Almost 2,000 years ago, an obscure Jewish fisherman penned a prediction: “I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. They will say, ‘What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.’” The world’s media is currently fixated on the ill-advised prediction of Harold Camping that today is God’s judgment day. Atheist groups, quite understandably, have declared “Scoff at Christians” Day, an ironic fulfillment of the fisherman’s prediction. The folly of one man, who chose to ignore the Bible’s clear teaching, is being used by millions around the world as an excuse to ridicule the Christian faith.
Putting aside the publicity stunts of false prophets, some remarkable Biblical prophecies have been fulfilled throughout history. Perhaps the most impressive is Daniel’s prediction, centuries in advance, of the very calendar date when Israel’s Messiah would enter the city of Jerusalem. More recently, after more than 2,500 years of itinerant living, the Jewish diaspora began its return to the modern state of Israel – fulfilling another very specific prophecy: “Your enemies have attacked you from all directions, making you the property of many nations and the object of much mocking and slander…But the mountains of Israel will produce many crops of fruit for my people – for they will be coming home…I will gather the people of Israel from among the nations. I will bring them home to their own land from the places where they have been scattered. I will unify them into one nation on the mountains of Israel.” Other specific prophecies, many relating to the nation of Israel, remain to be fulfilled – but it’s only a matter of time.
As for the timing of these future events, Jesus made it very clear: “No one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself.” The day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. “While you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight” – even if they go unreported by the major news outlets.