Avoid Hell at All Cost

Not everyone believes the Bible, or accepts it as a historic Book dictated and preserved by God. I suppose I could broaden my first statement by saying not everyone believes in God. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t believe in God or accept His Book as being the Instruction Book of the ages.

How to Avoid the Bible’s Hell

By Ron English

Not everyone believes the Bible, or accepts it as a historic Book dictated and preserved by God.  I suppose I could broaden my first statement by saying not everyone believes in God.  I can’t remember a time when I didn’t believe in God or accept His Book as being the Instruction Book of the ages.

In my early years I would have argued for the Bible, but I was not reading it.  I believed in God, bur rarely called on Him.  Perhaps I could say I had a distant respect for the two, the Bible and God, but no real relationship with either.

One old preacher said, “Most people live a guilty distance from God.”  I think that was where I was.  I wasn’t opposed to the Bible in theory or discussion, but I lived in opposition to it.

No one ever stopped me on the street and asked if I was going to Heaven, or asked if I had any interest in Heaven.  Like many kids in my town I attended vacation Bible school and occasionally attended one of the local churches.  Still no spiritual lights came on and no personal worker approached me.  It is safe to say that the big questions found in the Scriptures never troubled me in my early years.

My grandmother talked often of Jesus and made me believe He was important to her.  She loved to read her Bible and she often listened to Christian music.  In later years I would remember her as a saint.  Now, looking back, I sense she planted a few spiritual seed in my mind and heart and watered them.   I am not sure she was aware that was what she did, but I am.

I had an uncle who was dedicated to his church known by the townspeople as Red Hill because of the red clay hill it was built on.  I would one day come to know that congregation as being “hard shells” because of the rigid doctrines they believed.  My uncle was surely a “hard shell” believer.  He was a good man, a devout man, but stern in his understanding of the Scriptures.

It was in the light of that church teaching that I think the subject of Heaven and Hell was first contrasted in my mind.  Some in our town who did not attend that church often joked that the “Hard Shell’s” believed some were going to Heaven and some were going to Hell.  The Heaven bound were chosen by God and they had no real say in the matter.  Those going to Hell were destined for the flames and had no recourse.

Because that contrast was so vivid and that concept so strange I started asking questions.  It made no sense to me that one was consigned for Hell without any choice.  Just as it made no sense to me that God would tag certain ones for Heaven and give them no choice.   I realize now that I was not exactly fair with “Red Hill” and their “Hard Shells.”

I soon realized that people held strong beliefs about all kinds of churches.  The one they attended and the others.  We had several brands of churches.  The next town over from us was larger in population and they had even more churches.  Fifty miles away was an even larger city and still more churches, more denominations.  I knew little of any of them.  But that didn’t keep me from forming opinions about the churches and the people who attended them.

One day I decided if I am ever to make sense of church and churches I should look into the Bible.  To my surprise the Bible said very little about local churches that appeared on nearly every block in our cities.

Somewhere along the line I started attending a local church.  It was not the hunger for the Word of God, but for the association of a young lady who was attending church every Sunday.  Between attending church and hearing the pastor speak from the Bible and from my own reading of the Scriptures certain thoughts began to form in my mind.  I started thinking more of Heaven, the place, and Hell, the place.  I looked in the Bible to learn all I could about both.

I soon learned that I wanted, some day, to go to Heaven and I knew for dead sure I didn’t want to go to Hell.  My spiritual journey lasted for a good long time and I accumulated a good bit of doctrine that resides in my heart until this day.

I learned early how one might avoid Hell.  Here are the simple, but I think true, things that everyone who has an interest in this subject might appreciate.

1. If one is to avoid Hell, he must first realize there is a Hell.
2. Hell is a separation from God and goodness.
3. Hell is a place of torment.
4. Hell is permanent: Once in Hell there is no getting out.
5. I discovered that Jesus spoke more about Hell and judgment than He ever spoke about Heaven.  That fact startled me at the first and continues to amaze me.

There are any number of things I could list about Hell and all of them true from the Bible, but I think it good to move on with our theme, “How to avoid the Bible’s Hell.”

I think the single greatest truth I learned from the Scriptures was that God loved me and didn’t want me to go to Hell.  That was different than any thing I learned from my uncle and the “hard shells.”  God loved me!

The second great truth had to do with the action God took to make sure I could escape Hell.   When I learned that I was condemned to Hell as a sinner by virtue of my birth, you can imagine how relieved I was to learn Jesus died on the cross to pay for my sins.  God’s Son died for me!

