The military operation that killed Osama bin Laden was dramatic but fairly typical: soldiers, helicopters, and guns. The Navy SEALs that carried out the mission represented centuries of military strategy: armed men, on the ground, seeking to take out the enemy.
But later, when another Al Qaeda leader, Anwar al-Awlaki, was killed, the operation was one that armies of past decades wouldn’t have believed. Al-Awlaki was killed in Yemen, but there were no Americans or materials on the ground at the scene of the attack. An armed drone was flying silently thousands of feet above him. The pilot was thousands of miles away at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada using this small, computer-controlled plane deploying a laser-guided bomb.
Yesterday it was called “science fiction.” Today it’s called “technology.” But the Bible calls it “prophecy”!
The Future Is Now
For centuries, people thought Revelation had no literal meaning.
Consider this passage from Revelation 9: “Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. . . . The shape of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle. . . . And they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots with many horses running into battle. They had tails like scorpions, and there were stings in their tails” (verses 3, 7-10). When Hal Lindsey pointed out in The Late Great Planet Earth the similarity between Revelation’s “locusts” and modern attack helicopters, folks took a second look at the accuracy of prophetic imagery.
How about events in Revelation 11 (the martyrdom and resurrection of God’s two witnesses) and 13 (the death and resuscitation of the Antichrist)? John indicates that the whole world sees these events. In John’s day, that would’ve been impossible but is now an everyday occurrence thanks to satellites and the Internet.
What about the references to fire as part of judgment? When Revelation was written, armies used fire on a relatively small scale. But John saw fire poured from the heavens, burning up huge swaths of the earth. One would think he had seen the nuclear destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Such is the power of biblical prophecy.
What’s Changing and What’s Not
Technology, warfare, morals, and economics—they’re all changing. But “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). If He has not changed, neither has His Word. That gives us good reason to trust that the prophecies having to do with the End Times and the return of Christ will be honored and true.
God’s prophetic Word is the only thing worthy to be grasped as we head into a roller-coaster future.
Hold on to Prophecy!
Here’s how God’s prophetic Word can help you remain unshaken:
1. Prophecy confirms God’s omniscience. Omniscience is the theological word for “all knowing.” Nothing surprises God! The daily news headlines are old news to Him (Psalm 139:1-6; Isaiah 46:10; 1 John 3:20).
2. Prophecy tells us the future. Prophecy doesn’t tell us everything about the future, but it tells us God is in control, Christians are taken up to meet Christ, Christ returns to earth and establishes His kingdom, the earth is renovated, and heaven begins. That’s enough for any Christian not to worry about tomorrow (Matthew 6:25-34; 1 Peter 5:7).
3. Prophecy explains the present. The Bible says life on earth is going to get worse before it gets better. Christians may endure hardship. But we are not like those who have no hope. Reading the Bible’s prophetic words helps us prepare (1 Thessalonians 4:13; 1 Timothy 4:1; 2 Timothy 3:1).
4. Prophecy purifies us. The more chaotic the world gets, the more tempting it is to join in. But the next thing on God’s calendar is the Rapture of the Church. Knowing that, and meeting Christ with a clear conscience, is a great motivation for not buying into the chaos (2 Corinthians 7:1; 1 Peter 1:13-16).
5. Finally, prophecy reminds us that God has a plan. God has a plan for your life. If you are His child, then you have an all-powerful Father in heaven who holds your future in His hand (Psalm 139:16; John 10:29).
If you want to know how committed God is to the place of prophecy in the lives of His people, let me close with Amos 3:7: “Surely the Lord God does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.”
David Jeremiah is the founder and host of Turning Point for God, and serves as
Senior Pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California.
For more information about Turning Point, go to www.DavidJeremiah.org.