From Jim O'Brien
August 11, 2017

Hi Friend,

Predicting the Future

Who can tell what tomorrow will bring? Even the pollsters are confused by who wins an election and why their research was miserably wrong.

It's a worldwide problem that affects all of us. During a period of fluctuations in fuel prices when gas was hovering just above $3 per gallon, and that was $1 less than the previous week, the news reported a sudden and dramatic increase in the price of crude oil. I did the reasonable and prudent thing-brought out some empty gas cans from the garage, took them to the station and filled them in anticipation of the price increase. A month later the cans were still there filled with $3 a gallon gas when the pump price was $1.62. In frustration I put the $3 per gallon gas in the tank when the station down the street was selling it for about half that.

Predicting the future is more difficult than uttering words. Words are easy. Prophecy is not.

Even a sincere person can make the wrong call. Often professionals, with sophisticated equipment, predict events incorrectly. Just watch the evening news and count the times the weather man predicts heavy snowfall and there is only a dusting. By contrast, a few years ago the remnant of a gulf hurricane came through Cincinnati and with winds so severe that ninety per cent of homes lost electricity. Not one of the major news channels predicted such an effect.

We hire financial experts to tell us where to invest and when. But they all make mistakes that wreak havoc on personal retirement plans as well as national economies.

Even the parents of Jesus faced this dilemma after they left their home and fled to Egypt to keep their son from being killed by the tyrant Herod. A few years later Herod died and an angel told Mary and Joseph to return to Israel. But when they learned that Herod's son was in power they stopped and sought more information from the angel. Why didn't the angel warn them that Herod's son was ruling? Why did they have to change course in the middle of the trip?

The moral of the story is that no one knows all the thoughts of God-even the most sincere of men. When the disciples asked Jesus when he would return he replied, "No man knows the hour or the day, but the Father in Heaven."

Whenever a person proclaims himself to be a prophet of God red flags go up. There are so many scriptures talking about false prophets

Whether a person can predict the future or not makes less difference than whether a person is living within the Spirit of God. Jesus warned that, "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." Such a statement concerns us but the next is shocking. Jesus went on to say, "Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'" (Matthew 7:21-23)

Some of the same people Jesus will reject are making predictions now. And some of them are prophesying correct events. After all, many people are predicting a global economic catastrophe in the near future. It's reasonable to assume that a worldwide depression will lead to food shortages, health problems, and even war. Even Satan could prophesy those things.

Is it possible to have a close relationship with Jesus Christ and not understand world events? When believers stand before Jesus Christ will there be some in that throng who had little understanding of prophecy?

The Apostle Paul wrote, "If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing." (1 Corinthians 13: 2-3)

Everyone may not have the gift of understanding the future. But everyone can show love for God and for his brother.

Until next time,

Jim O'Brien