In the 1950’s bold predictions appeared in a popular magazine that said by the year 2000 flying cars would be a common thing. Even though there have been some prototypes and recently drones and driverless autos, we are still a long way from seeing the fulfillment of that prediction. We were told a few years ago that we would soon become a “paperless society.” I had cause to doubt that statement as I spent about 2 hours recently shredding old receipts and documents. Predictions, promises, and proclamations sometimes seem to meld into one single entity. In spite of having the technology and funding necessary to accomplish a project, the timing often affects the reality. It is probably the eager reporter rather than the scientists and engineers who proclaim these innovations. So many events—wars, weather and economy, can frustrate what once seemed such a sure thing.
So very different are the predictions (prophecies) promises and proclamations of the Godhead. From the beginning of the Old Testament through Revelation, God’s plan has always been accomplished on His timetable. Because of the sin of Adam and Eve, He declared that death and hardships would afflict humans (Gen 3: 16-19). He made a proclamation to Noah that He would destroy all people on earth with a flood because of their violence and corruption (Gen 6: 13, 17). It took a long time for Noah to build the ark (Gen 5: 32) (Gen 7: 11) but God’s promise was fulfilled and only 8 people survived the flood (Gen 8: 15). He also promised that there would never again be such a flood and set a rainbow in the clouds as a sign (Gen 9: 11-16) which remains to this day.
Many of the Old Testament prophets declared the predictions of God and warned of the doom to come if there was no repentance (Jer 5: 1). Jeremiah spent most of his life warning the people of Judah of the exile into Babylon which was carried out by Nebuchadnezzar a few years later (Jer 25: 8-11). However, Isaiah wrote of God’s best promise to mankind—the Christ child who would fulfill His eternal plan for the salvation of mankind (Isa 9: 6-7) (Jo 3: 16). Of course, as is the case with all of God’s predictions, promises and proclamations, this was fulfilled in God’s appointed time (Gal 4: 4) (Lk 2: 5-12) (2 Tim 1: 9-10).
God still makes His promises to us today which will also be fulfilled at the right time. Some, such as the forgiveness of sin and the entry into Christ’s church (Acts 2: 38-39) (Acts 2: 44-47), are available now. Others, such as eternal life with the Godhead, will be realized soon just like all the other promises have been (Rev 21: 1-4).