God is so loving and generous.  He didn’t just pay for my sins, but He paid for the sins of the whole world.  The debt—my debt and the debt of the world was placed on Jesus at the cross.  The old Gospel hymn, At the Cross, written by Isaac Watts, and Ralph Hudson says:

Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sov’reign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?
o Refrain:
At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

That great song encapsulates the whole idea of the Gospel, the price for sin and the great redemption that Christ provided.  I have come to believe that most of the great doctrines of the Bible that are now so precious to me was first planted in my heart by the repeated singing of hymns like this one.
Avoiding Hell requires one to accept the amazing gift that God provided through Jesus and His death on the cross.  Not just His death, but His resurrection, too.  During that time I discovered J. Wilbur Chapman’s hymn, One Day! that instilled more truth in my heart concerning the work Jesus did.

Living, he loved me; dying, he saved me;
Buried, he carried my sins far away;
Rising, he justified freely, for ever:
One day he’s coming—O, glorious day!

Looking back on my love for the old hymns I find them instrumental in helping me find God’s path to avoiding Hell.  God loves me and has made a way for me to escape Hell and one day, thankfully, live with Him in Heaven.  I realized not everyone is comfortable with this concept, but for me it brings great joy and peace and happiness.

Do you ever have reason to be concerned about Heaven and Hell?  Do you know for sure, if you should die tonight, that you would go to Heaven?  That is a profound question and thought.  Your eternity rests on it.   Notice I did not ask anything about your church affiliation.  I didn’t ask if you had been baptized.  I didn’t ask if you are a good person.  I didn’t even ask if you believe the Bible, or believe in Jesus.

Without a doubt one should believe the Bible.  When you believe the Bible it is understood you will also believe in Jesus.  The Book as a whole is about Him.   “Search the Scriptures; for in them (the Scriptures) ye think ye have eternal life: and they (the Scriptures) are they which testify of me.”  — John 5:39

I hope you will give these matters your undivided attention and come to some determination quickly.   Do you have Eternal Life?  First John 1: 1-5 is rich with wonderful truth about Jesus, the Christ.  John testifies that he and the other disciples saw Jesus with their own eyes; we looked upon Him.  Our hands have touched Him–the Word of life.  He went deeper by saying we have seen that Life and now we bear witness and show everyone that Eternal Life,  that life which was with the Father and that life was manifested unto us.  John said what we have seen and heard we declare unto you.  Why?  So all of us can have fellowship with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ.  Read for yourself the Scriptures where I paraphrased the above remarks.  1John 1:1-5  (I hope you will read all of that chapter).

In the last chapter of First John, Chapter 5, He reports, And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”  (verses 11,12)

Do you have Eternal Life?  Eternal Life is Jesus Christ!  For you to have it–you must be in Jesus Christ.  No exceptions.  No “ifs, ands and buts.”  YOU MUST BE IN CHRIST TO POSSESS ETERNAL LIFE.

How can you become a person who is in Christ?  By believing on Him, the Son of God.  (Verse 10) That word believing means trusting.  You know how to get into a boat.  You know how to get into your car.  You must trust Jesus Christ and be in Him.  You must believe and accept the work He did on the cross.  You must believe that He died for your sins and that He was buried and three days later resurrected from the dead.  He is alive!  Trust Him.  Believe on Him.  Follow Him.

On this blog you will find a number of Bible messages that give great detail on how to be saved and to know you will go to Heaven when you die.  Don’t be lazy–do some research.  Read the sermons.  Read the one by Dr. John R. Rice, “What Must I Do to Be Saved?”  There are some audio messages on this blog.  You can listen to a message.

God has left you a long message in the Bible.  It is the highest form of foolishness to neglect it.   If a rich uncle died and left a Last Will and Testament I believe you would be greatly interested in what he left and to whom he left it.  A greater death took place than a rich uncle–it was the death of God’s Son, Jesus.  He has left you His Last Will and Testament.  Greater riches than silver and gold are left for those who receive Him.  Read it!  Study it!  Love it!  Tell others about it!  By all means–tell your family.  Don’t be left behind.

I would love to hear from you.  Write me Editor@salvationlinks.com and I will be happy to assist you with additional helps.  If you trust the Lord as a result of reading this message please write me and let me rejoice with you.  God bless you.

1That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;

2(For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)

3That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

4And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full

Editor’s Note: The theme for this message was first published in Ezine Articles under the title, “How to Avoid the Bible Hell.”  You can find it by going to www.ezinearticles.com and searching for that title under the author’s name, Ronald English.

