Are You Cynical About Prophecy?

From fears of “Y2K” at the turn of the century, to warnings of a so-called “Mayan Apocalypse” in 2012, the ongoing parade of “prophecies” proven false has caused many to suffer from “failed prediction fatigue”—which can play right into Satan’s hands.

Admittedly, it can be hard not to grow cynical. After all, people have declared “the end of the world” so many times—and so many dates have been proclaimed as “the Big One”—that it is easy to begin tuning it all out. Frankly, much of it should be tuned out!

For instance, even if the Maya had predicted anything significant about December 21, 2012 (they did not, by the way), there is no reason whatsoever to believe that the “New Age” hucksters now profiting from fanciful interpretations of the Mayan calendar have any more insight than your average Yorkshire Terrier regarding the future of humanity.

Similarly, the recent predictions of a “rapture” of Christians and the end of the world—some were expecting it on October 21, 2011—have been exposed as having more to do with esoteric and arbitrary mathematical assumptions than on the Bible.

Each time a failed prophecy comes and goes, we sigh. We may conclude that things will probably just continue forever as they are, or we may decide that if something really “big” were on the horizon, we would have no way of knowing about it. After all, prophecies never come true, do they?

Amazingly enough—Yes, they do! God absolutely does want us thinking about the future and listening to what true, biblical prophecy has to say about it!  It is Satan the devil who allows (and sometimes directly influences) false prophets to promote lies (cf. Ezekiel 13:9) to lull a sleeping world into an increasingly deeper sleep—causing real and accurate prophetic understanding to be ignored by well-intentioned minds grown cynical.

God states powerfully in Scripture that he declares “the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done” (Isaiah 46:10)!  When we are faced with events of world-shattering consequence, we are confronted with God’s astonishing statement: “If there is calamity in a city, will not the Lord have done it?” (Amos 3:6).  And as he tells us in the next verse, “Surely the Lord God does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets” (v. 7).

We live in an age that corresponds to the Apostle Peter’s description of those who shun prophetic understanding. “[S]coffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation’” (2 Peter 3:3-4). Today, for many, it simply is not fashionable to believe that there really is an all-powerful God shaping the course of human history to produce His own purposes!

Peter’s warnings were meant for everyone, but those who call themselves “Christians” should all the more take heed. Consider the Apostle Paul’s simple and frank command: “Do not despise prophecies” (1 Thessalonians 5:20). And none other than Jesus Christ, Himself, tells His followers to watch for the signs He said would herald His imminent return (e.g., Matthew 24:33; Mark 13:29; Luke 21:31)!

To gain a greater appreciation of the soundness of Bible prophecy, read our free booklets Prophecy Fulfilled: God’s Hand in World Affairs and The Bible: Fact or Fiction? You can read them online or order your own free printed copies. And please consider enrolling in our popular free Bible Study Course, which will help you see prophecy with a clarity you may have previously imagined impossible!