It was June 2018 and I was giving out invitations to gospel meetings that were being held in the area. I knocked a door and a young man answered. When I told him what I was there for, he told me that a World Cup match was going to start soon and as soon as it started our conversation would finish.
I asked him did he ever give any thought to what happens after death. He told me he didn’t because there was no way you could really know. I agreed that left to ourselves we couldn’t really know, but I don’t think we’ve been left to ourselves. I told him I thought there was good reason to believe the Bible was God’s word. At that point he jumped in and said, “No one can prove that.” I told him I would like to have a go, and it would only take a minute.
I read to him the following verses from Psalm 22:14-18:
I am poured out like water, and all My bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; it has melted within Me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and My tongue clings to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of death.
For dogs have surrounded Me; the congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet; I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me. They divide My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.
I asked him did he know what this passage was about, and he had no trouble telling me it was about the crucifixion of Jesus. There’s no doubt about it, and we looked at some details from the rest of the psalm to establish this.
“So, what’s the point?” he asked.
“The point is, this passage was written about 1000 years before the birth of Christ, and hundreds of years before crucifixion was invented.”
He hadn’t realised this. I told him that this was only one of the many fulfilled prophecies the Bible contains.
I said to him, “Imagine I told you what the score was going to be of this match you’re about to watch, and you watch the match and I get it right. I then tell you what the scores will be of all the group games, and I get them all right. Then we go to the knockout stages, and I accurately foretell the score of every match right up to the semi-final. What would you think then if I told you what the score was going to be in the final?”
He said, “If you got it right at every stage along the way, I would be a fool to bet against you for the final.”
I couldn’t have put it any better. I told him that the Bible has got it right at every stage along the way, and so he would be a fool to bet against it for the final – it tells us death isn’t the end, there is a God to meet, an eternity to face, a heaven and a hell, and because of the wrong we’ve done we aren’t going to heaven, and that the only way of salvation was through the Lord Jesus. We looked at another Old Testament prophecy that tells us not only how the Lord Jesus would die, but why:
Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:4-6)
The Bible has proven itself to get it right when it talks about the future. Don’t bet against it – the stakes are too high.
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