DEAR FATHER PAUL: My friend Jason is really into Bible Prophesy. He says that everything important that has already happened in human history, and everything that is yet to happen has been prophesied in various places in the Bible. He believes that the Bible records that we are now living in the “Last Days” before the return of Christ to the earth. What do you say? Alex
Dear Alex: Thank you for your important and timely question. It becomes clear to anyone who seriously studies the Bible with an open mind that the Bible, unlike other sacred books, contains a great number of highly accurate prophetic pronouncements. Some books of the Bible are almost 100% prophecy. Ezekiel and Daniel in the Old Testament come to mind, as do Isaiah and Jeremiah plus Hosea, Amos, Micah, Joel, Obadiah, Jonah, Nahum and Habakkuk. The prophetic book of Revelation closes out the New Testament.
So, why does the Bible contain so much prophecy anyway? The answer is found in the prophetic Book of Amos 3:7. (New Living Translation ) “Indeed, the Sovereign Lord never does anything unless he reveals his plans to his servants the prophets.” There is a Kingdom principle here. Namely, that God, like any loving and caring Father, wants his children to know what he is going to do ahead of time so we will be ready. Indeed, God has a plan for all of humankind, and his plan is not a deep, dark secret. No, he reveals all of his future plans to us. So study the Bible and you will literally know the future.
There are two very important questions that all of us must answer for ourselves about Biblical prophecy. First … how accurate has Biblical prophecy been up until today? And, second, can Bible prophecies about events in the future be relied upon? Most people would agree that, “past accuracy”(or past performance) is a very good indicator of “future accuracy.” In this regard, any fair and open minded person who does a serious study of Biblical prophecy’s “track record” would have to admit that it has been, up until now, amazingly accurate.
Indeed, simple research on Google under “List of fulfilled Biblical prophecies” reveals hundreds of biblical prophecies that have already been fulfilled just as the Bible promised. My space here is limited, but here are just a few. Jesus, the Messiah … the place of his birth, Micah 5:2 … his betrayal for the price of a slave, Daniel 9:25 … his death by crucifixion, Psalm 22; 16-17 … and, there are dozens more concerning Jesus. Also, that the Jews would be enslaved in Egypt, but be freed to establish their homeland, Genesis 15: 13-16 … That the Babylonian ruler who would allow the Jewish exiles to return and rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple would be a man named Cyrus … prophesied (years before Cyrus was even born). Isaiah 44:28 … 45:1-6 … 45:13. And, that Jerusalem and its Temple would be completely destroyed not long after Jesus’ earthly ministry was completed, Matthew 23:37-39 … 24:1-2. Both happened in 77 A.D. I could go on and on and on, there are literally hundreds of already fulfilled Bible prophecies!
That leads me to your question about “Last Days” or “End Times” Bible prophecies.
I firmly believe that we are indeed now living in the last days before Christ’s promised final return to the earth to establish his eternal kingdom. Here are some already fulfilled prophecies of recent decades that cause me to think so. (1) The human race will have the ability to exterminate itself. (Fulfilled: 1945 … the advent and spread of nuclear weapons). Matthew 24:22. (2) A Jewish homeland will be established, but it will remain under attack. (Fulfilled: nation of Israel established May, 1948). Wars in 1948, 1967 and 1973. Luke 21:20-22. and Israel’s capital city moved to Jerusalem. (Fulfilled: in May, 2018. (3) That the Gospel must first be preached to the entire world.( So instant worldwide communications must first be established.) Matthew 24:14. ( Fulfilled: The Internet and Social Media). Clearly the time for Jesus’ return to the earth is drawing near.
Jesus himself, in the last chapter of the prophetic Book of Revelation, says these prophetic words … Chapter 22:12-13. (New Living Translation) “Look, I am coming (again) soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds. I am the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”
The Bible ends just a few verses later with this prophecy and promise from Jesus. “Yes, I am coming soon.” Then the Apostle John answers. “Amen! Come, Lord Jesus.”
Do you have a question? Send it to me at email@example.com and I will try to answer your question in the paper.
Father Paul Massey, is Canon to the Bishop of the Mid-South Diocese of The International Communion of the Charismatic Episcopal Church and is assigned to the Cathedral Of Christ The King in Sharpsburg, Georgia.