As we have seen our last few blogs, the evidence from science, history, archaeology and fulfilled prophecy make a compelling case that the Bible is the true word of God. So we would be wise to know what it says about the future.
Jesus said that he would return in power and judgment in the last days. When Jesus left Earth after his resurrection, two angels reminded his disciples of that future promise.
They said, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing here looking into the sky? Jesus, whom you saw taken up from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you saw him go.”¹
Numerous Old and New Testament prophecies speak of the last days when the Messiah will return to judge God’s enemies and set up his Kingdom in Jerusalem. Although Bible scholar Henrietta Mears died before the six-day war when Jerusalem was restored to Israel, she had written these words:
The Jew, today scattered over the face of the world, is being gathered back to her land of promise. Jerusalem shall be the capital of a mighty kingdom. Converted Israel shall be God’s witnesses.²
Mears simply was anticipating what the prophets had foretold. The Messiah is to reign from Jerusalem as King. However, before Jesus returns, Jerusalem will be under siege. In Zechariah, we read,
“The Lord says,
‘I will bring all the nations together to fight Jerusalem. They will capture the city and rob the houses and attack the women.’”…
Then the Lord will go to war against those nations; he will fight as in a day of battle. On that day he will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem.…
Then the Lord will be king over the whole world. At that time there will be only one Lord, and his name will be the only name.³
Twenty-five hundred years ago, Zechariah foretold that Jerusalem would be surrounded by enemy nations in the last days. Today we see this happening. How could the prophet have foretold these events without divine inspiration?
What makes these biblical prophecies even more amazing is that they were written at different times by different men, most of whom didn’t even know each other. Although the Bible is actually 66 different books, written by 40 different men over a period of 1,600 years, this theme of the Messiah’s coming Kingdom in Jerusalem is found throughout its pages.
Many Bible scholars believe we are nearing that time when Jesus Christ will return to Earth in power and glory. (Read more about Jesus’ return at http://y-jesus.com/more/jcb-jesus-coming-back/.)
The evidence from science, history, archaeology and fulfilled prophecy make a compelling case that the Bible is the true word of God. Jesus made it clear that God’s word is “truth.”4 The apostles also taught that “all scripture is inspired by God.”5 In his letter to the Thessalonian believers, Paul wrote,
When you received the word of God…you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God.6
If the Bible is God’s word as it claims to be, we would expect its message to be life-changing. The writer of Hebrews tells us that God’s word is alive, changing us from the inside out as it reveals our thoughts and desires.
For the word of God is alive and powerful…It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.7
In The Pursuit of God, A. W. Tozer reminds us that God still speaks to us today through the Bible.
God did not write a book…to be read at a distance. He spoke a Book and lives in His spoken words, constantly speaking His words and causing the power of them to persist across the years.8
Countless people, from drug addicts and alcoholics to kings and presidents have testified of the Bible’s power to change lives as they discover and follow Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
Throughout the centuries, men and women like William Tyndale have sacrificed their lives so the Bible could reach everyone. Two years after Tyndale’s death, his English translation of the Bible began spreading the message of Jesus Christ throughout the British Empire.
Eventually its message reached all the way to a remote island in the South Pacific, which harbored sailors from the HMS Bounty. The famous mutiny of the Bounty inspired five motion pictures and numerous books. But more importantly, it led to a radical change on that tiny island.
In 1789, drunken sailors and mutineers, accompanied by several Tahitian women, fled to the deserted tropical paradise of Pitcairn Island in the South Pacific. The islanders soon degenerated into sexual promiscuity, debauchery, violence, and murder.
Eventually the one male survivor, John Adams (alias Alexander Smith), 11 women, and 23 children were left. Ray Stedman tells what happened then:
As the last man living, Smith felt responsible to look after the women and fatherless children who remained. He regretted the sinfulness of his past, and knew he lacked the wisdom to care for the women and children. He needed guidance from beyond himself.
Looking through a sea-chest, Smith found a Bible. Over the next few weeks, he read it from cover to cover. Then he asked God to take control of his life. He also taught the women and children to read the Bible.9
As the Bible was read, taught and applied in people’s lives, it had a transforming impact on the entire island.
In 1808, the American whaling ship Topaz stopped at Pitcairn. The Americans were the first visitors to the island since the mutiny on the Bounty, eighteen years earlier. The sailors from the Topaz were astounded to find an orderly Christian society in which there was no crime, no disease, no alcoholism, no illiteracy.10
Tyndale’s translation of the Bible also reached a drunken slave trader named John Newton. After becoming a Christian, Newton was transformed from a slave trader to a slave liberator. Thankful for God’s forgiveness, he penned the song, Amazing Grace, and worked to free the very people he had enslaved. Newton’s changed life and desire to free slaves helped William Wilberforce convince Parliament in 1833 to abolish slavery in Great Britain.
The Bible continues to transform the lives of those who take its words to heart. The central theme of those words is that God loves us so much that he gave his Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins, making it possible for us to have a personal relationship with him and live forever with God.11
From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible is God’s living love letter to you. Discover how you can have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ at http://y-jesus.com/wwrj/7-jesus-relevant-today/.
¹ Acts 1:11, NCV.
² Henrietta C. Mears, What the Bible Is All About, rev. ed. (Ventura, CA: Regal, 1983), 291.
³ Zechariah 14:2-3, 9, NCV.
4 John 17:17.
5 2 Timothy 3:16.
6 1 Thessalonians 2:13, NIV.
7 Hebrews 4:12, NLT.
8 A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God (Camp Hill, PA: Christian Publications, 1993), 71.
9 Ray C. Stedman, Reason to Rejoice (Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House), 23.
10 Ibid., 24.
11 John 3:16.