The following is an excerpt from the introduction of my upcoming book, The Chronological Guide to Bible Prophecy. I trust it will inspire you to embrace God’s word as both prophetic and reliable.
We…have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place.” — 2 Peter 1:19
At its core, the Bible is a prophetic message and it is completely reliable. Fulfilled prophecy proves Scripture’s reliability. The concepts are two sides of the same coin. Fulfilled prophecy is a strong apologetic (defense) that the Bible is from God. The Bible is the only religious book that claims to be the very Word of God and backs up this claim with hundreds of specific fulfilled prophecies. Prophecies are promises. A promise is only as good as the character and ability of the promise-maker.
We read this bold statement from God in Isaiah 46:9-10: “Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. 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.’” In a similar manner, Jesus—after telling the disciples some of what was to come—said these words in John 16:4: “I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them.”
I’ll readily admit that as Christians, we believe some out-of-this-world stuff! We believe in creation and miracles, a global flood and supernatural plagues, the incarnation (where God became man), the resurrection of the dead, the future rapture of the church, a time when God judges the entire world, and the creation of a new heaven and earth. We have not personally witnessed any of those things. So why would we believe they are true?
Experts say that about 26 to 33 percent of the Bible was prophecy at the time it was written. About 75 to 80 percent has already been fulfilled. That is a big down payment that ensures the remaining 20 to 25 percent will in like manner be fulfilled. The single greatest reason we can trust the seemingly insane claims about supernatural events of the past and the miraculous events related to our future is the clear and compelling apologetic of fulfilled Bible prophecy.
Even more compelling is the fact that the 26 to 33 percent of the Bible that is prophetic in nature is not peripheral content—it is inherently connected to the core message of the Bible! If you have read any of my other books, you’ll recall that I often refer to prophecy as the central nervous system of the Bible. Biologists study systems in organisms—the digestive system, the cardiovascular system, the muscular system, etc. None of those systems can work without the central nervous system. They are all connected to it and rely on it. Just as humans and animals can’t function properly without a healthy central nervous system, the Bible can’t be accurately understood without the all-important prophetic passages.
All the key teachings (doctrine/theology), stories, people, and themes in the Bible are somehow connected to Bible prophecy. This is because the Bible (though penned by at least 39 human writers on three different continents over a period of 1,500 years) was inspired by God, who knows everything that is to come. And only God can bring about the perfect fulfillment of every prophecy given in Scripture.
Second Timothy 3:16 tells us that “all Scripture is God-breathed.” Second Peter 1:21 tells us that those who wrote prophecy “spoke from God” and were “carried along by the Holy Spirit.” In other words, God told them what to write. That is why the whole Bible tells one complete story—a story that is tied together by prophecy and in every way ultimately points to Jesus!
As we chronicle the statistics and the themes of prophecy in the pages of this book, my prayer is that you will be in awe of God, who has given us a compelling and reliable book that point us to his Son and the amazing future promised to each believer who chooses to follow him. I hope you let the concrete statistics and logical facts of prophecy strengthen your faith as a believer in Christ—or break down the walls of skepticism if you are not yet a believer.
I was once a skeptic too, but I could not explain away the undeniable proofs of fulfilled Bible prophecy. That is what led to my salvation, my love of God’s Word, and an insatiable desire to plumb its depths—only to find the Bible to be inexhaustible and more beautiful than I ever imagined.
I have chronicled some of that for you in the pages of my upcoming book, The Chronological Guide to Bible Prophecy. I hope you will enjoy the journey with me!