When you think about it, the whole concept of the End Times is pretty crazy, isn’t it?
“Hey, after all these many centuries and millennia of the world working the same way… after thousands and thousands of years (or even millions and millions if you’re not a young earth creationist) when the earth revolved freely around a sun that seemed basically permanent… after ages upon ages of the same-old, same-old… the world as we know it will change, transform permanently, and every human being will face the judgment of the One True God.”
Isn’t our natural reaction to reject that idea as preposterous?
Doesn’t it seem like there isn’t any possible way that God – even assuming that you’re a believer in God! – could just change the universe? Is it even conceivable that there could EVER be a day when “the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken” (Matthew 34:29)? How could ALL the stars fall? Aren’t they all different distances away from us? Wouldn’t they need to start falling at different times historically in order to appear as though they were all falling at the same time?
Doesn’t modern physics demand that what Scripture predicts is impossible?
There are all sorts of reasons that a scientist (like myself) can come up with to debunk much of what is prophesied in the Olivet Discourse (in Matthew 24-25) and Revelation and First Corinthians and all of the various Old Testament forecasts of the far future.
And none of those reasons matter.
Here’s the fundamental dilemma that you must deal with. Modern science says that there is no scientific reason that the planets and stars shouldn’t keep rotating and revolving as they have been for the foreseeable future. Scripture says that God will intervene at some point, probably in the very near future, and do as Jesus said in Matthew’s Gospel, quoted above. Which will you believe?
Here is why Christians believe Scripture over science.
And why those who aren’t Christians ought to.
The answer is His prophetic track record.
If you go back into the Bible, and some scholars with plenty of time on their hands have done this, you can find over 1800 predictions in the Bible. Now, if you are claiming that the 66 books of the Bible are each guided and indirectly written by the Holy Spirit, a member of the Trinity That Is God… you cannot get away with any mistakes in your predictions. You’d be amazed by how few prophecies come from the religious texts of other religions – or perhaps, you wouldn’t be, because it’s a highly risky proposition to put your credibility on the line like that, trying to predict the future.
But God did. Eighteen hundred times.
And every single one of those predictions has come true.
Abraham and Sarah would have a child that would be the start of generations as numerous as the stars of the sky (Genesis 17:16) – but by that time, Abraham was over 90, and Sarah was long barren and over 80 years old. Yet they had a child, just like it was predicted.
Isaiah said (in Isaiah 45:1) that Cyrus would be the instrument of Israel’s freedom after the exile – despite the fact that Cyrus hadn’t even been BORN yet, much less become a king yet. Yet Cyrus was indeed the king who freed the Israelites to return to the Holy Land. Just as Isaiah predicted.
And consider all the descriptions of the (first) coming of the Christ. He would be born in the little town of Bethlehem Ephathrah, born to a virgin, begin His ministry in Galilee. He would be killed in a manner which had never been heard of nor was ever practiced when it was written, six hundred years or more before He lived. Crucifixion would have been an inconceivable means of death for a man of God, considering Deuteronomy 21:23 – “…and (if) you hang him on a tree, his body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall bury him the same day, for a hanged man is cursed by God.“ Yet that’s exactly how Jesus Christ died
Read Isaiah 52:13 through the end of chapter 53. Remember, this was written over 600 years before it happened, and it was well known long before His earthly Life. (In fact, as a young man, Jesus read Isaiah 61:1 and declared himself the fulfillment of that verse.) Yet it was fulfilled to the letter:
13 Behold, my servant shall act wisely;
he shall be high and lifted up,
and shall be exalted.
14 As many were astonished at you—
his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance,
and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—
15 so shall he sprinkle many nations.
Kings shall shut their mouths because of him,
for that which has not been told them they see,
and that which they have not heard they understand.
1 Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
3 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.
4 Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But 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.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
9 And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall seei and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.
Now, before we continue, I need to make a confession.
I lied to you.
Earlier, I told you that there were over 1800 prophecies in the Bible, and that every single one of them has come true. Well, the number is accurate. But NOT every single prophecy has come true, although the track record of the Bible is 100% accurate.
Because many of those prophesies are still to be fulfilled. Which prophesies? The ones forecasting the Second Coming of Christ and the End Times.
And there are perhaps five times as many prophesies about the Second Coming of Christ as there were about the First.
Now, science has been remarkable in its gradual discoveries about how the world and the universe works, and as it learns more and more, it has adjusted what it says about the universe to better fit the truth as it learns it.
We thought gravity was ruled by Newton’s three laws of motion. Then, we learned more, and science realized that those laws needed to be adjusted to fit the new information, and Einstein’s laws of “curved space” came into being. Now, we’re learning about how string theory seems to imply many more dimensions, which affects how gravity works and forcing us to adjust our thinking again.
But when it comes to Scripture, since God is outside our time dimension, He already knew the final answers to all the possible questions. We’ve detailed previously how Scripture described such details as the circulation of the water cycle or the movement of the oceanic streams, long before science knew or even asked the questions that would evoke that knowledge. God’s knowledge does not change, because He is omniscient and has nothing to learn. Therefore, what He wrote in the Bible through the Holy Spirit is still valid today – including every single prophecy to come.
Is it hard to believe? Yes. So is the idea that Jonah was swallowed by a “great fish”. But Jesus seemed to verify the story of Jonah in Matthew 12:40 – “For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Speaking of prophesies coming true!) So is the idea of the Red Sea parting. Or the Jordan River pausing in its flow to allow the exodus to cross into the Holy Land.
So is the idea of “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth”, for that matter, but if we believe the Bible to be true – and all the evidence is pointing that direction! – then if He could create the Universe, you would think He could do anything else with it He wanted to. Including, it seems safe to say, fulfilling the prophesies of the Olivet Discourse and Daniel 11.
Oh, about the Olivet Discourse? Jesus also predicted about the Temple that “there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down” which seemed incomprehensible to the students who surrounded Him at the time. But because the Roman soldiers believed that there was gold hidden within the walls of the Temple when they sacked Jerusalem in about 70 A.D. or so, they literally threw every stone from the Temple Mount to dispose of them as they scoured the site. Why would Christ have been deadly accurate with that prediction and wrong about His own return?
Here’s the crux of the issue.
Science can tell us what will happen – assuming no outside intervention from unknown forces. That’s a standard caveat in every experiment we ever did when I was in science – “assuming no outside influences”, or some catchphrase like that.
But GOD counts as an “unknown force” or an “outside influence”.
God changes everything.
He did for me. Once, I would have staked my life on science.
I’m staking my life on the Word of God. And I pray that you will, too.
Because it will make all the difference in your eternal destination –
elevation into Heaven and eternal joy,
or descent into Hell and eternal separation from all that is good.
Time is short.