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December 16, 2006

One in one hundred quadrillion

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Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14, NKJV

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Mathew 1:23, NKJV

Little do many people know that in the book of Isaiah, the Lord had spoken to King Ahaz regarding a sign of the coming Messiah, the virgin birth of Jesus Christ. This was foretold approximately 800 years before the birth even occurred. What are the chances that even something you or I say, as a prediction, would be exactly as we say it will happen even eight days from now? Who can predict the winner of the next presidential election? Well that might be easy when we are left with just two candidates, but how about predicting the exact number of votes that each candidate would receive on election day? We cannot and the odds are too great I am sure, to even calculate how accurate one would have to be.

Let’s look at the Powerball lottery for example. Everyone is familiar with it and most people have purchased a lottery ticket at some point in their lives and everyone hopes to be the sole winner too. If you say you have never purchased a lottery ticket, even a charity raffle is a lottery ticket. As of this writing the current jackpot is valued at $43 million. The odds of being the sole winner of the $43 million jackpot are 1 in 146,107,962. Pretty slim odds of winning too.

Think about it for a second. There is a 1 in 146,107,962 probability of having the exact and only set of numbers to win Powerball. Yet the birth of Christ was foretold by the prophet Isaiah 800 years exactly as it were to happen. What is the probability of being exactly right in predicting a virgin birth and that He is also the Son of God?

In his book, Science Speaks, Peter Stoner applies the modern science of probability to just eight prophecies regarding Christ. He states, “The chance that any man might have ...fulfilled all eight prophecies is one in 10 to the 17th power. That would be 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000.” (one hundred quadrillion)

Stoner suggests if, “we take 10 to the 17th in silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas, they will cover all of the state 2 feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly... Blindfold a man and tell him he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up that one marked silver dollar. What chance would he have of getting the right one?”

Stoner concludes, “Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing those eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man, providing they wrote them in their own wisdom. (Source unknown)

The fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy in the birth of Jesus Christ is compelling, and the four Gospels offer numerous accounts of Old Testament prophecies fulfilled in the Person of Jesus Christ. Here are just a few that are listed in the Billy Graham Training Center Bible (p. 627):

  • Christ would be descended from King David’s family (Psalm 89:3, 4; see Mark 12:35-37; John 7:42)
  • He would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14; see Matthew 1:23)
  • He would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2; see John 7:42)
  • He would make a triumphant entry into Jerusalem (Zechariah 9:9; see Matthew 21:5)
  • The soldiers would cast lots for His garments (Psalm 22:18; see Matthew 27:35)
  • His dying words were foretold (Psalm 22:1; see Matthew 27:46)
  • He would die with criminals (Isaiah 53:9, 12; see Luke 22:37)
  • His death would be for the salvation of all people (Isaiah 53:6; see 1 Corinthians 15:3)
  • He would rise from the dead the third day (Psalm 16:8-11; Hosea 6:1,2)
  • Jesus confirmed the resurrection referring to past Scriptures (Luke 24:46)
  • Peter confirmed it by quoting David’s prophecy (Acts 2:25-32)

There is not another book that has foretold the future more accurately, than the Bible. As the birth of Christ was foretold and fulfilled, so will His return be, as was witnessed by the apostles on the day He was "taken up into heaven." (Acts 1:11)

There is little doubt regarding the accuracy of the Bible, the fulfillment of its prophecies and of Jesus’ imminent return.

How certain could you feel about these words that Jesus said that were recorded by the apostle John, if everything else about Him is true too, “In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:2-3, NIV)

God does not want anyone to take any chances regarding their eternal life. He wants each person to have the absolute assurance of heaven when the time of death here on earth comes and life in eternity begins. You have the power of choice, the free will that God has given to choose the destination of eternal life. The choice of either heaven or hell and God says that we should choose life (Deuteronomy 30:19, NKJV)

Because of Adam’s sin against God in the Garden of Eden, judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation (Romans 5:18), but through Jesus Christ we have been justified as righteous, or innocent from God's judgment of sin, by the gift of God’s grace, through faith in Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:18, Ephesians 2:8-9).

Sin is what separates us from God and He reconciled us to himself, by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh.” (Romans 8:3).

Don’t take a chance of leaving your eternal destiny in your own hands. Heaven and hell are absolute certainties. The choice is up to you and God is your greatest advocate for the most important decision in your life.

"And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15, NKJV

References:

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Probability of Prophecies Fulfilled

The Billy Graham Training Center Bible, Time-Tested Answers to Your Toughest Questions. (2004). Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Links:

Prophecies that Jesus Christ Fulfilled

Prophecies of the Old Testament Fulfilled in Jesus Christ

1 comment:

Gaysha Lawrence said...

Hello Brother -

Thank you for faithfully sharing biblical truths with modernity. It allows the reader to apply the message to themselves and the times we live in.


The door to Christ is open if any man would respond to the call, but it is closing. It is written" Seek the Lord while he may be found call upon him while He is yet near...(Isaiah 55:1) It is indeed a gamble to think we will always have a chance to be in Him. In that sentence alone it tells us there is an opportunity,but also there will come a time when there will no longer be an opportunity.

May the Lord continue to knock on the door of the hearts of the Lost and may he send revival to his church.