Sermon Illustrations

A science professor at Westmont College wrote a book explaining how only one person could possibly have fulfilled the prophecies. He worked with 600 students to calculate the mathematical probability of just eight of the Old Testament prophecies being fulfilled in any one person up to the present time. The probability is one chance in 10 to the 17th power. That’s a one with 17 zeroes after it.

That’s too big a number for me to comprehend. But Lee Strobel put it in a form that my simple, non-mathematical mind can understand better.

Imagine the entire world being covered with white tiles. Every bit of dry land was covered with little white tiles, one-and-a-half inches square. The bottom of just one tile would be painted red. A person would be allowed to spend their entire life walking around all seven continents until he found the tile he wanted to choose.

He would be allowed to bend down and pick up only one tile. The odds of him picking up the red-bottomed tile are the same as one person fulfilling eight of the Messianic prophecies.

That should be impressive enough. But then Stoner analyzed the probability of 48 prophecies being manifested in one person. He concluded that the probability is one chance in 10 to the 157th power. That’s a 1 with 157 zeroes behind it.

Again, Lee Strobel came to my rescue with a more concrete example. He interviewed scientists about their...

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