power to bring to passwhat He has predicted!The apostle Peter advises us to payattention to the words of the biblicalprophets. “And so we have the propheticword conﬁrmed,which you do well toheed ...; knowing this ﬁrst,that noprophecy of Scripture is of any privateinterpretation,for prophecy never cameby the will of man,but holy men of Godspoke as they were moved by the HolySpirit”(2 Peter 1:19-21).
The Prophet of prophets
A prophet is one through whom Godspeaks,one appointed to reveal the will of God to His people. One of the greatest of these prophets was God’s own Son,JesusChrist:“God,who at various times and invarious ways spoke in time past to thefathers by the prophets,has in these lastdays spoken to us by His Son,whom Hehas appointed heir of all things,throughwhom also He made the worlds”(Hebrews 1:1-2).People seldom think of Jesus Christ as aprophet,but a prophet He was (Luke 13:33;24:19; John 6:14). His message—“theGospel of the Kingdom of God”(Mark 1:14)—is ﬁlled with prophecy. His messageexplains and clariﬁes the destiny of mankind,revealing the way God willaccomplish His master plan.
Cover: Photo illustration by Shaun Venish/Digital Stock/© 1999 PhotoDisc, Inc./Scott Ashley