What the Bible Says about the Future
by D.W. Cloud
I have good news. There is a book that describes the future in great detail, and that book is the Bible. The Bible is unique among the world’s religious books. Not only is it a book about God, it is a book by God. It claims to be the very Word of God, and there are many reasons for believing this claim. Faith in the Bible is not blind faith. It is not a leap into the dark.
One of these reasons is the Person of Jesus Christ who is presented in the Bible.
Everything about Him is unique: His virgin birth, His sinless life, His amazing miracles, His wonderful teaching, His brilliant answer to every question, His compassion even toward those who hated Him, His sacrificial death on the cross for man’s sin, His bodily resurrection, His ascension back to Heaven, His offer to grant forgiveness of sins and eternal life to any sinner of any nation who believes on Him, His power to change the lives of those who believe.
The Jesus presented in the Bible is altogether lovely and unique. He claimed to be the only God and Saviour, and He proved it by His miracles and by His resurrection from the dead.
No novelist could create the Christ of the Bible!
Thus one reason we believe the Bible is the Word of God is its central figure, Jesus Christ.
Another reason we know the Bible is God’s Word is its prophecies. The Bible is unique in that it contains hundreds of prophecies of the future. These are not vague prophecies such as those made by astrologers and fortunetellers. The Bible’s prophecies are very specific. The Bible’s prophecies name the names of people and places; they give exact dates and details. Many of the prophecies have already been fulfilled, and these were fulfilled exactly as written.
For example, the Bible has hundreds of prophecies about the first coming of Jesus Christ. Consider just a few of these:
The Bible prophesied exactly when Jesus would be born. This prophecy is in Daniel 9:22-27, which was written about 530 years before Christ came. The prophet Daniel said the Christ (who is Jesus) would come 483 years after the commandment was given to rebuild Jerusalem, and that is exactly when He was born.
The Bible prophesied exactly where Jesus would be born, in the little town of Bethlehem in the province of Judah in Israel. That is in Micah 5:2, “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” That amazing prophecy was written down 700 years before Jesus was born.
The Bible prophesied that Jesus would be rejected by His own people, the nation Israel. This was written in the prophet Isaiah in the Bible about 710 years before Jesus was born: “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not” (Isaiah 53:3).
The Bible prophesied that Jesus would die by crucifixion. This was written in Psalm 22:14-16 about 1,000 years before Jesus was born. “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. ... they pierced my hands and my feet.” This is an amazing and perfect description of death by crucifixion, and when the prophet David wrote it, crucifixion was not yet practiced! It began to be practiced in the days of the Roman Empire before Jesus was born. To punish murderers and robbers, the Roman government would nail them to a wooden cross and leave them there to die.
The Bible prophesied that the soldiers would gamble for Jesus’ robe at the foot of the cross. This was written in Psalm 22:18. “They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.” The wicked, callous soldiers did this while Jesus was suffering and bleeding on the cross.
The Bible prophesied that none of Jesus’ bones would be broken during the crucifixion. This was prophesied in Psalm 34:20 about 1,000 years before Jesus was born: “He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.”
The Bible prophesied that Jesus would be buried in the tomb of a rich man. This was written in Isaiah 53:9 about 710 years before Jesus was born. “And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death...” This was fulfilled when Jesus was taken down off the cross by a wealthy disciple and buried in that disciple’s own tomb.
The Bible prophesied that Jesus would rise from the dead. This was written in Psalm 16:10 about 1,000 years before Jesus came. “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.”
Many men and women witnessed the resurrection of Jesus Christ. For 40 days after His resurrection, Jesus appeared to His followers. He spoke with them and ate with them. He showed them His scars in His hands and feet from the crucifixion. He gave them commandments to go into all the world and preach salvation to all who would hear. He also promised that He would return to earth and establish His kingdom. At the end of those 40 days, Jesus ascended back to Heaven. And for almost 2,000 years, Jesus’ disciples have obeyed Him by going throughout the world and preaching the gospel.
These are only a few of the wonderful Bible prophecies that have already been fulfilled. We could list many others.
THE BIBLE’S PROPHECIES OF THE FUTURE
The Bible also contains many prophecies that have not yet been fulfilled. These prophecies tell us what lies in the future. Since the Bible’s prophecies about the first coming of Jesus Christ were fulfilled exactly, we know that its prophecies of the coming days will be fulfilled in like manner.
Among men today there are many predictions about the future. Predictions have been made, for example, about world peace. World War I was called “the war to end all wars.” The League of Nations was formed, and it was supposed to be the end of war, but that turned out to be a false hope. Other predictions have been made about the Middle East crisis. There have been many agreements, such as the Camp David Accord, that were supposed to have resulted in peace between Israel and her neighbors, but all have turned out to be false hopes.
Man’s predictions are undependable at best, but the Bible’s have always been true.
What, then, does the Bible say about the future? Following are some of the Bible’s amazing prophecies about the coming days:
There will be wars and earthquakes
“And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places” (Matt. 24:6-7).
The daily newspapers are filled with the accounts of wars and rumors of wars. As for earthquakes, they are coming with increasing frequency. About 40,000 people died in an earthquake in South Asia on October 8, 2005. The year 2004 ended with the death of 220,000 in Indonesia, while the year 2003 closed with an earthquake that killed 31,000 in Iran. These events prove that God’s Word is true.
There will be a time of great trouble that will last seven years
“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened” (Matt. 24:21-22).
There will be fearful signs in the heavens
“... and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. ... And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken” (Lk. 21:11, 25, 26).
There will be death and famine throughout the world
“And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword. And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine. And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth” (Rev. 6:4-8).
The Antichrist will rule the world
The Antichrist is a man who will come to power with a false promise of peace. As soon as he is in power he will take control of the world and will rule as a harsh dictator. A false prophet will accompany the Antichrist and will perform miracles to deceive the world into worshipping him. No one will be able to buy or sell unless they take his mark. Anyone who refuses to obey the Antichrist will be put to death.
“And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. ... And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six” (Rev. 13:5-8, 13-18).
There will be terrible judgments that will destroy many of the people in the world
“And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up. And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; and the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed. And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; and the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter. And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise. And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!” (Rev. 8:6-13).
“And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth. And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image. And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea. And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood. ... And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory. ... And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great” (Rev. 16:1-4, 8-9, 21).
A mighty earthquake will move the mountains and islands
“And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” (Rev. 6:14-17).
Jesus Christ will return to earth and establish His kingdom
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. ... And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” (Rev. 19:11-16; 20:4).
Those who die without faith in Jesus Christ will be raised from the dead and will be judged and cast into the lake of fire
“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Rev. 20:11-15).
The old heaven and earth will be burned up and a new heaven and earth will be established
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful” (Rev. 21:1-5).
Are you ready to meet God? During this present time God is offering salvation to sinners, but His offer will expire one day, and it could be soon, and His judgments will then be poured out upon this world.
Jesus Christ came into the world 2,000 years ago to die for man’s sins. The Bible says that all men are sinners and have broken God’s holy laws. The punishment for sin is eternal death in hell. The good news is that God loves men and does not want them to perish, so He sent Jesus Christ, His Son, to become man’s Saviour. Jesus took man’s punishment upon Himself when He died on the cross. He died for our sins, and three days later He rose from the dead. Today He is offering forgiveness of sin and eternal life to those who believe on Him.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:23).
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:16-18).
“And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent” (Acts 17:30).
“... if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom. 10:9-13).
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