Can the Future Be Accurately Predicted?
Prophets of gloom and doom we've always had. If we heeded them all, we'd be in for many a surprise. The following "things that won't happen" predictions reported in Newsweek1 are testimony to this.
Barely three years before it actually happened, Dr. Lee De Forest, inventor of the Audion tube, and a father of radio, claimed that "[Man will never reach the moon] regardless of all future scientific advances." He said this on 25 February 1967!
In 1911 Marshal Ferdinand Foch, French military strategist and World War 1 commander said, "Airplanes are interesting toys but had no military value."
And how about this one from Charles H Duel, U.S. Commissioner of Patents in 1899: "Everything that can be invented has been invented!"
"The horse is here to stay, but the automobile is only a novelty—a fad," a president of the Michigan Savings Bank said to Horace Rackham, Henry Ford's lawyer, in 1903, advising him not to invest in the Ford Motor Co. Rackham disregarded the advice, bought $5,000 worth of stock, and sold it for $12.5 million several years later!
In 1962 Decca Records rejected the Beatles saying, "We don't like their sound. Groups of guitars are on the way out."
Popular Mechanics in 1949 predicted that "Computers in the future may perhaps weigh only 1.5 tons!" And Kenneth Olsen, president and founder of Digital Equipment Corp. said in 1977 that "There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home."
Man will never reach the moon
regardless of all future scientific advance.
Then there have been numerous predictions of future events that would take place. Some have. Most haven't. With the end of the second millennium having now arrived and passed, some have predicted the end of the world. Apparently many predicted the same thing at the end of the first millennium. And all the years in between people have predicted that Jesus Christ would return and that the world would come to an end. Is there any way to know if this will happen or not?
First, we do have the promise of Christ's return; that is, His second coming. Every prophet in the Old Testament section of the Bible (except for Jonah) makes reference to the end of this world age and/or the return of Jesus Christ. Jesus himself promised that He would return. When His disciples wanted to know about the end of the world, Jesus said, "Let not your heart be troubled. … I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go … I will come again."2
Angels also promised that Jesus would come again. Immediately following His ascension to heaven, two angels appeared to Christ's followers and said, "You men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus … shall so come in like manner as you have seen Him go into heaven."3
And then almost every writer in the New Testament section of the Bible gave the same promise. According to one scholar, there are 308 references to Christ's return in the New Testament alone. Throughout the Bible, over and over, God warns us of the end of this world age, the judgment to come, and the promise of Christ's return for His followers. This theme pulsates throughout the Bible right down to the last book, the last chapter, the last page, and the closing paragraph where Christ says, "Surely I am coming soon."4
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