For us to expect such phenomenal happenings would qualify as extreme religious fanaticism if God’s Word did not spell them out. But it does, and since we accept the Bible as God’s Book we believe those things will come to pass.
Note what Jehovah himself says about the future: “I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure” (Isaiah 46:9-10).
Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done. What an all-wise God! And how anemic does our puny knowledge appear against the limitless knowledge of the omniscient God, who knows all about the past, all about the present, and all about the future.
Prophecy is “heady stuff” it has been said, and we may sometimes appear sensational, though not intentionally so, when speaking of things to come. However, you will find that some of the other cardinal doctrines of the Scriptures may seem sensational, too.
The virgin birth of our Lord, for example, once a part of predictive prophecy, was a phenomenal happening. Further, the very fact that the cold, lifeless body of Jesus came to life again most certainly was a supernatural event, and the thought of Christ coming again is incredible. Jehovah is a miracle-working God, and miracles, being completely out of the realm of ordinary things, are often nearly inconceivable to mortal man.
Nonetheless, God does not do things just to impress us or to be showy, and He would have us to proceed cautiously, “... rightly dividing the world of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15), when delving into the future. We should speak only where the Lord speaks.
John Baillie said, “The Bible indicates that the future is in God’s hands. If it were in our hands, we would make a mess of it... .” We can also make a mess in speaking of the future if we do not stay within the Scriptures.
The Lord knows what is ahead, and He has seen fit to reveal a good deal of the future to us. He told the Apostle John, writer of the last book of the Bible, to set down three things: (1) “the things which you have seen”; (2) “the things which are”’ (3) “the things which shall take place after this” (Revelation 1:19).
Though John did write of what he had seen, and of the things which were, you will notice that almost all of Revelation speaks of things yet to transpire. In fact, the entire book after chapter 3 is generally considered by evangelical expositors to be futuristic.
The angel Gabriel appeared to Daniel and told him: “Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be” (Daniel 8:19). When Daniel was shown things to come, he was overwhelmed, just as we are. Verse 27 states that he was astonished and then fainted and was sick several days!
More than 25 percent of the Bible was predictive prophecy when it was written, and to discount prophecy is to disavow over one-fourth of God’s Book. The Lord Jesus fully supported prophecy, for He said: “For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me” (John 5:46), and John wrote “... the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10).
These references point out that Christ is the center of prophecy, just as He is the center of all Scripture. As you know, the Lord looks at the end of things from the beginning, and He can speak in His Word of the future just as easily as we can talk of history.
About half of the prophetic Word is not yet fulfilled, and when one considers that we are quite probably living right at the close of this age, it is both exciting and sobering to realize that within the next few years much of prophecy could be fulfilled.
We do not have to be like Churchill, who wept as he mused on “the awful unfolding of the future,” for Jesus said: “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption is near” (Luke 21:28).