This month we're offering a brand new class, called Prophecy: Fact or Fiction. It's perfect for busy, thinking people--as it goes right to the point without pulling punches. For this week's memo I decided to share a bit of testimony and explain why prophecy is so important to me...
In Pursuit of EvidenceBy Dan Vis
April 08, 2019
The Start of a QuestI didn't have a lot of exposure to Christianity growing up. And it wasn't until I went off to college that I had my first real experience with young people who were serious about their faith. I became friends with a number of guys in my dorm unit who were part of one of the Christian student groups on campus. And I was rather astonished to observe the measure of raw commitment in their lives.
It got me thinking. While there had always been a kind of background exposure to Christianity, I had never taken it very seriously, and it had little or no impact on my life. But now I was confronted with young guys, my own age, who based everything they did on a book written some 2000 years prior. A book claiming its central character was God incarnate. And that He had come to this world to die in my place, to pay the wages for my sin. It all sounded so strange, but these friends clearly believed it.
Actually, they did more than just spark questions in my mind. They lived lives that were strangely magnetic. There was a joy that radiated out through their day to day trials, a kindness that governed their words and interactions, a peace that seemed to flow from a deeper sense of purpose. There was something about their lives that drew me in.
But I also had questions. There were a lot of other religions in the world after all. How could I know the Bible really was true. That all the supernatural stories it reported really did take place. Was there anything to set it apart from the sacred writings in all those other religious traditions?
What I was looking for, was hard evidence.
A Lousy DetectiveObviously, I wasn't much of a detective or I would have found the proof I needed a whole lot quicker. But I distinctively remember asking some of these friends how they knew what they believed was true. And their answer was pretty much the same: the only real proof I have is what Jesus has done for me.
Now I would never want to minimize someone's personal experience, but this wasn't enough for me. It all sounded far too subjective, anecdotal, and circumstantial. I was sure I could find adherents in other religions with equally impressive testimonies of how their religion had changed their life. And so eventually I concluded, if they couldn't provide real evidence, that evidence must not exist.
And as a result, I ended up losing interest in Christianity, and proceeded to head down a fully secular, and spiritually bankrupt spiral for another year or two.
A Second ChanceBut praise God, He knows our hearts! And He never fails to spot an honest seeker and put some opportunity to discover truth in their path. That happened to me in a used book store, where I just "happened" to pick up a thick book on the life of Christ, called the Desire of Ages.
I was pretty much looking for answers in all the wrong places at this point, but something about the title caught my attention, and being an avid reader, I threw it in my basket along with all the other books I was getting, without looking at it too closely. And one day, when I was pretty much out of anything else to read, I picked it up and started into it.
It grabbed me from the start--but not for the reasons people typically give. The beautiful language. The deep insights into the words of Jesus. The careful harmonization of all four gospels. No, what grabbed me was the evidence.
You see, that book turned out to be a masterpiece of Bible prophecy. Virtually every page connected something Jesus did with some Old Testament prophecy. The types hidden in all the old Bible stories, the rituals of the ceremonial services, the explicit predictions about the life of the Messiah--it was all woven together in a powerful way.
The more I read, the more convinced I was that there had to be something to it. The idea some two dozen writers spread out over a thousand years could each predict striking details about a coming future Messiah, and then that all those predictions would be perfectly fulfilled in the life of one man--well that requires something out of the ordinary. Something supernatural. Something divine.
“The idea two dozen writers spanning centuries could all predict details about a coming Messiah, and then that all those predictions were perfectly fulfilled in one man--well that requires something out of the ordinary.”
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The more I read, the more compelling the evidence became. Until finally it overwhelmed my defenses--and I found faith. Not blind faith. Not faith based on some emotional high, or happenstance, or background. No, it was a faith rooted in incontrovertible evidence. And in the many years since, that evidence has only grown stronger, and with it my assurance and conviction it has to be true.
Discovering the evidence of Bible prophecy proved a turning point in my life. The beginning of an amazing adventure. An adventure filled with even richer and more profound insights and discoveries. I have never looked back, or regretted taking that step of faith.
“The evidence of Bible prophecy proved a turning point in my life. The beginning of an amazing adventure.”
