An Appeal To Prophecy
By Hal Lindsey
In the last few years, there has been a disturbing movement in the Church to disregard or even disavow the Old Testament. It’s part of a misguided attempt to make God’s message more “agreeable” to modern minds. But Jesus and the New Testament are intrinsically linked to the Old Testament. The Lord tied His own credibility to that of the Old Testament. He proved His authenticity through an appeal to Old Testament prophecy.
In John 5:39, Jesus said to the religious leaders of His day, “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.” [NKJV]
Luke 24:27 describes how Jesus spoke to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. It says, “Beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself.” [NIV]
The New Testament hadn’t been written down yet. Jesus showed them how He had been revealed in the Old Testament. Through the prophets, God had long before given key details about the life of Jesus. According to GotQuestions.org, “Conservatively, Jesus fulfilled at least 300 prophecies in His earthly ministry.” That number is indeed conservative. The real number may be closer 500.
Use of Old Testament prophecy in the presentation of the Gospel began with the first sermon of the Church age. On the day of Pentecost, Peter began his sermon with a long quote from the Book of Job. The authenticity of the Christian message is rooted in the prophetic message of the Old Testament.
Revelation 19:10 says, “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” [NKJV]
In Acts 10, Peter preached another historic sermon. In bringing Gentiles into the Christian fold, Peter said of Jesus, “He is the one all the prophets testified about.” [New Living Translation] This time, Peter was not preaching to Jewish believers, but to Gentiles. Yet he still linked Jesus to the prophetic message of the Old Testament.
Many who want to witness for Jesus have been tied up in knots because they keep hearing that you can only use the Bible when speaking to people who already believe. Hebrews 4:12 proves that wrong. It says, “The word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” [NKJV]
A surgeon doesn’t have to convince his patient that his scalpel is sharp. He uses the scalpel no matter what the patient believes. We should wield the word with that same confidence. It is alive and sharp, piercing to the innermost parts of human beings — including unbelievers.
If you love Jesus, don’t throw away the great and precious Old Testament record of God’s actions, His words, and even His thoughts. That record testifies of Him.