Of Prophecy and Football

I.         We all know that there are fairly wild predictions concerning the future.

            A.        The prophecies in the Bible are often used to support these off the wall claims.

            B.        One of the reasons why we have been studying Revelation is so you know what the Bible actually says.

II.        Consider this page from a web page by Jack Van Impe

            A.        Dramatic stuff isn’t it?

            B.        Captures your imagination, even when you know this can’t be right

            C.        Rather than pick this verse by verse, let me illustrate the overall error of Mr. Van Impe’s method by another example.

            D.        If you want, we can get other football teams:

                        1.         Hosea 13:7-8 “so I will be like a lion to them, like a leopard I will lie in wait. I will encounter them like a bear robbed of her cubs . . .”

                                    a.         Let’s see – The Detroit Lions, the Chicago Bears, and either the Carolina Panthers or the Jacksonville Jaguars

                        2.         We have special warnings for Denver Bronco fans

                                    a.         “A horse is a vain hope” - Psalms 33:17

                                    b.         “Woe to those who . . . rely on horses” - Isaiah 31:1

            E.        No, the Bible doesn’t talk about football, but you can make it seem like it does – at least on the surface.

                        1.         But look what I did, I took a series of unrelated passages.

                        2.         I ignored the context, both biblical and historical

                        3.         I came up with interpretations which were both fanciful and ignored the way prophetic language is used in the Bible.

                        4.         This is exactly what Jack Van Impe, and Hal Lindsey, and the writer of the Bible Code, and so many others are doing.

III.       Now, let us go back and look at some of the passages Mr. Van Impe used.

            A.        Psalms 97:1-6 - The fire going forth is a metaphor describing the power of God’s judgments. It is not even prophetic!

            B.        Isaiah 66:10, 14-16 - Speaks of God’s judgement on the enemies of Jerusalem.

            C.        Ezekiel 20:44-49 - Ezekiel is speaking of the judgement of God against Israel. I am certain that God is not talking about His plans to drop nuclear bomb on the southern forests of Judah.

            D.        Zephaniah 1:18 sounds ominous until you see that it is discussing Judah in Zephaniah 1:4.

            E.        The most flagrant misuse of scripture is Joel 2:30. Let us read the context - Joel 2:28-32

                        1.         Jack says Russian army engaging the army of modern Israel.

                        2.         The apostle Peter has a different explanation - Acts 2:1-7, 12, 14-21

                        3.         Who would you rather believe?

IV.      Prophetic writings in the Bible take more work to understand than many of the plain teachings in the Bible, but it is not impossible.

            A.        Nor is it an excuse to twist passages to suit ones fancy - II Peter 3:14-18

            B.        Not that unprincipled men stick with twisting prophecy. They cannot even get the clear teachings of the Bible on salvation correct.

            C.        Do not be like them, but follow after the teachings of God.


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So the Bible does teach that ther will be a nuclear war during the Tribulation?

Definitely! A third part of men [was] killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the birmstone (Revelation 9:18) (the exact effects of a nuclear blast). Again: A third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up (Revelation 8:7). These scriptures clearly reveal a judgment of fire taking place upon earth during the Tribulation. There's more: A fire goeth before him (Psalm 97:3). For, behold, the Lord will come with fire isaiah 66:15). The flaming flame shall not be quenched (Ezekiel 20:47). A fire devoureth before them (Joel 2:3). Who? The northern army -- the Russian army -- that moves against Israel. When they are driven back, the prophet says, I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke (Joel 2:30). the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy (Zephaniah 1:18). For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven (Malachi 4:1).

Therefore, both the Old and New Testaments are in agreement concerning a nuclear holocaust.

[Reproduced from http://www.jvim.com/cgi-bin/FAQ.cgi?Question0303 on May 13, 1999. Typing mistakes as found on the original page.]


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Q : Does the Bible foretell that the San Francisco 49ers will beat the New Orleans Saints in the Louisiana Superdome?

A : Definitely! Daniel 11:40 says the king of the north shall come against the king of the south like a whirlwind and overwhelm them. Further, Daniel 11:15 says the forces of the north shall not withstand the king of the north. These scriptures reveal a conflict between two groups, one from the north and one from the south. But what kind of conflict? The battle will be accompanied by a tumultuous noise, like that of many people (Isaiah 13:4). This suggests a sporting event. Further, we are told that their foreheads are made like Adamant stone that is harder than flint (Ezekiel 3:8-9); obviously a reference to football helmets. We also learn that the sky, like a crystal, is stretched out over their heads (Ezekiel 1:22); what else, but a domed stadium? But who are the teams? The ones who are overcome are the saints (Revelation 13:7). Their apparel is red and the valiant men are in scarlet (Isaiah 63:2, Nahum 2:3). A child shall lead them (Isaiah 11:6). A child is a young person. What young person will lead the saints? Why Steve Young.

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