Does the Bible accurately foretell the future? What evidence is there that it does?
Jesus’ Coming Birth
Even though the prophecy of Jesus’ coming birth by a virgin has been known throughout Scripture, we cannot overlook this astounding fulfillment of a future prophecy where it was foretold that the Messiah would be born to virgin some 800 years after a prophecy about this was written…well before He was even born, so even the fact that He would be born of a virgin shows that this could be no coincidence of history. The Prophet Isaiah wrote, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). This was fulfilled in Matthew 2:1 and Luke 2:4-6. The Prophet Micah even gave the precise location of Jesus’ place of birth at Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), written hundreds of years before Jesus was born. Incidentally, the name Immanuel was for a specific purpose because it means “God with us,” and truly God was with the disciples, in Jesus Christ, and today and He is with us if He is our Lord and Savior.
Bruised, Beaten, and Rejected
Another prophecy about the Messiah was written in Isaiah 53 where the prophet said that “He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not” (Isaiah 53:3). When trying to witness to Jews about Christ using this verse, some of the Jews say that Isaiah 53 was written about them and how they were to be despised, rejected, and “acquainted with grief” throughout history, but was this prophecy really written for the Jewish people? How then can they explain that “he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4)? How can it be said of the Jewish people that “the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6b)? How can a “him” be “they” as in the Jewish people? This prophecy was fulfilled at the cross and not by the Jewish people in history.
Just before the year 500 BC, the prophet Daniel proclaimed that Israel’s long-awaited Messiah would begin his public ministry 483 years after the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem (Daniel 9:25-26) and it happened at the exact time Daniel prophesied. Daniel further prophesied that the Messiah would be “cut off,” or killed, and that this event would take place prior the destruction of Jerusalem which happened in AD 70 by the Roman armies. Also, Jesus’ life was cut off just one generation from the fall of Jerusalem. These prophecies were fulfilled at Calvary and afterwards at AD 70.
At the time of Babylon’s domination of the known region in the Middle East, it appeared that Babylon could not fall. Their walls were 330 feet high. The walls were 90 feet thick. They had the largest standing army in the world. Plus there was a huge moat surrounding the city-state, so that it seemed impervious to foreign invaders and impossible to penetrate, yet God prophesied through Isaiah and Jeremiah that this nation would be utterly destroyed (Isaiah 13:17-22 and Jeremiah 51:26, 43), and indeed it was. Today, there remain only ruins of what used to be the greatest world power at the time. The nation seemed impregnable at the time, but the prophecy came true that city would never be rebuilt again, nor be inhabited, and that its stones would not ever be moved for use as building material again. Today, it is a wasteland and there is little sign that this used to be the greatest world power at one time.
The Temple’s Destruction
Jesus foretold the destruction of the temple when His disciples had been boasting on how magnificent the temple was. When the disciples then asked Jesus, “When will these things be” and asked a second question, “What will be the sign of your coming,” Jesus said of the temple, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down” (Matt 24:2) and in AD 70, the temple was completely destroyed and just as Jesus said, not one stone was left upon another.
Fulfilled Prophecy’s a Coincidence?
When someone says that a Bible prophecy being fulfilled was simply a coincidence, I tell them that God is sovereign over all and what He purposes to bring to pass, always comes to pass, no matter how many skeptics disagree. From what I know of, there are more than 700 prophecies of Jesus in the Bible that have all come true. Not one of these have failed…and there are yet more to come (Rev 1:7), but just try to wrap your mind around the odds of 700 prophecies being fulfilled by one Person in history, in particular, Jesus Christ. By looking at it from a statistical or mathematical probability viewpoint, that Jesus Christ could have fulfilled even eight of these prophecies would be a mindboggling 1 in 1017 chances. If this were an equation, it would be 10 to the 157th power. Think about that: that’s 1 in 100, 000, 000, 000, 000, and 000, so the point is, these were not coincidences. These were foretold by God’s Word, and they all must come to pass. To think that they just “accidentally” happened, is to defy logic because of the impossibility of even 8 of these prophecies being fulfilled at the time by chance, is to deny God’s providence. These prophecies could not have just happened without a supernatural God’s word that they would. Just try to imagine 700 prophecies of Jesus all being fulfilled and saying, “Wow, these were coincidences.” You’d be blind to think that these 700 plus prophecies just has happened to all fall into place, at the right time and by sheer chance.
Bible scholars believe that there are around 2,500 prophecies in the Bible, of which about 2,000 have already been fulfilled. We know from history that the Biblical prophecies written thousands of years before they came to pass have happened just as they were prophesied, because God’s Word is true. Whatever hasn’t yet been fulfilled will come to pass, and there is no chance at all that they won’t. God has foretold it, so it’s as good as already done, even if it’s yet to happen thousands of years in the future.
May God richly bless you,
Pastor Jack Wellman
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