When your predictions come true in the moral sphere, this makes you less believable, not more. And when all your predictions come true, you are guilty of hate crimes.
There were two basic elements of the prophets’ vocation to Israel. One was that of foretelling, and the other was that of forthtelling. The first predicted the future, and it was the calling card of the true prophet. “Tell us what is to come hereafter, that we may know that you are gods; do good, or do harm, that we may be dismayed and terrified” (Is. 41:23, ESV; Deut. 18:21-22). This is how a prophet would establish his bona fides to the satisfaction of anyone who had integrity.
The forthtelling spoke to the people about their standing before God in the present (Is. 40:27). Prophecy in this sense was simply good preaching. Sometimes the people repented, and other times they did not. That repentance, when it happened, was itself a gift of God. When they did not repent, all the true predictions in the world would not soften a hard heart.
What prophet was more vindicated in the event than Jeremiah was? And yet, when he was down in Egypt with the refugees of Israel, it was always possible for someone to make a contrary claim, and then simply brazen it out. “But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine” (Jer. 44:18). “You want to know what my interpretation of recent events might be? I think we didn’t worship idols enough.”
Jesus predicted that He would come back from the dead after three days, and His enemies knew that He had made this prediction. “Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again” (Matt. 27:62–63).
Note what they call Him — “that deceiver.” He is a deceiver, the liars all said, and so they had a guard posted. Those guards were the first witnesses of the resurrection, and they lied about what happened. The first congregation to hear the fact of the resurrection declared to them were these same people who paid the messengers of that great event to lie about it. Facts, even the most remarkable facts, bounce right off a hard heart.
This is why we get exasperated by the insolence of wicked men, and we hunger for God to intervene — something, anything.
“Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, That the mountains might flow down at thy presence, As when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, To make thy name known to thine adversaries, That the nations may tremble at thy presence!” (Is. 64:1–2).
But this nation will only tremble at His presence when the Holy Spirit is poured out in reformation and revival. It will not happen any other way. Our politics are diseased, and so there is no political solution. We are drunk on our own conceits, and every election we say to the man behind the bar, “Pour us another.”
When the foundations are destroyed, what shall the righteous do (Ps. 11:3)? We are ruled by kleptocrats, who no longer care that everybody can now see them. Fulfilled predictions just make hard hearts harder. It is broad daylight, and they are ransacking the Treasury of our great grandchildren, the Constitution is a smoldering ruin, our federal judges can no longer clearly state the difference between boys and girls, our medical profession doesn’t know the difference between boys and girls and lumps of tissue, and the testimony of administration officials before Congress can be summed up as falling under two main headings — “or what?” and “so?”
The answer is Jesus, and I don’t mean their Jesus. I mean the one they know as “that deceiver.”