Prophecy may not be a major factor in the way many moderns conceive of the Christmas story. But it was clearly a vital strain for both Luke and Matthew, who each took up that chorus and peppered their Nativity accounts with allusions and references to prophecies fulfilled by the birth of Jesus.
And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. KJV
Once again we are looking at the concept of judgment for our works. Plainly stated, we will be judged for our works, not our good intentions. What we do; not what we intended to do.
This time, however, we are coming from the book of Revelation. I am not ashamed to admit that this book is baffling to me.
Yes, there are many who have written and preached long and eloquently from the contents of this book. There are also many who have endeavored to explain the entire book from beginning to end.
I have read dispensational works, so-called Kingdom writers, and Calvinistic authors. I always come away with the same feeling: not yet. This isn’t it.
Oh, there is always truth to be gained from any of these servants of the Lord. But, a full understanding of all this book contains has not yet come to me.
There can be many reasons for this:
- I’m thickheaded
- I don’t believe
- My heart’s not right
- It’s not my time
- God has not revealed it to me
When I err in understanding the Word, it is generally on the side of caution. The pharisees had it all figured out about how the messiah would come–and they missed it. Although Jesus came according to the Scriptures, and we can see it clearly from hindsight, the Jews missed the reality that was before them. They failed to see because they thought they saw (John 9:41). I do not want to be in that crowd.
I want to be like Peter. Peter, uneducated as he was, knew the Scriptures. He knew what was in them, what was written. He probably did not know what they meant in many cases. But he knew what was written. So, when the “day of Pentecost was fully come,” (Acts 2:1) and the signs and wonders began to appear, Peter was able to relate it to what he had heard–“This is that!” (v. 16)
I want to be so familiar with the Word that when something happens, I can say, “This is that.”
If I get my ‘boxes’ all figured out, I will certainly miss out on the reality, because God simply will not be boxed in by our concepts.
That is the lesson I have learned about anticipating God in the fulfillment of prophecy.