Summary: If you are a student of the scripture you cannot ignore the study of prophecy. Billy Graham has said that the most neglected teaching in the church today is the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ. There are several reasons for the absence of this teaching…
“Can I really know the Future?”
In 1898 Morgan Robertson wrote a book titled the wreck of the Titan. In the book Robertson tells the story of a hug ocean liner that struck an iceberg and sank in the middle of the ocean. Now you may be thinking already that this sounds a lot like the real story of the Titanic. In fact they are very similar.
In the story the wreck of the Titan In the story of the Titanic
The ship was 800 feet long the ship was 882 feet long
Named the Titan named the Titanic
Displaced 66,000 tons of water displaced 70,000 tons of water
Traveled up to 25 knots per hr. traveled up to 25 knots per hr.
Could transport 3000 passengers could transport 3000 pass.
Now you might wonder why Robertson would bother to write a work of fiction that was so close to the real life event. The reason is simple. The Titanic sank on April 14, 1912. The novel, the wreck of the Titan was published in 1898---14 years before the Titanic set sail.
It’s amazing to think that a book written more than a decade earlier could so accurately predict a historical event like the sinking of the Titanic. But it is even more fascinating to realize that the Bible is able to predict with accuracy, events that will occur hundreds and even thousands of years after it was written.
Prophecy matters. We can hardly turn a page in the scripture without finding some reference to a future event. Tim Lahaye, writer of the Left Behind series has done a study if the entire Bible….
• For instance the book of Genesis contains 14% prophecy
• Daniel is 45% prophecy
• Books like Zephaniah (89%) Nahum (74%) Micah 70%
• Revelation weighs in at 95%
If you are a student of the scripture you cannot ignore the study of prophecy. Billy Graham has said that the most neglected teaching in the church today is the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ. There are several reasons for the absence of this teaching…
1. Pastors and church members alike often say that the subject of prophecy is too confusing to understand.
People think you must have a seminary degree or at least some knowledge of how to read tea leaves to understand the 2nd coming. Actually you only need to be able to pray and be willing to study to understand.
In our scripture this morning Jesus and His disciples were leaving the temple Jesus told them that “one day this magnificent place of worship would be torn down.” The temple would be completely destroyed. Now was Jesus talking about His own body…..as the temple that would be destroyed (crucified) or was he talking about the actual temple being destroyed? The answer is yes…He is speaking of both.
Now this would obviously shake them up. How would you respond if someone told you that your home or your place of worship would be completely leveled one day? So the disciples asked the obvious question, “tell us, when will these things happen and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age? Chpt. 24. 3.
We know from history that about 40 years after the disciples asked this question that Titus entered Jerusalem and destroyed the temple. But this was not the only event they were concerned with. They also wanted to know when Christ would return and what signs would precede His return.
Jesus could have said…
• Looks guys, I’m not telling you, especially you Peter and Thomas you’re such a doubter
• Look guys it’s all gonna pan out in the end, don’t worry about it
• It’s too deep to understand
Instead Jesus answers this question with a very lengthy explanation of end time events. He did however refuse to answer the question of when. He would not give a specific date but he did clearly answer the “what” question.
Look at Matthew 24:4-6, 15-16 and 29-30.
A 2nd objection we hear to teaching on this topic is this. No one can know when Christ will return so why study it. This is a basic fact that all of us need to remember when we tackle the subject of the 2nd coming. Listen. We are never to set dates concerning the 2nd coming of Christ. This is clear. Let me show you.
In Daniel 12:9…………………. Daniel did not know the date
1st Thessalonians 5:2…………….. Paul did not know the date
Matthew 24:36…………………… Jesus did not know the date
Now you would think that of Daniel, Paul and Jesus did not know, that it would keep man from making predictions about a date and time. But it hasn’t. Look at this.
• Christopher Columbus (1451-1506) thought the world would end by 1656