Summary: The truthfulness of Christianity is made unbreakable because of Old Testament prophecy.
How do you present the Gospel to someone who places Christianity as one of many religious options? Such a person might be an agnostic, a secular humanist, a Jewish friend, or a person practicing any number of religious beliefs. We see our faith very differently from the way others see it. From their point of view, Christianity is one of many options. Most folks don’t oppose you practicing your Christian faith. They may in fact celebrate various aspects of your devotion to Christ. However, people in our tolerant society can become quite upset when we say that Christianity is Truth, and when we proclaim the Biblical teaching that everyone must believe in Christ in order to have a relationship with God. In their minds, lots of people have a relationship with God.
So, the battle is really a battle for Truth. If the Christian faith is not built upon Truth, then as the Apostle Paul says, “we are of all men most miserable” (1 Corinthians 15:19).
Here is the good news. We don’t have to simply believe or hope that we are following the Truth. While it is true that a person must believe the gospel “by faith,” it is also true that the evidence for the facts presented in the Gospel and throughout the Bible are substantially verifiable. The Bible is a book unlike any other book. It is far more than a repository of moral teachings. The Bible is filled with historical information about people, places and events - information that has been consistently verified through archeology, linguistics, and other sciences.
One of the most important confidence builders in the accuracy of the Bible is the abundant examples of predictive prophecy. Today, I would like to examine just a few of the Old Testament prophecies. This brief overview will demonstrate the following:
The truthfulness of Christianity is made unbreakable because of the Old Testament.
#1. Old Testament Prophecy Proves that the Bible is Supernatural (These examples are more thoroughly explained by Erwin Lutzer, Seven Reasons Why You Can Trust the Bible, 92 ff.)
The Prediction about Cyrus, King of Persia. Cyrus ruled from 559-530 BC. Cyrus released the Jews from Babylon in 538 BC, in the first year of his reign. Ezra records this release. “In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and to put it in writing:” (Ezra 1:1, NIV84)
But notice this prediction, given over 100 years earlier by Isaiah. ““This is what the Lord says— your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the Lord, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself, who foils the signs of false prophets and makes fools of diviners, who overthrows the learning of the wise and turns it into nonsense, who carries out the words of his servants and fulfills the predictions of his messengers, who says of Jerusalem, ‘It shall be inhabited,’ of the towns of Judah, ‘They shall be built,’ and of their ruins, ‘I will restore them,’ who says to the watery deep, ‘Be dry, and I will dry up your streams,’ who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please; he will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt,” and of the temple, “Let its foundations be laid.” ’” (Isaiah 44:24–28, NIV84)
Many have objected to this prophecy by claiming that the book of Isaiah was written after Cyrus was king, and that the author named him to make it appear that Isaiah had the ability to predict the future. This approach of dating the writing of Scripture to a later period is the centerpiece of liberal theology. For over 400 years, unbelieving liberal scholars have battled with Christian theologians over the date of writing of various books. Isaiah has been a particularly heated battle ground, After reading this prophecy concerning Cyrus you now know why. While various attempts have been made to date Isaiah later, there is no evidence to indicate that anyone other than the biblical prophet Isaiah wrote this portion of the book. The only motivation to date it later is because it contains a prediction that came true exactly as it was given.
A Second prophecy is the prediction about the destruction of Tyre.
“therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, O Tyre, and I will bring many nations against you, like the sea casting up its waves. They will destroy the walls of Tyre and pull down her towers; I will scrape away her rubble and make her a bare rock. Out in the sea she will become a place to spread fishnets, for I have spoken, declares the Sovereign Lord. She will become plunder for the nations, and her settlements on the mainland will be ravaged by the sword. Then they will know that I am the Lord.” (Ezekiel 26:3–6, NIV84)