Dr. Chapman

“No Difference!”

by Evangelist J. Wilbur Chapman (1859-1918)

“For there is no difference, for all have sinned and come short of the      glory    of God.”– Romans 3:23

This is one of the most difficult statements to receive in all the Bible, and I     can well understand how the unregenerate man would resent its application. I can hear him say, “What! no difference between the man who has fallen to the very lowest depths of sin and wretchedness, and the man who, boasting of his morality, has swerved only a little from the path of duty and the law of God?” And the answer to this question is both “yes” and “no.”

There is a difference and degradation wide as the poles; but “no difference” so far as guilt is concerned, for both have rejected the Son of God, and this is the sin of sins.

If two men were before the court, one charged with a great offence and the other with one of less degree, it would profit the latter man but little to say, “But, your Honor, I am not so great an offender as my companion in misery.” The judge might well reply, “You are both guilty; in that ‘there is no difference,’” and this is the teaching of my text.

God’s Word declares, “He that offends in one point is guilty of all”; not meaning, of course, that he has of necessity broken every law, but he has broken away from God for his transgression. If I am held prisoner by a chain, it is not necessary that I should break every link in the chain that I might go free, but only one and that the very weakest; and so be that offends in one point is guilty of all and nothing less, while he that offends in all points is guilty of all and nothing more. “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

Three important questions grow out of this text as I have considered it. First, I do not ask if you are a sinner, for as we ordinarily use this word, we of one who is lawless, wild and profane. But I ask,

I. Have You Offended in

One Single Point?

If so, “There is no difference.” Man would not say it, I know; but God says it and it is written the Book, and by the Book we shall be judged.

Look at the prodigal. He was as truly a prodigal when he had taken the first step over the threshold of his father’s house, as when afterward you see him sitting in the midst of the swine, and trying to fill his belly with husks which the swine did eat.

He is more degraded in the second picture, but not more guilty.

Look at the leper. He is just as truly dead when the first sign of the dread disease appears, small though it may be, as when afterward you behold him, a loathsome object, sitting outside the city gates, with bandaged mouth, crying “Unclean! Unclean!” He was a leper, however from the first, and by the law dead. This is the teaching of the text. If you have rejected the Son of God, whatever your position, “There is no difference” – all are alike lost.

It is not even a question of great sin. Many a man might plead “not guilty” if such a charge were made; but first of all,

I. Secret Sins

There is a text which declares “our secret sins in the light of His countenance,” and another reads that “All things are naked and open before Him with whom we have to do.” In the light of this, who can stand?

Not long ago in one of the school buildings of Chicago a picture of an eye was placed on the blackboard as an illustration, and in a little time by order of the school board it was painted out, for it had been so perfectly painted that whatever position a child might be in the room that eyes was upon it. The effect was disastrous.

But there is one eye which never slumbers and can never be painted out. “Thou God seest me.” The sin was at midnight. He saw it. It was in New York or London or Paris. He saw it. Thus to the charge of “secret sin” you must plead guilty, and “there is no difference.”

II. Sinful Thoughts

But the charge is even closer. We are responsible for the sinful thought which tarries in the mind by the consent of our will. Who can stand in the light of this?

A distinguished scientist has made the statement, which wise men receive, that if a man stands out in the sunlight and acts, his act, good or bad, flashes away to the sun and a picture which is never lost is made. And if he speaks, the sound bounds away, up and up, far beyond his reach, and makes its record forever. And if he refuses to step into the light, or in the darkness speak a word, this scientist declares that by the very thoughts of his mind certain physical disturbances occur which make a record lasting as time.

I remember sending a telegram in a western city, and shortly after realizing that my message had been wrong, I made my way to the office to recall it.

“Why,” said the operator, with a smile, “it is gone, and is flashing over the wires now, beyond my recall.” So with your sinful thoughts. They bound away, and no man can recall them when once they go.

The answer to this charge must be – “guilty.”

III. Beginning In Sin

Some are beginning NOW. Held by the fascination of the evil one, and lured on by his charms, they are rushing on to Hell. On one of the busiest streets of the gay city of Paris stands a building famous for its beauty. Over the magnificent doorway you may read these words, “Nothing to pay.” The admission is free, the entertainment within is fascinating, and hundreds of young men pass through the portals, the rank and file of them taking their first or last step to Hell.

All sin is dearly bought, for it has Hell back of it. It blights the life, wrecks the character, and blasts the fondest hopes of the soul. And when that awful day comes, and situation is gone, and character lost, and the hearts of loved ones broken, and you are cast a stranded wreck on the shores of time, you will cry out in terror, “O, wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me” – and there will be no deliverance. You will be more degraded then but not more guilty than now, for the chiefest of sins is the sin of unbelief, and that was the cause of your downfall. “There is no difference.” God pity you.

