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Watch 2022 online sermons » John Bradshaw » John Bradshaw - Predictions You Can Trust

John Bradshaw - Predictions You Can Trust


John Bradshaw - Predictions You Can Trust
John Bradshaw - Predictions You Can Trust
TOPICS: Second Coming, Bible Prophecy, End times, False Prophets

This is It Is Written. I'm John Bradshaw. Thanks for joining me. There have been some less-than-stellar predictions made over the years. In 1878, Sir William Preece, the chief engineer of the British Post Office, said, "The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys". Albert Einstein said, "There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will". "We don't like their sound, and guitar groups are on the way out". The Decca Recording Company rejecting the Beatles in 1962. And then, how about this one? "The world is going to end on December the 21st, 2012"!

Now, that's what some people said. The facts are these: December 21, 2012 was when the 5,125-year Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, the Maya calendar, was said to expire. Many said with the expiration of this calendar would come the end of the world. Interest in the whole affair was fueled largely by two groups: one, the media, and two, conspiracy theorists and others like them who never did meet a good theory they didn't just fall in love with. And actually, there was a third thing: money. When Hollywood comes to the party and produces a movie dealing loosely with the subject, you've got a runaway train. Add internet rumors, speculation, and just enough information about the ancient Maya to tantalize the curiosity, and something like this takes on a life of its own. I'm in Belize in Central America, in the heart of what was once Maya country. The Maya really were a remarkable people.

In a country the size of New Jersey and with the population of Wichita, Kansas, a little less than 400,000, there are still a lot of remnants of the Maya past. The Maya flourished from about 250 AD to around 1200 AD or so, building incredible cities made entirely from stone and made without the use of steel tools. So did the Maya calendar really portend the end of the world? You know, it's interesting that there are some people who just love speculation. Interesting, but probably not surprising, that is, there's a lot of mystery about life. We weren't there in the past, and we haven't yet been to the future.

So, some people just can't help but speculate, and there are some who love speculation and prediction. Recent history is littered with claims about the end of the world. One man forecast it would occur in 1994, which evidently it did not. So he reconsidered and concluded the correct year would be 2011, which didn't work out well, either. Did people really believe that? That the world would end in 2011? Well, yes and no. The "yes" was a very small group of people who were committed to the idea largely out of respect for their teacher. Did the public at large buy that the world was coming to an end in May of 2011? Not for a moment. But the Maya calendar... now, that got people excited. The predictions were made; the predictions were heard; the predictions were widely publicized. But the predictions, predictably enough, came to nothing.

Now, thinking people aren't going to get carried away by this sort of thing, are they? No facts, no science, no evidence at all to suggest these things are true? Surely thinking people aren't going to buy in to this kind of stuff. Well, you'd hope not. But...seers, astrologers, psychics: big business. Recent reports state that more and more people, especially millennials, are embracing witchcraft and astrology. Eastern meditation, yoga, which is Hinduism, tarot card reading, they're all having a moment right now. People are grabbing on to this, even though there's absolutely no evidence that it's valid, and they're rejecting the Bible, for which there's a ton of evidence.

Now, of course, Christianity is ultimately a faith venture. You don't meet God on the street, shake Him by the hand. We believe in the existence of God by faith. But there's this document, the Bible. It's either true, or it isn't. If it isn't, it isn't. But what do you do with the mountain of evidence that suggests, strongly, that the Bible is everything it claims to be? There's a bit of history in the United States, as far as religious predictions go.

In the 1830s, a Baptist named William Miller had a conversion experience that led him to study the Bible. He was determined that he would work out or work through any contradictions or inconsistencies he found in the Bible. He studied methodically and seriously. He found a prophecy that he was convinced dealt with the end of the world and with the return of Jesus. And he became certain that Jesus was going to come back to the earth in the year 1843. Some of Miller's followers, Millerites, they were referred to, discovered that this kind Baptist preacher was wrong in his calculations by a year. Jesus would be coming back in 1844!

Now, William Miller wasn't a fanatic, and he wasn't a crackpot. He was simply an honest Baptist Christian man who was honestly wrong. There were thousands of people in America's northeast that hoped along with William Miller. But their hopes were dashed. Jesus didn't return. So religious predictions aren't anything new.

In fact, go back to the New Testament and you find the followers of Jesus expecting Jesus to expel the Romans from Israel and set up His kingdom on earth. And they were far from right about that. And then there's the Maya calendar, which some people, many people, took to mean that the end of the world was going to take place in December of 2012. Now, the Maya were remarkable builders, they were brilliant mathematicians, and they were skilled astrologers. But they did not predict the end of the world. And even if they had, they would have been wrong. So where can we find predictions that we can trust? I have plenty. I'll share them with you in just a moment.

