June 26, 2008
The June 24, 2008 issue of USA Today had an article re: a poll with some surprising revelations about the views of modern Americans regarding religion. The article was entitled “Believers OK with Many Paths” in the print version of the USA Today, but it had an alternate title in the website version attached below. Although 92% believe in God, the survey revealed a “stunning lack of alignment between people’s beliefs or practices and their professed faiths.”
Given the individual responses, it would seem that Christianity in America is “a mile wide and an inch deep” to use an old maxim. Even the article observed that “Religion today in the USA is like a salad bar where people heap on upbeat beliefs they like and often leave the veggies–like strict doctrine–behind.” The survey shows a broad profession of faith, but a remarkable breakdown when it comes to specific doctrines. For example, even though both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible condemn homosexuality as a sin (Leviticus 18:22, Romans 1:26-27) Americans now accept homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle by a 50%-40% margin. A remarkable 70% believe that “many religions can lead to eternal life.”
Each major religion has a set of religious texts which it regards as inspired by God. Jews and Christians accept the Old Testament books as sacred scriptures and Christians accept the New Testament books as sacred scriptures. I am a Christian. Can I prove that my set of inspired scriptures (the Bible) are Divinely-inspired by God? I believe I can. Furthermore, I believe anyone who makes a serious study of the subject can do so as well.
The Christian Bible has something no other “holy writing” has. The Bible contains a direct challenge from God to readers of the Bible to see whether he is real and whether the Bible is Divinely-inspired. In Isaiah 41:21-26, God challenges all other so-called gods to foretell and control the future like he can. In this text, God says to/of false gods: “Let them bring forth…and show us what shall happen.” He adds: “Declare us things for to come.” He again challenges other gods by saying: “Show us the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that you are gods…” The God of the Bible concludes concerning all other gods: “Behold, you are of no account and your work amounts to nothing” (utilizing marginal references). The God of the Bible challenges everyone to examine his ability to foretell the future and bring it to pass centuries or millennia into the future as evidence that he alone is the True God. Isaiah 40:15 cites God as saying “…the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance…” If God has created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1, Job 38:4-7), then the nations on the earth are, indeed, very small things in the grand scheme of things and God can guide their destinies to whatever end he has decreed for them.
Many ancient prophecies of the Bible came true over the centuries. Daniel 8:1-8, 20-22 accurately foretold the war between Alexander the Great and the empire of Persia as well as the fact that Alexander the Great’s kingdom would be split into four portions after his reign. In Isaiah 44:28, God inspired Isaiah to write that a particular king named Cyrus would, in the future, issue a decree to restore Jerusalem. This was inspired circa 690 BC and fulfilled over two centuries later when King Cyrus of Persia issued just such a decree (Ezra 1:1). Many such prophecies are in the Bible. Those who have read my books have seen evidence that numerous prophecies about the ten tribes of Israel have been fulfilled over the millennia and are being specifically fulfilled in today’s modern geopolitics and among modern nations. Detractors (“minimalists”) try to pretend that all such ancient prophecies were written after the fact, not prior to, the events concerned; however, it is exceptionally easy to prove them wrong by examining “latter day” prophecies (those prophecies concerning a time to come at the end of our age just prior to the intervention of the Divine God himself in human affairs).
For example, Zephaniah 2:1-7 prophesies that the Jews would again have a homeland in the old Promised Land in the latter days and it even names one city (Ashkelon) which will be included in the Jewish state. This was fulfilled in 1948 and afterwards. Daniel 12:4 prophesied that the latter days of our age would be a time of rapid travel and a time in which a knowledge explosion will occur. This has been fulfilled in the many rapid travel technologies invented in the last decade as well as the exponential increase in mankind’s technological knowledge. Matthew 24:22 prophesied that a time would come when it would be literally possible to destroy all flesh on the earth. This was fulfilled with the invention (and proliferation) of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. No one can say that these prophecies were “written after the fact” because those prophecies have provably been located in the scriptures for centuries and millennia before they came to pass in our time! Revelation 1:7 prophesies that “every eye shall see” Jesus Christ when he returns. With the invention of satellite technology and global video communications, this is now literally possible. Revelation 11:7-12 prophesies that when God’s two great prophets at the end of our age (“the Two Witnesses”–see article on this subject at this website) are slain by the final (and evil) world leader, that the “people and kindreds and tongues and nations” will witness this event and be able to watch their dead bodies lie in the streets of Jerusalem for three and 1/2 days. FOX-News, CNN, and many other news networks will likely have live web-cams watching the bodies to see if they will be resurrected three and 1/2 days later. The Bible says they will be, and the world will be stunned with fear when this occurs. Global visual/audio communications technologies were necessary before this prophecy could literally be fulfilled. God brings to pass the technologies necessary to fulfill his prophecies. [Those who wish to see a detailed listing of latter-day prophecies which have come to pass in our time can read my article, Are We Living in the Biblical Latter Days?, available at this website].
Modern Christians are woefully ignorant of the prophecies contained in the Holy Bible. If they knew them, they would realize that there are abundant proofs all around them that the Bible is the only Holy Book which contains prophecies made long ago which are being provably fulfilled today! Just as God said it would in Isaiah 41:2-26, these fulfilled prophecies prove that the Bible is the inspired Word of a Creator Being we call “God.” God lives eternally, and he can guide all nations’ destinies to ensure that his prophecies come to pass just as he prophesied that they would. It is sad that the leadership of so many Christian denominations are themselves blind to the “smoking gun” evidence in the Bible that God is real and active in world events today. You can prove it to yourself by examining the evidence of fulfilled prophecies. No other “holy books” can make a similar claim. Only the God of the Bible can do this because only he is the true God.
Interestingly, in Luke 18:8, Jesus Christ himself asked:”…when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” He also prophesied in Matthew 24:11 that deception would be widespread just before he returned. II Thessalonians 2:3 warns and prophesies that a “falling away” from the truth would occur just before Jesus Christ returned. The USA Today article about the recent poll of believers confirms that these prophecies have also come to pass.