Do you know the Bible description of the end of a career of sin from the world-standpoint? “Weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth.” “Without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whore-mongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.” God save us from such a company. A minister could never lead a man to serious thought until he quoted the text: “The wicked shall be turned into Hell, and all the nations that forget God.”

Great sin humanly speaking is not necessary, but only forget Him and “There is no difference.”

If you have read that remarkable book, “Robert Falconer,” written by George MacDonald, you will remember the dream of the wife of Andrew Falconer. He was a drunkard and after her death, her dream being told him, resulted in his conversion. She said in her letter, which she had written him:

“I thought, Andrew, that the resurrection morn had come, and I was looking everywhere for you. Finally in my wanderings, I came to a great abyss. It was not so very wide, but it was very deep and was filled with blue, like the blue of the sky. On the other side I saw you, Andrew, and I gave a shriek which all the Universe must have heard. Something made me look around. Then I saw One coming toward me. He had a face – O, such a face! fairer than all the sons of men; He had on a garment which came down to His feet; and as He walked toward me, I saw in His feet the print of the nails. Then I knew who He was. I fell at His feet and cried, ‘ O Lord, Andrew, Andrew.’ ‘ Daughter, would you go to him ?’ I said, ‘ Yes, Lord.’ And, Andrew, He took me by the hand, and led out over the abyss, and we came nearer and nearer, until at last we were united, and then He led us back to be with Him forever.”

O, my friends, not in the next world if not in this, but here and now we may be made one in Him, one for time and eternity; but failing here, all hope is gone and there is before us only the blackness of darkness of despair. “For there is no difference.”

The next question is of the greatest importance:

IV. Do You Come Up to

God’s Standard?

It is not enough to be simply a member of the church. “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, and in thy name have cast out devils ? and I will profess unto them, I never knew you” (Matthew 7:22, 23).

We have such a way of measuring ourselves by ourselves that we may feel well satisfied with the result. But how about God’s standard ?

Upon my return home at one time, my wife placed in my hands a piece of paper, written all over, but only two words were intel1igible. At the top of the page was the word ‘carriage’ plainly written; the next word was the same, only not so well written.

It was my little daughter’s first copy-book. The teacher had written the word at the top of the line, and she had done fairly well so long as she had looked at the copy. But she had fallen into the serious error of copying the line just above her work, and the word at the bottom of the page as nearly spelled “man” as “carriage.” Thus people measure themselves by those around them, forgetting that He said, “Look unto me and be ye saved” (Isaiah 45:22).

You may be better than the members of the church; but what doth it profit? You may be the best man in your community, but that does not save.

How about God’s standard?

Her Majesty, the Queen, I am told, frequently issues an order for soldiers to compose her guard. Every man must be at least six feet tall. I can imagine some young Englishmen measuring themselves by themselves, until at last one man in great delight exclaims, “I will surely get in for I am the tallest man in town.” And so he is; but when he stands before her Majesty’s officer, he is rejected, for he is three-quarters of an inch under the mark.

His being taller than his friends profited nothing; they had all fallen short; some more, some less. But “there was no difference.”

And if you turn my question in upon myself, I confess that I do fully come up to the high standard of God; not in myself in any way, far from it – but in Christ; for “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth,” and wherein I fail, He makes up.

It is no point as to whether Adam or Eve were the more sinful; they were both guilty, and “there is no difference.”

The chiefest of all sins is not drunkenness, although that is horrible; it is not licentiousness, although that is vile; it is the rejection of God’s mercy – or the sin of unbelief. “He that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18). And whosoever he be among you – sinner, either great or small, if he fail here, he stands with the condemned, and “there is no difference.”

The last important question is this,

V. What Is the Remedy?

There is another “no difference” which answers the question. “For there is no difference … for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him, for whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:12, 13).

1. It is useless to try by any amount of exertion, or feeling, or even prayer, to bring about faith. I have had my own experience in this. God says in His Word, “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.”

This is a sure way. A college student was greatly troubled spiritually, and was in conference with one of the professors until midnight. Just as he was leaving the house, going out into the darkness, the professor placed in his hands a lantern saying, “Take it, George, it will light you home a step at a time.” And this is what the Bible does.

That lantern did not light up the forests, nor make luminous the landscape; it was not meant that it should; but it made every step bright.