In December of 2012, a hundred members of a Christian church in China were arrested. They had been warning people about what they believed would be the trouble coming to Planet Earth on December 21 of that year, when the 5,125-year Maya calendar expired. The time that some people were teaching would bring about the end of the world. The Maya were advanced enough to be considered the Greeks of the New World. They had figured out that the year contained 365 days. They had eighteen 20-day months and five additional days, although they didn't seem to recognize the extra quarter of a day in each year. Their architecture was advanced. In some places they even built sporting arenas, courts for a ball game something like handball. And they built impressive observatories. Watching the movements of the stars and planets was important to the Maya.

And as interesting as their 5,125-year calendar was, it never actually predicted the end of the world. It simply suggested the end of an age, a time period, a cycle to be followed by another one, and then presumably another one, and so on. But that didn't stop people from getting excited about the end of the world. In fact, in Russia, authorities issued a statement reassuring Russians that they had nothing to worry about. In the south of France, people flocked to the top of a mountain to wait for what they believed would be the end of all things. Well, we know that the end of the world didn't occur December 21, 2012, and it was never going to. But what this whole Maya calendar business does reveal is that there are people, many people, who are vulnerable to predictions about the end of the world, no matter how unlikely or even nonsensical those predictions might be.

So what then about predictions that are actually reliable? If people are going to get animated about a calendar, of which they had heard nothing prior in their lives, if folks will get excited about somebody like Nostradamus, who certainly was not a prophet in the reliable, biblical sense, what should people do about predictions that are verifiable and absolutely authentic? Now, I'm going to share with you some predictions that you can depend on, predictions that were made and then fulfilled, predictions, predictions you can trust.

Now, the Bible isn't simply a book of predictions. It's the story of God's love for the human family. But it's true that the Bible does contain predictions. In fact, God stakes His reputation on His ability to forecast the future. Here's what He says in Isaiah 46:9 and 10: "Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.'" In the 19th century, a Scottish scientist named James Maxwell predicted the existence of radio waves. Turned out he was right. Impressive!

George Orwell's "1984" and Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" both contained predictions about the future that seem now eerily prescient. But none of that is anything compared to what God did. You want predictions? Here we go. Genesis 3:15. Three chapters into the Bible. Sin had entered the world, and God says to the serpent, "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel". This was a prediction that Jesus would come into the world and defeat Satan and that Satan would be destroyed.

Now, notice the prediction said that Jesus would be bruised. Interesting, because in Isaiah 53, Isaiah used the same word, saying that the Messiah would be bruised for our iniquities. But Satan? He would ultimately be destroyed. Everyone who wishes to can be a child of God and live eternally. And all of this was predicted in the third chapter of the Bible, written, written thousands of years ago. But we're just getting started. In Isaiah, chapters 44 and 45, Isaiah mentions by name the man that God would use to lead the army to defeat Babylon.

Now, this isn't Isaiah looking back in time. If this was Isaiah telling his readers something that had already happened, it wouldn't be so impressive. But Isaiah is looking ahead, and 150 years before the event, Isaiah names the man, calls him by name, who would deliver the people of God. This is Isaiah chapter 45, verses 1 through 3. "Thus says the Lord to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held, to subdue nations before him and loose the armor of kings, to open before him the double doors, so that the gates will not shut: 'I will go before you and make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of bronze and cut the bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the Lord, who call you by your name, am the God of Israel.'"

Now, that's more impressive than a Maya calendar non-prediction. Now, in Micah 5 and verse 2, the prophet Micah names the town in which Jesus would be born. "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to me the one to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from old, from everlasting". More about Jesus. This is Isaiah 7:14. "Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel".

God said that the Messiah would be born of a virgin. That's something that had never happened before. You know, somebody making a prediction like that, they should be laughed out of town. Their credibility should be shot to pieces. But that didn't happen in the case of Isaiah, who wrote that prediction, because in that case, and every other case like it, what God said would happen, happened. You know, people just don't do very well in predicting the future. We just don't know. But we do know what God has predicted, and we know that what God has predicted has come to pass. Therefore, we can trust God, and we can trust the Bible. I'll have more in just a moment.

Thanks for joining me today on It Is Written. I'm in Belize in Central America, east of Guatemala, south of southeastern Mexico, the Yucatan Peninsula is just up there, and close to Honduras. Belize is right in the heart of what was once the Maya civilization. A few years ago, an interpretation of the Maya calendar had people all over the world worrying that the world was going to end. Well, it is going to end. And if you read the Bible, you get the idea that there's not a lot of time left for Planet Earth. And so therefore we want to remember at least two things that Jesus told us. One: We cannot know the day or the hour of His appearing. We just don't know. And so therefore, two: Be ready, no matter when it takes place. Live in relation to God so you will always be ready for eternity.

So how is it with you? You're ready? You say "yes"? That's great. You say "no" or "I'm not sure"? Well, hmm. Not so good. But the good news is you can be ready. There's no need for anyone not to look into eternity with confidence. If you choose God as yours, then you can have all the confidence in the world. A couple of moments ago, we looked at some predictions that were fulfilled. God made the predictions, and what God says happens. So now look at this with me. Daniel 9, verse 25. Daniel wrote these words hundreds of years before Jesus was born: "Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem unto Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times".

