There have been many writings and books penned down through the ages that claim divine origin or angelic delivery. (Allegedly proving their supernatural origin.) Most of them also claim or propose what awaits man after this life. The question is often posed by earnest seekers of truth asking: How do you know that your book or beliefs are right? What makes what you believe distinct or even exclusive from all other truth claims? The answer is actually quite simple and even definitive; If a book or writing claims knowledge of the afterlife it should also be able to speak of the future in this life.
This is what makes the Bible's claim as being the only book of Divine origin a valid claim. The Bible not only tells us what happens after this life it foretells the events of the future in this life from the position of the distant past and even claims its author has the ability to do so.
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,’
To claim the ability to proclaim the end of all things from ancient times requires proof in order to be believable. Many religious writings and teachings claim to have information regarding the afterlife but offer no concrete proof other than to state it as though it were fact. The Bible offers irrefutable proof through the revelation of future events with specificity and includes details of events, places and at times even names people and identifies cultural and spiritual trends of the last days. This demands the Bible be recognized as the only book that qualifies as the infallible and divinely inspired Word of God.
With this in mind how astounding is it that the one feature that distinguishes the Bible from all other religious claims and writings is diminished and disparaged by many pastors today. It is no wonder that so many are scared and unprepared for the future.
2 Timothy 3:1-5
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
The phrase “in the last days” tells us that what follows is predictive and not prescriptive. What that means is that the Holy Spirit was using Paul to tell a future generation what things would be like in the last days. He was not giving them a directive or prescription on how to turn things around, he simply says, turn away from such people, meaning do not follow in their ways. Look at what Paul wrote and then hold it up to to our world today and see that what the Bible foretold is now being fulfilled.
We also know the Bible told us there would be a generation that would see the rebirth of the nation of Israel and that generation will not pass away until all things concerning Israel are fulfilled. Here we are today with a people who were scattered among the nations for nearly two millennia, who did not assimilate into the cultures in which they lived. Today they are back in the same land, speaking the same language as their forefathers. Yet many, if not most, churches today believe that modern Israel is not Biblical Israel. They are scared of what’s going on in the Middle East because there were not prepared through the study of prophecy by their pastors.
Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Although I have cast them far off among the Gentiles, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet I shall be a little sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone.” ’ Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “I will gather you from the peoples, assemble you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.” ’
We can look back and see that what Ezekiel wrote over 600 years before it came to pass was indeed fulfilled when the Jews were scattered among the nations. For centuries the church could only see that portion of the prophecy but now with the Jews back in the land we can see the Lord has fulfilled the “gathering" portion of the prophecy and we can see that the Lord was “a little sanctuary” for them in countries where they were scattered since they have maintained their ethnic and religious identity though scattered among the nations for nearly 2000 years.
With examples from the Old and New Testament of prophecies written thousands of years in advance fulfilled right before our eyes we can conclude that not only will all remaining prophecies concerning Israel and the last days be fulfilled, the rest of the Bible message is therefore true.
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Jesus, on the eve of His crucifixion at the event we call the last supper, told His disciples about the future, both immediate and distant. He said He was going to prepare a place for them, that would be fulfilled in the next 40 days, and that He was coming again, which is now a 2000 year old prophetic promise. If the first half of this promise was fulfilled as He said we have every reason to believe the second half will be too, He is coming again! This reminds us of two things regarding the importance of prophecy;
so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.
For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
It's hard to be excited for something you’re not expecting or aware of and John reminds us in Revelation that the very spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus. You cannot teach Jesus and ignore prophecy nor can you ignore prophecy and fully teach Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 4:17-18
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. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
Paul exhorted the Thessalonians in both chapters 4 and 5 to “comfort” one another with the fact that the Lord is coming again and the church does not have an appointment with God’s wrath during the tribulation.
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
In order to “see the day approaching” don’t we have to know what to look for? Wouldn’t that information have to be revealed in advance and won’t seeing the day approaching remind us that He who promised is faithful to His word? All these things remind us of the supremacy and supernatural inspiration of all scripture putting the Bible in a class by itself.
Prophecy distinguishes the Bible from all other religious writings and those who tell people not to concern themselves with prophecy are doing a great disservice to those who hear them, resulting in people being scared and unprepared when they need not be. Some might even be unprepared for going to the Father’s house. Thankfully that can change for anyone who calls on the name of the Lord.
Jesus also addressed the issue of the afterlife with His disciples the night before he was crucified when He stated that access to the Father comes exclusively through a relationship with Him.
Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
Have you called on the only Name that can save you? If not do so today for He is coming to get His church to take them to His Fathers house very soon! A perfect prophetic track record tells us it is so.