Can we trust biblical prophecy? Does biblical prophecy really predict the future?
The Bible offers two primary reasons its predictions can be trusted. First, the Bible's future prophecies can be trusted because the Bible is the Word of God. In other words, it comes from God who is perfect.
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For example, Psalm 19:7 states, "The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple." Second Timothy 3:16-17 calls Scripture "God-breathed" (NIV), saying, "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." Second Peter 1:20-21 adds, "no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit."
The second reason the Bible's prophecies can be trusted is because of how many prophecies have already accurately been fulfilled. For example, numerous predictions about the coming Messiah were fulfilled in the life of Jesus Christ. He was born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14), born in the city of Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), and suffered and died though innocent (Isaiah 53:5).
Additional prophecies have been fulfilled in other areas as well. Jesus predicted the destruction of the Jewish temple 40 years before it took place (Matthew 24:1-2). Many Old Testament prophecies predicted the re-establishment of Israel and people returning to the land. Israel became a nation again in 1948 and millions of Jewish people now once again live in the land. On a smaller scale, many other prophecies have been fulfilled, such as Agabus predicting a famine across the Roman Empire during the reign of Claudius (Acts 11:28). Jesus predicted the way Peter would die (John 21:19).
If the Bible comes from God and has proven itself through numerous accurate fulfillments, then it can be trusted as accurate regarding future predications as well. The major prophecies yet to be fulfilled include the rapture of the church that will take place at any moment (1 Corinthians 15:51-58; 1 Thessalonians 5:13-18), the judgments of the seven-year tribulation (Revelation 6—12), the second coming of Christ at Armageddon (Revelation 19), the millennial kingdom (Revelation 20:1-6), the defeat of Satan and final judgment (Revelation 20:7-15), and the new heavens and earth (Revelation 21—22) during which all of God's people will dwell with Him for eternity.
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