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Others Are Still SeekingMy experience is not unique. The fact is, there are probably people in your life right now, wondering if there really is something to your faith. Individuals wavering in uncertainty and doubt: Is there really a God? Is the Bible really true? Can Jesus really make a difference in my life? Or is it all a bunch of hocus pocus and mumbo jumbo?
They are looking for answers. For evidence. Hard evidence. And God has called us to give it to them. We are to "be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you" (I Peter 3:15But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:). The evidence of prophecy.
Jesus himself, proved his resurrection to the skeptical disciples in this way: "beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself" (Luke 24:27And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.). Years later, Peter wrote this prophetic evidence was "more sure" than being "eyewitnesses" of the life of Christ (II Peter 1:19,16We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: . . . We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:).
There are people still seeking today, looking wistfully to heaven for this kind of evidence. And thousands more who have given up all hope of finding it. Thousands heading down their own secular, and spiritually bankrupt spirals. Who will offer them the evidence they so desparately need?
CommentsIs your faith rooted in hard evidence? Or are your reasons more subjective, anecdotal, circumstantial? Do you feel equipped to share the prophetic evidence for Christ with others? How important is it to have an answer for our faith?
|Posted by Dan Vis on 11/26/22|
|Maybe by the time that class is ready Daniel, you'll be ready to take it. :)|
|Posted by Daniel on 11/26/22|
|Like you I am overloaded for many months to come so the comment was more of a wish because reality is dictating otherwise.|
|Posted by Daniel on 11/23/22|
|I love evidence to secure my faith like archaeology etc. I love apologetics - not that i can do it but love hearing those that can.
|Posted by Robert Gonzales on 11/22/22|
|I do not feel equipped to share the prophetic evidence with others. I need to take that class on project . It is vitally important to give an answer for your faith .|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 11/16/22|
|Those are some amazing experiences Sam, and no doubt they confirmed your faith. Some people need something more objective, if they are skeptical to start out with. But these things definitely feed our souls, don't they?|
|Posted by John Gilmore on 04/11/19|
|Thank you, Dan, for writing your testimony. For my wife and me, prophecy was also key in providing the evidence we needed. Prophecy turned her from atheism and me from agnosticism. Praise God for the solid evidence!|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 04/08/19|
|What a wonderful testimony Pam! Praise God for these faithful prophecy teachers who continue to revive church after church, month after month!
What a great story about your grandmother Carole. As for the flooding, things have finally started receded. It was close, but praise God, it's looking better. Job 38:11And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed? is a new favorite verse for me!
|Posted by Carole Bliss on 04/08/19|
|Praying you home won't have flooding issues
God Bless you and your family
|Posted by Pamela Kendall on 04/08/19|
|I have been attending a 4 week prophecy seminar/evangelistic series at my church (we are into our last week now). I was briefly tempted not to attend since I have heard many of these things before as I grew up SDA and I also attended a prophecy seminar last year, but I am so glad I have been going as I often glean new nuggets and see additional scripture "evidence" I had not seen before as the evangelist uses new verses I had not noticed. I have been impressed with how truly compelling and powerful the evidence is for our faith - and it is faith strengthening to hear it again!
I am also impressed with how eager some of our visitors are to learn these things. I am a shy person by nature and have almost always been afraid to "share my faith" or invite people to evangelistic meetings, hand out books or pamphlets, etc because I fear the people will not be interested or that I will be "bothering them" or even worse fear of what they will think of me but I am coming to realize that although not everyone will be interested, there are people out there who are longing and praying for truth and evidence, and an invitation to a prophecy seminar, handing out a pamphlet, or sharing something could actually be a means God could use to answer to their prayer... and failing to share out of fear of rejection could actually keep them waiting and searching longer... I want I Peter 3:15But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: to become a reality in my life. (Interestingly I Peter 3:14But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; - the previous verse says not to be afraid... and Romans 1:16For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. also goes along with it.)
I will probably take the FAST prophecy class advertised here after the meetings are over and when I will have a little more time.
|Posted by Marion Coppock on 04/08/19|
|Karen I will pray that you find Jesus. Spend much time on your knees, praying reading the story of the crucifixion of Jesus. He did so much for you and me. You will fall in love with Him.|
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