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Why does the Bible contain prophecy?

A salvo of rockets is fired by Palestinian militants from Gaza towards Israel on October 10, 2023. Israel said it recaptured Gaza border areas from Hamas as the war's death toll passed 3,000 on October 10, the fourth day of grueling fighting since the Islamists launched a surprise attack.
A salvo of rockets is fired by Palestinian militants from Gaza towards Israel on October 10, 2023. Israel said it recaptured Gaza border areas from Hamas as the war's death toll passed 3,000 on October 10, the fourth day of grueling fighting since the Islamists launched a surprise attack. | IBRAHIM HAMS/AFP via Getty Images

It has been estimated that just over 26% of the entire Bible is devoted to prophecy. More than 1,800 verses in Old and New Testaments contain predictions about future events. Some have come to pass already (like Jeremiah 24:6, stating that the Jews would be “planted in the land of their fathers” in the last days).  

Other prophecies are, apparently, materializing before our very eyes (such as latter-day Israel rebuilding the ancient cities, c.f. Isaiah 61:4; Israel turning the desert into a blossoming garden, c.f. Isaiah 51:3; and travel and technology increasing dramatically, c.f. Daniel 12:4).

The Bible prophecies Jesus Christ will literally return to earth one day. In light of Scripture’s seamless track record of prophetic accuracy, this fact is astounding. The Bible clues us in on some of the indicators that Christ’s return is near: Predicted are wars, godlessness, violence, immorality, unspeakable sexual sin, and persecution of those who affirm morals and righteousness (Matthew 24:5-8; I Timothy 4:1; II Timothy 3:1-19; II Thess. 2:3-10; et al).

The prophetic accuracy of the Bible points to its divine origin. The complete trustworthiness of its content is referenced in Acts 3:21, as the apostle Peter states that, “God has spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began."                                                                  
Prophecy in our times; prophecy and you

As I write this article, Hamas has viciously attacked the nation of Israel. Nearly 1,000 Israelis have died, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated that Israel is formally at war — the first time since 1973.

I believe that the historic trajectory of the Jewish people amounts to one of the surest proofs that there is a supernatural realm beyond there mere, physical world. For centuries, this disproportionally small people group has endured wave after wave of persecution. Yet the Jews have endured, thrived, and immeasurably shaped world events. Mark Twain, though not a religious person, observed, “All things in this world are mortal but the Jews.” He admitted that the Jews and their place in history pointed to the reality of God and the supernatural.

Ezekiel 38 prophecies that in the last days Arabic and Gentile nations will attack Israel. But the Bible promises that God will fight and defend Israel, and once regathered, the Jews will never again leave their land. 

As they did in the Six-Day War of 1967 and the Yom Kippur / Ramadan war of 1973, Muslim nations have launched a fall-of-the-year attack on Israel. And again — to a miraculous degree that has come to be expected — it is sure that the outcome will not be good for those who stand against Israel.

Ironically, I was in the studio filming a video about the Jews and end-time prophecies on the day before the Hamas war against Israel began. We are living, I believe, very near the time of Jesus’ return! Think about the following:

Five reasons that prophecy is important:

1. The Bible contains accurate prophecy because only God writes history in advance
(and God wrote the Bible).

2. Bible prophecies show God’s sovereign reign over world history.

3. Fulfilled prophecies demonstrate God’s omniscience and foresight.

4. Fulfill prophecies prove that the biblical God is the true God — and that He reigns
in time and in eternity. God “rules and overrules.”

5. Fulfilled prophecies should compel every thinking person to bow before the Savior who alone can offer salvation and amnesty.

Acts 1:7 reminds us that God holds “the times and the seasons” of history, “in His own hands.” Scholars speak of “general eschatology”— the unfolding of future events, culminating in the conclusion of time as we know it. 

But there is also the matter of “personal eschatology.” What does the future hold for you?  Where will you spend eternity? If you have personally accepted Christ, your eschatology is secure; you will be in Heaven with the Savior. If you have not made this decision, call on His name today. 

An old hymn asks the question, “What will you do with Jesus? Neutral you cannot be; One day your soul will be asking ... What will He do with me?” This season of time is irrevocably pointing us to history’s greatest moment — Christ’s return. Being ready begins with your simple prayer ... which He has promised to hear (John 6:37; Romans 10:13).

Dr. Alex McFarland is a youth, religion and culture expert, a national talk show host and speaker, author of more than 20 books and Exploring the Word on the American Family Radio Network, airing daily on nearly 200 radio stations across the U.S. He is also the host of the “Alex McFarland Show,” which airs weekly on NRB TV.

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