Notice this: From the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, "unto Messiah the Prince," would be a certain period of time. Now, that decree was issued in the year 457 BC, and you'll find the actual decree in Ezra chapter 7, so you can read it for yourself. So from 457 BC unto Messiah the Prince would be 69 weeks. In Bible prophecy, a day represents a year, so you've got 69 times 7 years, which would be 483 years. Start in 457 BC, add 483 years; you get to the year 27 AD, when Jesus would be anointed as the Messiah. So what happened in 27 AD? Jesus was baptized. He was anointed, right on time, predicted hundreds of years before. But wait. There's more. The same prophecy said after this Jesus would be "cut off"; He would be put to death. That's what happened when He died on the cross three-and-a-half years after He was baptized.

And then the prophecy says that Jerusalem, after this, would be destroyed. And it was, less than 40 years after Jesus died on the cross. Now, you could get all excited about a Maya calendar non-prediction, or you could hang your hat on predictions that you can really trust. Listen, Zechariah wrote that Jesus would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver. That's what happened. Zechariah 11 and verse 12. The next verse talks about Judas throwing away the money that he was paid to betray Jesus. That happened, too.

Zechariah 9 and verse 9 said that Messiah, Jesus, would ride into Jerusalem on a donkey. Precisely what took place. Isaiah chapter 53 said that Jesus would be betrayed by His own people. You get to Psalm 22, that great messianic psalm; it says that Jesus would be mocked and ridiculed. Later, same chapter says Jesus would be crucified. And verse 16 says, "The assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet". And Psalm 34, verse 20 says that none of Jesus' bones would be broken, unusual for a crucifixion victim. The two thieves Jesus was crucified between? They both had their legs broken. But not Jesus. And this was predicted many, many years before.

And then, maybe one of the most incredible prophecies of all, Daniel said that four world-ruling kingdoms would arise in the earth: the head of gold, chest and arms of silver, belly and thighs of brass, and the legs of iron. Four kingdoms, which were Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. Daniel said, and you read about this in Daniel 2, that the fourth kingdom would divide into multiple nations, and that's exactly what happened. In Daniel 7, he gave the same information, but with a twist: he used animals or beasts to represent the nations, rather than metals, as in Daniel 2. The lion, the bear, the leopard, and then the...thing. Again, four nations: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. This time he depicted Rome as having 10 horns, and he said specifically in Daniel that the 10 horns were 10 kings, or kingdoms, that would arise out of Rome. And history validates that prediction 100 percent.

Now, you'd think that people would shout this from the rooftops. The Bible is reliable; its predictions are sure. It's a book that can be trusted. You know, what happens is this; some people will hear this, even be willing to believe that, but then they see those people who are a bad advertisement for what the Bible teaches, and it throws them. Now, it shouldn't. You know, there are people like that who, who don't accurately represent every belief system, every country, every organization. But you don't want to let the hypocrites, and truth be told, there's a hypocrite inside all of us, you don't want to let the hypocrites, the bad eggs, keep you from God.

Now, the Bible predicted that Jesus would come into the world. It predicted the circumstances of His life, the circumstances of His death. It predicted the rise and the fall of nations, and so much more. And there's something else. Listen to this. Paul, writing to the Thessalonians, this is 1 Thessalonians chapter 4; we start at verse 13: "But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope". The Thessalonians evidently believed that if you weren't alive when Jesus came back, you couldn't go to heaven; you couldn't be saved. So Paul corrected them.

"For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord".

Paul predicted that Jesus would return to this earth. Undoubtedly it's going to happen. He predicted the resurrection that would take place on the last day. That's certainly going to happen, too. Think of all of the other predictions that we've just looked at. They've all been fulfilled. This one will be, as well. Jesus is coming back. And when He comes back, He wants you to be ready.

The Bible is God's book. Think about what it promises. And think about this: Life is short, no matter how long you live. Don't cheat yourself. God's Word says that God loves you; you know that's true. The Bible says God cares for you. You can believe that as well. The Bible says that God would forgive you of your sins. Surely that is so. And the Bible says that God will give you a new heart. He's just waiting to do that for you if you'll ask Him. You know, if you'll let God do so, He'll work in your life so that you'll learn to love the things that God loves. And you'll love life when you love what God loves. You can trust the Bible. And you can trust the God of the Bible. You can trust Him with your heart. He'll keep it, and you, forever and ever. Let's pray together now.

Our Father in heaven, we thank You today that the Bible can be trusted, and that it demonstrates to us that You can be trusted. Lord, if You can be trusted, and You can, then we want to trust You with our lives.


Friend, are you ready to tell God today you want to trust Him with your life, want to recommit your life to Him? Or if you've never done so, accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Tell God now, "Lord, I want to follow You. This book cannot be argued; it cannot be denied. And so therefore I want to follow its Author, the One who inspired it". Friend, can you do that now?

Lord, take our hearts. Take our lives. Make them Yours. Guide us. Lead us. Ready us for that great day when we are taken home to be with You forever. This is our prayer, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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