A DOSE OF FAITH
RICHARD G. MENDOZA, MPH, PHD
Pr. Richard Mendoza works at the Central Luzon Conference of Seventh-day Adventist. An educator and promoter of health, he complements his advocacies with spiritual and values-oriented insights.
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Another compelling evidence that the Bible can be trusted is its ability to accurately foretell the future. “… I am God and there is none like Me …declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done …” Isaiah 46:9, 10. Yes, as God pulls back the curtain of time, giving us a glimpse of the future, He demonstrates to the world that the Bible is not just a book. It is His Book.
Before Babylon reached the height of its power and glory, God’s Book foretold its fall:
“And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldeans’ pride, will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.” Isaiah 13:19. The Bible even foretold the power that would overthrow this mighty kingdom.“…The Lord has raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes. For His plan is against Babylon to destroy it…” Jeremiah 51:11
The name of the man who would lead the armies against Babylon was prophesied 150 years before his birth, as was the very way he would do it. “Thus says the Lord to His anointed, to Cyrus … I will … open before him the two leaved gates…” Isaiah 45:1. Were the prophecies of the Bible fulfilled? To the very letter! In the Persian Hall of the British Museum stands the Cyrus cylinder, discovered in the ruins of Babylon. On this clay cylinder, Cyrus tells of his conquest! The details are accurate! The Bible not only foretold Babylon’s destruction, it further stated: “Babylon shall become heaps …” Jeremiah 51:37. Isaiah wrote: “It shall never be inhabited …but wild beasts of the desert shall lie there … and owls shall dwell there …” Isaiah 13:20, 21
Only God could foresee the future and predict so accurately the fate of the mighty Babylon.
The explorer Austen H. Layard describes the site of ancient Babylon: “Shapeless heaps of rubbish cover for many an acre the face of the land … a naked and hideous waste. Owls start from the scanty thickets, and the foul jackal skulks through the furrows.” (Discoveries Among the Ruins of Nineveh and Babylon, p. 413). Of Babylon’s former glory, nothing remains but its name on a signpost at the roadside. The vast heaps scattered over the ancient Babylonian ruins are certain evidence to the inspiration and integrity of the Bible.
We can but agree with the prophet of old: “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.” Isaiah 40:8
If God had the wisdom and ability to precisely foretell centuries in advance the future of ancient kingdoms past, can we doubt for a moment His ability and wisdom to predict accurately what our own future holds for us? Hardly! In fact, Bible prophecy gives us the privilege of pulling up the blinds, looking into the future through God’s eyes, and catching a glimpse of His solution to the problems threatening man’s survival on Planet Earth.
The Bible is more than just reliable history, more than accurate scientific facts, more than prophecies fulfilled. If it were not, it would not matter what men did with it. The theme of the Book, the heart of it all, is the account of what happened on a rugged hill outside of Jerusalem more than nineteen centuries ago. And it makes a difference what we believe about that!
Either the Son of the Living God died on that cross—or He did not. Either He was who the Bible says He was—or He was not! Was Calvary fantasy—or fact? It makes a difference, and we need to know! Perhaps the greatest evidence that the Bible is what it claims to be is the power in the Book to change lives. That power is wrapped up in one person—Jesus Christ! Jesus said, “Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of Me.” John 5:39
Jesus was speaking of the Old Testament, for the New Testament had not yet been written! And as you turn the pages of the Old Testament, you will discover that they prophesy of a coming Messiah and tell of His mission of love and salvation. Jesus told His disciples: “…These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” Luke 24:44
The Old Testament prophesied of Christ, and the New Testament is His life story. So you see, the entire Bible is a revelation of Jesus Christ, who came to demonstrate to a planet in rebellion what His Father was really like.
The Bible is also called the “Living Word of God.” It carries an amazing power with it wherever it goes—a power that changes lives, transforms human character, gives strength to the weak, courage to the depressed, and hope to the dying. All through history, the power of the Bible to change people has been proven over and over. Angry people have been changed into peaceful people through the power of the Bible. Lustful, immoral people have become pure and clean. Drunkards have been delivered from their drinking, thieves from their stealing, cheaters from their cheating. You don’t have to look far today to find hardened murderers in prison who have been changed into rejoicing Christians through the power of the Bible. You don’t have to look far to find marriages that were headed straight for divorce, that have been saved and filled with new love through the power of the Bible.
No one can read the Bible faithfully, every day, without God’s Book changing him or her.
And if you spend time each day in the Bible, it will change you too. Jesus spent His time changing people, that is the heart of the Christian religion. And it is the heart of the Bible, the secret of its power. Jesus knew what power it was that changed men: “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32. It is truth that sets men free—that changes men! It is the truth that makes a drunkard a sober and loving father. It is truth that frees the drug abuser. With so much deception being practiced in the world today, we ask, “What is truth?” Jesus gave the answer: “…Thy word is truth.” John 17:17