Faith
Wednesday February 21, 2007
Hartsville News Journal
Page 2C
FAITH COMMENTARY
"Prophesies Make Believers"
We all have our own way of deciding how we choose what to believe; some take things at face value while others require convincing proof. When addressing our own views, how will we answer these questions?

(1) Do we accept the fact that there is a God in heaven and that He created us?

(2) If our mind is made up, is there convincing evidence to back up what we believe?

(3) Do we experience difficulty in communicating our belief?

When addressing these questions we’ll make these assumptions:

(1) There is a God in heaven and

(2) We’re required to prove it.

Strong evidence will be required if we’re to convince the inconvincible types that there is a God in heaven.

As a five year old I remember questioning the existence of God. I was the curious type requiring evidence before my questions would stop. The grownup evidence I was given was questions designed to make me think for myself; I was expected to find my own proof. Here’s a sampling of the probing questions utilized to help me convince myself that God is real:

(1) Look at those roses blooming. Other than God in heaven, who else could create such beauty?

(2) Listen to those birds singing; who else but God could create such beautiful sounds?

Today, these questions and their conclusions may be considered as soft evidence but that evidence is as convincing to me now as it was then. In today’s world, many seek more tangible proof which they refer to as hard evidence. Hopefully we’ll find that kind of evidence in God’s Word, a place that most everyone trusts and accepts.

The King James Bible was first translated from the manuscripts in 1611 and the manuscripts date back thousands of years. The massorah (meaning to deliver from one hand to another without distorting) locks God’s word in place; this guarantees that the manuscripts could not have been altered or changed. It also means that our bible can easily be documented by the manuscripts.

The bible is filled with prophesies, a method God utilizes to communicate with us. Some have been fulfilled and we refer to the remaining ones as future prophesies. God addresses one important aspect of prophecy in Rev. 1:3 KJV which reads:

Blessed is he that breadth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

Our generation today is seeing prophecy fulfilled right before their eyes, reassuring them that it is communication from God. His Word is true and you can be certain that future prophesies will take place.


 

Our hard evidence begins in the Old Testament where God, through the prophet Zechariah, foretells the Coming of Christ. Zech. 9:9 KJV reveals this to us:

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.

Christ did come, just as Zechariah prophesied He would and His Spirit continues to dwell with us.

Many centuries before the birth of Christ, Isaiah in Isaiah 7:14 KJV foretold how Jesus would appear.

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Jesus is called Immanuel which translates from the manuscripts as follows:

'el, Hebrew 410, Strong’s

'el, ale; shortened from Hebrew 352 ('ayil); strength; as adjective mighty; especially the Almighty (but used also of any deity) :- God (god), × goodly, × great, idol, might (-y one), power, strong. Compare names in “-el.”

The Hebrew translates to the English word “Almighty”. God prophesied the coming of Jesus long before His birth in Bethlehem.

We go to Psalm 22:17-18 KJV, where David writes about the crucifixion of Christ:

[17] I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.

[18] They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

The 22nd Psalm is where David prophesied these Word’s that would be spoken by Jesus from the cross at Calvary. He spoke these Words verbatim, a thousand years after David wrote them. The accuracy of this prophecy illustrates both the power and the reality of God.

The Birth and Death of Christ were prophesied long before they came to pass, proving that we can believe upon Him, His prophecy and His Word.

Whether we require soft or hard evidence, both are backed up by God’s Word which means we have multiple reasons to believe in God:

(1) Our faith from within and

(2) His fulfilled prophecies along with the ones being fulfilled are tangible proof that God is with us and that He’s very real.

Prophesies play an important role in faith as we face one final question: “How strong is my belief in God”?

 

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Pastor Billy Johnson can be reached by email at billy@lakeshorebible.info or viewed online at www.lakeshorebible.com