Predictions of the Future
Here’s what a few famous people said about the future:
In fact, the physicists didn’t really try to think about it:
I never think of the future. It comes soon enough [Albert Einstein]
Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future [Neils Bohr]
The philosophers and writers saw the future in history and in our hands:
Study the past, if you would divine the future [Confucius]
The future depends on what we do in the present [Mahatma Gandhi]
It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves [William Shakespeare]
Some dream about the future:
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams [Anna Eleanor Roosevelt]
There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind [C.S. Lewis]
Some read about the future:
I’ve read the last page of the Bible. It’s all going to turn out all right [Billy Graham]
Ahhh… now that’s interesting. Billy Graham went to a transcendent source (knowledge beyond ourselves) for the truth about the future. The Bible claims that the God of the Bible – the God of Israel – controls the future, not man:
I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’ From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do.
Bible Predictions of the Future
We read about what God has planned in Bible prophecy:
Surely the Lord God does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets
According to the acclaimed Encyclopaedia of Biblical Prophecy written by theologian J. Barton Payne (Oxford Professor, 1991 to 2014), there are some 8,352 predictive verses in the Bible, link. These cover 1,239 actual prophecies in the Old Testament and 578 actual prophecies in the New Testament (a total of 1,817 prophecies). Many of these are end-time prophecies happening today, see 101 End Times Bible Prophecies.
All these are God-inspired predictions of events declared long before they were to happen, written by people who lived ages before the concerned generation even came into being. What people and what God does this? In a world of many religions with their mixed views of the future, one cannot help but be amazed by the God of Israel’s bold predictions of the future.
Predictions for the End of the Age
Today we see predicted events unfolding before our eyes. We see:
- the relentless move to world government or New World order
- the move towards a ‘political world church’
- the move to a cashless society
- the rapid restoration of Israel
- the predicted Arab-Israeli conflict
- the coming world financial chaos
- the increase in terrorism and lawlessness
- the increase in persecution of Christians
- the increase in severe weather events
Predictions for the End of the World
A few Bible predictions go beyond the end of this age and even beyond the Millennial age. They refer to the end of the present universe as we know it. But first, what do the scientists say?
NASA researchers predict that our solar system will be burnt up when the sun eventually becomes at least 200 times wider than it is today, link, They predict that the sun’s nuclear action will turn it into a red giant burning up the earth. Whilst the timing of this event does not seem to align with biblical timing, the concept of earth’s total destruction in the future is also found in Bible prophecy:
… the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men … The day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up … the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat (2 Peter 3:10,12)
Other prophecies may refer to the same cosmic event:
And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll … Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place ((Isa 34:4, Rev 6:14
It is interesting that some scientific theories even align with this vision of universe contraction. Physicists propose several options for the future of the universe, but most dramatic is the possibility that the current acceleration is the prelude to a period of contraction. The so-called ‘big bang’ is followed by the ‘big crunch’, link.
What happens after that? Science only conjectures, but Bible prophecy is quite clear:
We, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells … Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea (2 Pet 3:13, Rev 21:1)
Is that New Heaven and Earth YOUR hope too? Are you a follower of Christ?
Conclusions: Your Future, Your Peace
Clearly, man’s predictions of the future are vague – and often wrong! In contrast the Bible is relatively specific and claims to reveal absolute truth. Biblically, the immediate future of a rebellious world looks bleak. But, paradoxically, despite all these revealed truths about the future, Jesus told believers in Him not to be anxious:
Take no thought for tomorrow; for tomorrow shall take thought for the things of itself (Matthew 6:34)
… no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand (John 10:29)