2019-12-03 - Prophecies - True or False?
Advent Series Week 1
This year, Advent began yesterday, Traditionally, the first week of Advent, focuses on prophecy. When the Lord put this devotional idea into my head, I wasn't even thinking about that, but found it interesting, how they dovetail!
Since the world began, there have been hundreds (at least) of predictions of the end of the world, none of which have come true. In my own denomination, a couple hundred years ago, some people gave up their earthly lives and expected "the end times" to occur at any minute. In another incident, as a science nerd, I was particularly intrigued by the story of a meteorologist who in the early 1900s declared that a plenetary conjunction would cause the sun to explode and end the world. Never mind the fact that conjuncfions have been a fact of life since the Earth was created. Many of these people were sincere, devout believers who somehow fell off-track. One thing that all these people seem to have in common is that they had / have forgotten that the Bible told us that NO ONE but God would know the time of the "end of the world." No one. Not preachers. Not celebrities. Not politicians. Not even Jesus Himself (Check out Mark 13:32 for confirmation.)
Every time there are earthquakes, you can count on someone claiming that the end is near. I can only imagine what people were saying about the largest earthquakes ever recorded in the US and the world, both of which were in the early 1960s! But actually, scientists say that the reason it seems that way, is that there are simply more seismic readings available, because of more equipment than in previous eras. (See USGS.)
More recently, scientists predicted that by the 1980s, we would all need to wear gas masks daily, because of pollution. In fact, NASA recently announced that the Ozone is in the best shape it has been in during the last three decades.
In 2000, we were informed that snow would soon no longer exist. As I write this 19 years later, there are early blizzards in the US in November. In 2006, former Vice-President Al Gore declared that by 2013, there would be NO ice left in the Arctic. All of these types of prophecies have turned out to be FALSE, though there are still people making similar hysterical claims, which will undoubtedly be debunked in the future.
But there is one prophecy that actually DID come true, one that we can TRUST! The Old Testament scribes wrote of the future birth of the Savior, who would be named Emmanuel (See Isaiah 7), and would be a royal heir of David (2 Samuel 7 and confirmed in Luke 2) He would also be rejected by the Jewish people of his time and would be put to death by capital punishment, (Isaiah 53, confirmed in Matthew  27:32-46). He would not remain dead (predicted in Psalm 49 and celebrated in Matthew 28).
As Luke recorded (2:26ff, NRSA), a devoted Jewish man, Simeon, exclaimed after the birth of Jesus.
26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.[e] 27 Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,
29 ‘Master, now you are dismissing your servant[h] in peace, according to your word;
30 for my eyes have seen your salvation,
31 which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.’
Though we need not worry about any of the dire predictions of humans, we CAN be thankful that the prophecy about Christ our Savior DID come TRUE, and that because of that, we can receive the gift of eternal life (See John 3:16)!! Thanks be to God!!
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All verses are from the New American Standard Version (NASB) unless otherwise noted.