Man was lost by hearing Satan. He can only be saved by hearing God. Plant your feet firmly by faith on one single promise, and God will begin at once to make clear the way if you will only believe Him.

2. To the Philippian jailor’s question, “What must I do to be saved?” Paul’s answer was, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” And there is no respecting of persons, for “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

A friend of mine told me that when he climbed the Matterhorn he was besieged by men, waiting at the base of the mountain, ready to guide him up the difficult way; but the most of them would have never brought him down in safety, for they were simply men out of employment. He very easily, however, secured a safe guide when he said, “Show me your papers.” Then the men who were without them stepped back, while the real guides stepped forward and holding out their papers he read something like this:

“We, the undersigned, have climbed the Matterhorn under the care of such a guide (giving his name), and we commend him to our friends” – and then followed the names of people of great renown at home and abroad, a member of Parliament, a member of Congress, and your personal friend; and my friend at once felt secure because others had made the trip in safety.

It is like that when under condemnation you ask, “What must I do?”

Infidelity attempts an answer; Philosophy makes a vain effort to reply; and Jesus Christ the Son of God comes with the rest. Let me suggest to you the real test. Ask them each, “What have you done?” Demand of each that their papers be shown. Then will He come whose garments are dyed red, whose hands were pierced, and whose heart was broken, who died and rose again that He might become the justifier of all them that believe; and on the very palms of His hands you read the names, John Bunyan, John Newton, Jerry McCauley, and brighter than them all – Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“He hath saved us, and kept us, and in His presence we rejoice with a joy unspeakable and full of glory.”

And this is enough. I for one will say, “Blessed Lord, if You can save others, and I know that You can, You can save me; and I will let You do it now.” Will you join me in this now?

3. To sum it all up, if you would escape condemnation you need simply to

V. Have A Willing Mind

About Salvation

Then by faith accept what He in grace offers you. I have heard Christian workers say to earnest inquirers, “Give your heart to God, and you maybe saved.” But this is unscriptural – at least the order is wrong. Accept first the gift of eternal life, then give yourself, out of gratitude for His goodness.

The first saves you; the second is the first-fruit of your salvation.

When William Dawson, the celebrated street preacher, was conducting a street meeting in London, he was told of a young man in a neighboring house that was dying. He climbed the rickety stairway and stood by the bedside of a young man, a victim of consumption, and just nearing eternity. He found that he was the son of wealthy parents, but that his father had cast him off because of his sin.

When William Dawson said he would intercede with the father in behalf of the son, the boy said it would be useless, for the father had long ago cast him off. And it almost seemed that he was right, for when Mr. Dawson entered the spacious mansion, and mentioned the boy’s name, the father said, “If you have come, sir, to talk of that scapegrace, I shall ask you to leave. He is no son of mine.”

“Well, sir,” said the preacher, “he will not be here long to trouble you, for I left him dying.”

In a moment the man’s whole attitude had changed. “Is he sick? ” he asked. “Is Joseph ill? Then take me to him.”

And soon he was on his knees by the side of the dying boy, his arms about him, and his head pillowed on his breast. All the boy could say was, “Father can you forgive me?” and the strong man could only sob, “O Joseph, my son, my son; I would have forgiven you months ago if you would only have received it.”

My friends, I bring you good news indeed, glad tidings of great joy. “God hath for Christ’s sake forgiven you,” and if you would be saved, you need only to accept His gracious gift. The first “no difference” is discouraging, but the second one is sweeter than honey in the honey comb.

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”

You have read this wonderful message that tells you how to be saved and why you should be saved.  Dr. Chapman was a famous evangelist and then a famous pastor.  Dr. Robert L. Sumner published this message in his publication, The Biblical Evangelist(May-June 2010). Dr. Sumner says of the sermon, “It deals with what has long been a troublesome text to some, especially “good people” hearing for the first time of their desperate need of redemption.”  Dr. Chapman’s pastorates included one of  the largest churches in the country at the time, Bethany Presbyterian in Philadelphia, with members like John Wannamaker, the department store magnate and Postmaster General in the administration of Benjamin Harrison.  We hope you will remember Dr. Chapman for giving Billy Sunday his start in evangelism.  What a gift that was!


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Bible Prophecies Predicting the Coming of Christ

The Old Testament is filled with references to the coming Messiah. Dr. MacArthur has selected several of the key prophecies to present his message. This is a thrilling account of what is yet to happen on this earth. All of the prophecies pointing to the first coming of Christ happened as predicted. These will, too

Read what Peter Stoner, in his book, Science Speaks says about these Bible prophecies.

