Biblical Prophecy and The Messiah
Jesus’ Birth, Life, Death, Resurrection and Ascension were all prophesied hundreds of years in advance.
One of the most central topics of prophecy in the Bible is the subject of the Messiah. The prophecies focus on two comings, a first and a second. And since all the prophecies of His first coming were fulfilled just as predicted (see chart, “Prophecies of Jesus Christ: Fulfilled”), we can trust that the prophecies of His second coming will also prove 100% accurate.
The Old Testament records some 300 prophecies about the Messiah that were fulfilled in the life of Jesus. Does this seem incredible? It would be, except for the Divine Mind behind these predictions. God doesn’t guess, He knows. When His prophets spoke, they revealed the future with certainty.
Could this be by chance? Could 300 predictions about one person who was to be born hundreds or thousands of years in the future just happen to come out right?
Prophecies of Jesus Christ: Fulfilled
To comprehend this amazing fact, an illustration is helpful. Suppose you take not 300 predictions but only 8. What are the odds that 8 predictions might all be fulfilled in one person? The likelihood is that of one in 10 to the 17th power (1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000)!
To make this statement more meaningful, Josh McDowell put this into the form of a picture. Imagine, he said, that you cover the state of Texas with silver dollars to a depth of 2 feet, and on one of those silver dollars you place a mark. Now blindfold a man and tell him to pick up just one silver dollar—how likely is he to pick up the one that you marked? That is parallel to all eight prophecies being fulfilled in one man! (Josh McDowell, Evidence that Demands a Verdict, vol. 1, pp. 144, 167).
Following are charts of some of the prophecies of Christ’s first coming that were fulfilled, along with the references to their fulfillments. Click on the PDF symbols or the text links to see the charts.
Jesus’ Second Advent, Judgment and Future Kingship are all subjects of Bible prophecy.
What does the Bible tell of Christ’s Second Coming and the events associated with it?
- No one knows when Christ will return. “No one knows when that day or time will be, not the angels in heaven, not even the Son. Only the Father knows”(Mark 13:32 NCV).
- Christ will come when not expected, as He mentioned in His parable, “But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into”(Matt. 24:43 NIV).
- Christ will come during a time of rampant wickedness. Conditions will parallel those that existed during the time of Noah, Matt. 24:37–39. Or they will be like they were when Sodom and Gomorrah were consumed in fire, when only Lot and his two daughters were saved (Luke 17:28). Life will be proceeding as usual, “People…eating, drinking, marrying, and giving their children to be married” (Luke 17:27 NCV), when suddenly the great change will come!
- Fear will be gripping the hearts of men, as Jesus predicted: “Men’s hearts[will be] failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken”(Luke 21:26).
It will be a time of fear and dread for the unbelievers, but not for the righteous. God has promised, “When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh”(Luke 21:28).
- There will not be another world-dominant government until after Christ returns (Daniel 2:35–45).
Prophecies of Jesus Christ: Yet to be Fulfilled
Second Advent, Judgment and Future Kingship
Certain conditions will exist when Christ returns:
- A time of rampant unbelief.
Scoffers will be saying, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation”(2 Pet. 3:3–4 NIV).
- A time of international distress.
There will be “distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring” Luke 21:25).
- A time of unprecedented violence, danger and peril. “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come”(2 Tim. 3:1).
- It will be a time of “business as usual” (Luke 17:30 NLT).
Nevertheless, some will be eagerly expecting Jesus’ return and will be ready to receive Him (Matt. 25:1–13).
Following is a chart of prophecies of Jesus’ future roles. Click on the PDF symbols or the text links to see the chart.