Evil is rising. Hate is plentiful and contagious. Malice, greed, and immorality are all increasing — so much for optimism.
What if you had known — in advance — what the future would bring? Think about the current state of America and the world.
What would you have thought if someone several years ago predicted that in a 12-month period (calendar year 2023) eight million illegals would flow into the U.S., and our government would do basically nothing to stop it?
Could you have believed that? How about if you had been told that in California, those same illegals would be given free health care and that in North Carolina, they’d be offered free college tuition?
Who would believe such outlandish predictions, and what nation would be foolish enough to allow such things?
What if, five years ago, someone predicted that if terrorists declared war on our closest ally in the Middle East, U.S. leaders from a variety of fields would vocally support the attackers’ atrocities and passionately condemn Israel for defending her people? Who would believe such “upside-down” predictions?
And yet — here we are — on and on I could go.
1. They Have Been Prophesied
Ponder this: What if there were a 3000-year-old book that foresaw Israel would return to their land and become a nation “in one day,” just as it did on May 14, 1948? (Isaiah 66:8). What if that same book predicted an explosion of knowledge in the last days . . . kind of like the Internet?
What if that book warned that Christians would be murdered just for following Christ as they were in Nigeria? What if it foresaw a phenomenon called “fake news?”
Could you trust such a book? Would you presume that the book’s track record in the past makes it reliable for the future?
There is such a book. They are not predictions, AI-informed guesses, or fortune cookie anomalies; they are trustworthy Bible prophecies.
Prophecies comprise almost one-third of the Bible. Over 300 distinct prophecies apply directly to Jesus Christ, including the exact city where He would be born (Micah 5:2) and that people would gamble for His clothing at His death (Compare Psalm 22:18 to John 19:24).
The mathematical odds of one man exactly fulfilling only 10 such prophecies are roughly one in a trillion. His fulfilling all 300 is a number without a name: One followed by 150 zeroes.
The Bible has a track record of 100% accuracy concerning its predictions about the future. We do well to heed its words.
2. The Bible Is Living and Active
Where does that leave us in these difficult times? Someone famously said, “Better to be a warrior in a garden than a gardener in a war.” That’s where I find myself these days. I’m preparing for spiritual conflicts: political, religious, moral, and economic.
I’m also spreading the Truth more aggressively than ever in my career. I’m praying that a desperate, needy world will see the Light and respond as some did at Jesus’ first appearance. I’m confident God has it all under control.
This is why I am ultimately positive and not pessimistic. Oftentimes, before people embrace God, they need to experience the alternative.
Our post-pandemic world knows that politics and pharmaceuticals fail. Global relative calm is subject to sudden jihads of apocalyptic terrorists. World economies are more fragile than ever as nations face runaway inflation, famine, and political chaos.
We complain about 10% real inflation while Turkey’s is over 60%. Argentina just surpassed 160%. By the last count, 52 nations, 25% of the world, are dictatorships.
Even secular analysts predict a bleak future — as does the Bible. Isabelle Arradon told CNBC she expects a slew of new conflicts in 2024, “All the red flags are there, and on top of that, there is a shortage of means to resolve conflict. There’s a lot of geopolitical competition and less appetite for resolving these deadly conflicts.”
The Bible says that in the last days, natural disasters will occur in the least likely places, doing greater damage (Luke 21:11).
Damascus, the longest continuously inhabited city on earth, will be destroyed and become uninhabitable (Isaiah 17:1).
3. God Will Never Leave Us nor Forsake Us
And yet, I’m unafraid and hopeful. How is that possible? Or sensible?
God prophesied all of the above and more! Ezekiel prophesied a major international coalition would conspire against Israel and then listed the exact nations currently involved (Ezekiel 38).
God knew what was coming. Scripture is proof. Again, the Bible’s accuracy rate about future predictions is . . . 100%. No other religious or historical text can claim that.
Amid the pessimism, let’s remember that the Lord Jesus Christ is still the Answer.
He came for the first time amid violence and political corruption. He brought love, light, joy, and peace to the hearts of those who welcomed Him then. He offers the same today. His prophetic promises will come true.
Though I remain realistically pessimistic when the world offers “solutions,” at the same time, I am enthusiastically optimistic because I know that nothing can thwart God’s plans.
This year holds incivility, unpredictability, and turmoil — and that’s only the elections! But God is on His throne and above the fray. His word will come to pass. His plan will prevail.
His prophecies are unopposable, and His salvation is unstoppable. I’m temporarily pessimistic yet permanently optimistic.
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Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/AaronAmat
Dr. Alex McFarland is a youth, religion, and culture expert, a national talk show host and speaker, educator, and author of 20 books. McFarland directs Biblical Worldview and apologetics for Charis Bible College in Woodland Park, CO. Via the American Family Radio Network, Alex is heard live on Exploring the Word, airing daily on nearly 200 radio stations across the U.S.