Prophecies of the Coming Messiah

by Dr. Jack MacArthur

The Old Testament is divided into three great periods: the Mosaic, the Davidic, and the Messianic. The Mosaic Period gives us the great germ of all that later unfolds in the perfect and fragrant bloom of Christ, the “Rose of Sharon,” the “Lily of the Valley.” Its prophecies branch out into particulars which tell us that not only Abraham’s seed, but all the families of the earth are to be blessed in this Coming One. He is to be a prophet like unto Moses, yet clothed with higher authority and gifted with higher wisdom. He is to be a lawgiver, a leader, a ruler, and a redeemer.

In the Davidic Period, the same One is to be a king of war as David, yet a prince of peace as Solomon. His kingdom, however, is to be without succession and without end, which could be true only of a royal order higher than human. In the Messianic Psalms, various aspects of the dignity and divinity of this coming King are set forth.
The Messianic Period is represented by the book of Isaiah, the richest mine of Messianic prophecy in the entire Old Testament. The 40th through 60th chapter is one continuous Messianic poem, in which Christ is depicted in His three offices as Prophet, Priest and King. The prophecies of Isaiah set forth for all ages the character and career of this Servant of God.

Isaiah 9:6, written in 700 B.C., prophesies that a God-child would be born: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful [literally, “Miracle”], Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” The Gospel of John relates the fulfillment: “In the beginning was the Word [Christ], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us …” (John 1:1, 14)

Isaiah 7:14 gives the amazing prophecy that this God-child would be born of a virgin: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” In Matthew 1:18-25 we read that Christ was indeed born of a virgin, named Mary, and that the Holy Spirit (God Himself) was His Father. If it is argued that this prediction of the virgin birth of our Lord was addressed only to the faithless Ahaz, Isaiah 7:13 makes it clear that this prediction was addressed to the whole “house of David.” It was a continuing prophecy addressed to the Davidic family.
Micah 5:2 predicts that the God-man would be born in Bethlehem: “But thou, Bethlehem…out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” Matthew 2 tells of the visit of the Magi (Zoroastrian astrologers who were evidently acquainted with Old Testament prophecy) to Jerusalem, inquiring, “Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.” The answer was prompt and decisive: “In Bethlehem of Judea; for thus is it written by [through] the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, art not the least among the princes of Judah; for out of thee shall come a Governor that shall rule my people, Israel” (Matthew 2:5,6). Here is a definite prediction, definitely understood and just as definitely fulfilled. That it was made in the year 700 B.C. precludes human sagacity. What led Micah to select this one little village among the thousands of Judah? Who could accurately foretell what would take place in any obscure town 700 years after his time? There is only one answer: Micah was divinely inspired by the Spirit of God.

The phrase in Micah’s prophecy, “whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting,” cites the pre-existence of Christ. In John 8:42 Jesus declared that He lived before coming to earth as a man. In John 17:5 He prayed, “…O Father, glorify thou me with…the glory which I had with thee before the world was.”
Jesus’ forerunner was also foretold in Scripture, Malachi 3:1: “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me; and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in; behold he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.” Isaiah 40:3: “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” In Matthew 3:1,2 we read, “John the Baptist [came preaching] in the wilderness of Judea, And saying, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
In 500 B.C. the Prophet Zechariah predicted that Christ would enter Jerusalem as a King riding on an ass: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion, shout, O daughter of Jerusalem, behold thy King cometh unto thee; he is just, and having salvation, lowly, and riding upon an ass…upon a colt, the foal of an ass” (Zechariah 9:9). Matthew 21 tells us that this was exactly how Jesus entered Jerusalem.

Zechariah further predicted that Christ would be sold by His enemies for thirty pieces of silver: “And I said unto them, if ye think good, give me my price, and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver” (Zechariah 11:12). Matthew 26:14, 15 tells us, “Then…Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they bargained with him for thirty pieces of silver.”
At approximately this same date, 500 B.C., Zechariah prophesied that the smiting of the Shepherd (Christ) would cause the sheep to scatter: “… smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered …” (Zechariah 13:7). After Jesus was seized by His enemies, Matthew tells us, “Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled” (Matthew 26:56).
Psalm 35:11 predicts, concerning Messiah, “False witnesses did rise up: they laid to my charge things that I knew not.” Matthew records the fulfillment: “Now the chief priests, and elders…sought false [witnesses] against Jesus to put him to death” (Matthew 26:59.

