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During this time of the year, you can hear many predictions about what 2001 is going to look like. We have an interest in trying to imagine what the future holds. It’s difficult, however, to even know what’s going to happen tomorrow especially with the presidential election!
I read this week about a man who was a very qualified TV meteorologist but did a terrible job at forecasting the weather. He became something of a local joke when a newspaper began keeping a record of his predictions and did a story that showed he had been wrong almost 300 times in a single year. Because of the bad press, he was fired from his job. He eventually moved to another part of the country and applied for a similar job at another TV station. The job application asked him to state his reason for leaving his previous position. Do you know how he answered the question? This is what he wrote, “The climate didn’t agree with me.”
Niels Bohr, a noted physicist, has said, “Prediction is a very difficult art…especially when it involves the future.”
This morning, we’re launching a brand new series called, “Christmas B.C.” While it is difficult, if not impossible for any of us to forecast the future, the Bible is packed with predictive prophecies.
Did you know that if you listen closely, you can hear the sounds of Christmas in the Old Testament? Written over a 1,000-year period, the first part of the Bible contains about 300 references to the Messiah that were fulfilled in Christ. We don’t have time to look at each one of these, but we will tackle four of them this month to help us understand who Jesus is and why His coming is so important:
• The Seed (Genesis 3:15)
• The Lamb (Genesis 22:8-14)
• The Place (Micah 5:2)
• The Birth (Isaiah 7:14)
• The Fulfillment (Matthew 1:1-24)
Before we jump into our topic for this morning, let me make sure you grasp the significance of predictive prophecy. Most of these prophecies were written down more than 500 years before they were fulfilled by Christ. This is no accident and is certainly not a coincidence.
In Lee Strobel’s excellent book, “The Case for Christ,” he points out that the probability of just eight prophecies being fulfilled is one chance in one hundred million billion. That number is millions of times greater than the total number of people who’ve ever walked on the planet! Strobel then quotes mathematician Peter Stoner who calculated that the probability of fulfilling 48 prophecies was one chance in a trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion! (Strobel, 246-7).
Friends, that gives us confidence that:
1. The Bible is inspired by God and is completely trustworthy. There is no way that man could have made it up. The Old Testament points to the first Christmas. The New Testament fulfills what the prophets of old were longing for.
2. Jesus Christ is who He claimed to be. These fulfilled prophecies give solid confirmation of His credentials and show us that Jesus is God’s Son who gave his life for us so that we can be forgiven and enjoy eternity in heaven.
Let’s begin by reading Genesis 3:15: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
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