Can We Know the Future?
Can We Know the Future Video
In his book "The Coming Prince" Sir Robert Anderson quoted a man called E.B.Pusey who had delivered a series of lectures at Oxford University on the subject of "Daniel The Prophet" in 1864. The quote was as follows: -
"Prophecy is not given to enable us to prophesy, but as a witness to God when the time comes."
To me this is a very important statement because many have produced prophetic chronologies which have resulted in all kinds of errors when they have been used as ways of foreseeing the future. Rightly used, bible prophecy is a witness to us to enable us to understand God's purposes in history and to stand as a witness to His word when prophecy is fulfilled. In all the time I have been studying this subject I have not come across anyone who has been able to use bible prophecy to predict future dates (although I must say that Grattan Guinness came pretty close). As the bible says, we don't know what shall be on the morrow (James 4:14).
So what can we know of the future. Certainly not specific days and hours. Jesus' disciples wanted to know when the events he was talking of would transpire but he told them that they could not know.
[Mat 24:36 KJV] 36 But of that day and hour knoweth no [man], no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
If we can't know specific dates we can know about "seasons" and about the "signs of the times". In fact we are supposed to know the signs of the times in which we live. The pharisees and Sadducees were rebuked by Jesus for not knowing them.
[Mat 16:3 KJV] 3 And in the morning, [It will be] foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O [ye] hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not [discern] the signs of the times?
We cannot know the day or the hour of the Lord's return but we can recognise the signs of the times. In fact the Lord's injunction is that we should watch for them.
[Mat 24:42 KJV] 42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
It's wrong for us to say that because we don't know when the Lord's coming back we shouldn't be bothered about it. We are supposed to be actively watching for it. More than that we should be be like the wise virgins and be constantly ready and prepared for it.
The following is a list of some of the signs that will accompany the last days before the return of Christ
Signs of the Last Days
There are many signs to look for and we are told in Matt 24:42-44 to be prepared because we don't know when the Lord is coming. This confirms that we are not to be crystal ball gazers trying to foretell the future. The purpose of bible prophecy is for us to be watchers and to recognise the signs when they happen.