About 700 B.C. Isaiah wrote prophetically of the humiliation of the Messiah: “I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair. I hid not my face from shame and spitting” (Isaiah 50:6). Matthew writes, “Then they spat in his face, and buffeted him, and others smote him with the palms of their hands…” (Matthew 26:67)
Isaiah 53:7 poignantly pictures the Messiah standing silent before His accusers. “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth.” Matthew 27:12 confirms the fulfillment. “And when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing.”
Josh McDowell, in his book, Evidence That Demands a Verdict, tells us that 29 prophecies from the Old Testament, which speak of the betrayal, trial, death, and burial of our Lord, spoken at various times by many different voices during the five centuries from 100 to 500 B.C., were literally fulfilled in Jesus Christ in one 24-hour period of time.
In connection with Christ’s passion, the inspired Prophet Isaiah wrote, “… he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way, and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:5,6). Matthew confirmed the fulfillment of this prediction when he quoted the words of our Lord—“For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28). Peter further confirmed it when he said, “Who his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree…” (I Peter 2:24).

Again, Isaiah predicted of Christ, “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem his stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted” (Isaiah 53:4). Matthew beautifully tells of Christ’s fulfillment of the first part of this prophecy during His healing ministry on earth; “…he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick, That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah, the prophet, saying, He himself took our infirmities, and bore our sicknesses” (Matthew 8:16, 17). Physical disease in itself is not necessarily the result of personal sin; it is one of the tragic results of man’s original sin and his fall (Rom. 5:12). Thus, Isaiah 53:5,6 prophesies that our Lord would bear our sins on the cross. His death was substitutionary and atoning.

One thousand years before Christ, the Psalmist predicted that our Lord would fall beneath the weight of His cross. His knees would become weak; His flesh would fail. Psalm 109:24, 25: “My knees are weak thr9ough fasting, and my flesh faileth of fatness. I became also a reproach unto them; when they looked upon me, they shook their heads.” John tells us, “And he, bearing his cross, went forth…” (John 19:17). Matthew gives us further word that His strength gave out. “And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name; him they compelled to bear his cross” (Matthew 27:32).

Psalm. 22:15 is an amazing prophecy concerning the Messiah: “they pierced my hands and my feet.” A prophecy yet to be fulfilled says, concerning Israel and its Messiah, “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplications; and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn” (Zechariah 12:10). When these prophecies were written, no one was executed in any manner which involved “piercing of hands and feet.” The Encyclopedia Americana records that crucifixion as a mode of punishment for crime was a part of the Roman system of jurisprudence. The Hebrews inflicted the death penalty by stoning. But when Palestine became a Roman territory, the Hebrews were compelled to adopt the Roman method of crucifixion, No life could be taken supposedly without Roman permission, and all executions were supposed to be carried out by the Roman government. Evidently this was not rigidly enforced, because Stephen was stoned, and there were no recriminations following his death. So Luke 232:33 tells us, “And when they were come to the place which is called Calvary, [or the skull], there they crucified him…”

A fascinating prophecy in Isaiah 53 reads, “… because he hath poured out his soul unto death; and he was numbered with the transgressors …” It is affirmed in Mark 15:28: “And the Scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors.” Matthew 27:38 relates how this prophecy was fulfilled: “Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one of the right hand, and another on the left.” It is amazing that Isaiah should predict that the child who was in reality the Mighty God, would as a man die the death of a criminal among criminals! The only possible explanation is that his message was inspired of God, for no man would have been so presumptuous.
In Psalm. 22:8 the Psalmist predicted that the Messiah would be mocked because of His trust in God, who would be challenged to deliver Him. Matthew records this exact picture in perfect fulfillment. “Likewise also the chief priests, mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others, himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him, for he said, I am the Son of God” (Matthew 27:41-43)

In the same Psalm, the Messiah declares, “…they look and stare upon me” (Vs. 17). Matthew 27:36 reports this actually happening: “And sitting down they watched him there” as He was writhing in agony of the world’s sin.
Speaking for the Messiah, the Psalmist then prophesies that men would “… part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture” (Psalm 22:18). John 19:23,24 answers; “Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part, and also his coat. Now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. They said, therefore, among themselves, Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be…” How could the Psalmist have known this would happen a thousand years before Jesus Christ was born? There is only one answer: his words were inspired by God.

