Prediction is the outcome of logical deduction, not unsupported speculation or opinion. The refining of observations and the analysing of patterns over a period leads to expectations about future events such as forecasting weather yet we can’t make these forecasts or educated guesses come to pass (Lk 12:54-56). This is in contrast to God who not only says something but also has the power to deliver.
What God says will happen, while with humans it may
Jesus intentionally came to earth to die for our sins and knew that His death must happen, to fulfil God’s plan to save the world. He predicted His death, burial and resurrection on several occasions yet each time the disciples did not understand Jesus’ saying because the meaning was hidden from them (Mt 16:21, 17:22,23, 20:17-19, 26:2,12). He foretold these events “so that when it does take place you may believe” (Jn 14:29).
What comes from God is always dependable and worthy of our complete trust. We can allow genuine prophecy to help shape our lives, being a source of strength and instruction, giving us direction and guidance in serving our Lord. True biblical prophecy is always accurate and precise. What God prophesies and says will happen always occurs (Num 23:19; Josh 21:45; Ezez 22:14, 24:14). He says, “I will accomplish all my purpose” (Isa 46:10).
In the last days the Bible predicts increasing corruption, false teaching and godlessness because human hearts are desperately wicked and
to disobey God (Gen 6:5; Jdg 2:10-13,19, 3:7, 4:1; Jer 17:9; 2 Tim 3:1-7,13, 4:3,4; 2 Pet 3:3; Jud 1:17-19). Jesus speaking of these times said there would be much deception, wars, famines, earthquakes, persecutions, many turning away from their faith, betrayals, and finally His return – unexpected and widely rejected today (Mt 24:3-41). While there are various scenarios and differing interpretations of how the various events will play out in reality, these are increasingly becoming turbulent times with some of these indicators already taking place. Although we can’t do anything to circumvent these events we should pray unbelievers in desperation will turn to God for salvation, the Holy Spirit will help us display His character and ensure we are fulfilling the directive of Jesus, “Keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come” (Mt 24:6,42,46). This solemn warning states we must be on our guard, alert to the certainty and importance of His return so we will not be overtaken unaware and unprepared. The most distressing prediction spoken by God is anyone who dies without knowing Jesus as Saviour will be doomed to an eternity in the lake of fire, for “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 Jn 5:12; Rev 20:11-15).
“Since no one knows the future, who can tell him what is to come” (Eccl 8:7). God condemns the so-called practices by which mankind tries to predict the future and will punish those who do such things; these include horoscopes, astrology, tarot cards, witchcraft (Lev 19:31, 20:6,27; Ex 20:18; Isa 8:19; Rev 22:15). The future is God’s domain and while He does share some things with His genuine prophets we are not to push into forbidden territory (Deut 29:29; Amos 3:7; Eph 3:5). From the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit has spoken through various means including prophecies, dreams and visions (Joel 2:28; Act 2:17). There are people trying to impress others of their spirituality say, ‘God told me…God showed me’ yet this can be a ploy to give credibility to their own thoughts and while some have specific spiritual significance, the ultimate source and judicator of our viewpoints or what we believe was given by God must always be the Scriptures.
Reaping is a predicted result of sowing, so be careful of the seed you sow (Gal 6:7-9). We speak out of what is stored within, so it is essential to protect our hearts from wrong as the inner desires often result in action (Prov 4:23; Mt 12:34,35; Mk 7:20-23).
In Scripture, various people had their ministries predicted (because they were predestined by God), including Jesus, John the Baptist and
Paul (Mt 1:21;
Lk 1:13-17; Act 9:15,16).
See also: clairvoyance, deception, discernment, false teachers/prophets, future, occult, prophecy, sow and reap.