At approximately the same date, the Psalmist boldly declared that men would give the Messiah gall and vinegar to drink, while in His death agony (Psalm 69:21). The Apostle John tells us, “After this Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar; and they filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth” (John 19:28, 29). This was usually given because of its supposed anesthetic effect. Given to criminals, it was an act of kindness; given to the righteous Savior, it was an insult, after what they had done to Him.
Psalm 22:1 records the awesome cry: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46 records the fulfillment: “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a lour voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” During this moment the God-man was feeling the forsakenness that men experience who die in the rejection of God’s love and grace. But the Psalm makes it clear that He was not forsaken of God, for we read in verse 24:”…he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, neither hath he hidden his face from him; but when he cried unto him, heard.” Undoubtedly, this cry must have recalled to the minds of some of the Jews within hearing the cry of Psalm 22, and perhaps it occurred to them that this prophecy was being fulfilled in their presence as Jesus was crucified!

Psalm 31:5 predicted that the Messiah would cry out, “Into thine hand I commit my spirit …” Luke 23:46 records that at the end of His long agony Jesus uttered these very words as a direct fulfillment of the prophecy.
One of the most amazing Messianic prophesies, found in Psalm 34:20, was that none of His bones would be broken. It was the custom following crucifixion that if by sundown those who were hanging on crosses were still alive, their legs were broken to hasten death. But, as the Apostle John informs us, “…when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they broke not his legs …” (John 19:33).

Psalm. 38:11 predicted that the Messiah’s friends and kinsmen would stand aloof from His “sore” (His suffering). The fulfillment is described in Luke 23:49): “And all his acquaintances, and the women that followed him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things.
Psalm 22:14 tells us that the Messiah’s heart would be broken: “… my heart is like wax; it is melted within me.” John 19:34 records: “But one of the soldiers, with a spear, pierced His side, and immediately came there out blood and water.” Physicians explain that this is a sign that Christ’s heart had indeed ruptured within Him. Jesus literally died with a broken heart.
Amos 8:9 foretells the sun’s setting at noon and the earth’s becoming dark on a clear day, which occurred when Jesus was crucified. Matthew 27:45: “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.” The Jews reckoned twelve hours from sunrise to sunset, which would make the sixth hour near noon, and the ninth hour about 3 o’clock in the afternoon. How could Amos have known this eight centuries before it happened? There is only one answer: he knew it because God knew it, and he wrote what God moved him to write.
Seven hundred years before it was fulfilled from the cross, the Prophet Isaiah wrote how the dying Messiah would make intercession for His murderers (Isaiah 53:12). Luke 34:34 records Jesus’ prayer: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”

Again, Isaiah prophesied, “And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death …” (Isaiah 53:9). Matthew details the fulfillment: “The thieves also, who were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth” (Matthew 27:44). Then, in verses 57-60, he relates that Christ made His grave with the rich: “…there came a rich man of Arimathea, named Joseph, who … begged the body of Jesus.” “And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, And laid it in his own new tomb …”
Christ’s resurrection is seen in the amazing prophecy of Psalm 16:10. “For thou wilt not leave my soul in sheol, neither wilt thou permit thine Holy One to see corruption.” The Apostle Peter quoted these words in Acts 2:29-31: “Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch, David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher is with us unto this day. Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his [David’s] loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne. He, seeing this before, spoke of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hades, neither his flesh did see corruption.” Indeed, Christ’s body saw no corruption, for on the third day He rose literally, physically, and bodily from the dead!
As Peter declared, we have “a more sure word of prophecy” unto which we should all take heed. No one can begin to explain the hundreds of amazingly accurate Messianic prophecies fulfilled to the letter in Jesus Christ without admitting the divine authorship of the Word of God.

Peter Stoner, in his book, Science Speaks, tells us that using the modern science of mathematical probability, in reference to only eight prophecies concerning the Messiah, the probability that any man might have lived down to the present time and fulfilled all eight prophesies, is 1 in 1017. That would be 1 chance in 100,000,000,000,000,000.
To help us comprehend this staggering probability, Stoner illustrates it by supposing that we take 1017 silver dollars and spread them out on the face of Texas. They would cover the entire state two feet deep. Now put a mark on just one of those silver dollars, then mix the whole mass up thoroughly, all over the state. Blindfold a man and instruct him that he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up that one silver dollar and say that it is the right one.
What chance would he have of finding the right one? The same chance that the Old Testament prophets would have had of writing these eight prophecies and having the come true in any one man, providing they wrote in their own wisdom.

These prophecies, then, were either given by inspiration of God, or the prophets just wrote them from their own imagination. In such case they had just 1 chance in 1017
of having them come true in any one man. But they all were realized in Jesus Christ!
And not only eight prophecies, but hundreds more!

Taken from The Biblical Evangelist edited by Dr. Robert L. Sumner