What Happens When Predictions Fall Short?

By Mark A. Kellner | Posted December 31, 2019

Where’s your jetpack? In celebration of the New Year, USA Today posted a list of wild predictions made for the year 2020: Sixty years ago, M.I.T. mathematician D. G. Brennan predicted that “jetpacks” would redefine human travel and warfare. But today, no one is using a jetpack to go anywhere.

Are you over 100? In 1999, futurist Ray Kurzweil predicted that lifespans would regularly exceed the century mark. While there are more centenarians today than there were two decades ago, they are still the exception, not the rule.

And how’s your 26-hour workweek? In 1968, futurists Herman Kahn and Anthony J. Weiner predicted that we’d all work a mere 26 hours a week—while earning a full-time salary. It turns out, instead, that we average 35 hours a week at our jobs, “side hustles” not included.

Why Forecasts Fail

It’s been said that baseball legend Yogi Berra once declared, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” Indeed, it is! Many predictions about what life would be like today—using hydrogen-powered cars that go thousands of miles without refueling, landing a human being on Mars, using nuclear power instead of coal—haven’t gone as far as the “experts” had anticipated. It seems that oftentimes our prognosticators conjecture a bit too optimistically regarding the achievements of the human race. 

While Brennan’s jetpack has yet to arrive on the battlefield, he was correct in anticipating massive technological change in war-fighting. Whether that’s been for better or for worse though is another matter altogether.

Lifespans have not routinely exceeded 100, but we’re learning more and more about what promotes health and what keeps us living longer. The famous “Blue Zones” study identified a group of people in Loma Linda, California, whose diet and exercise habits and weekly day of rest contributed to their active longevity. (Some were driving cars and even performing surgery well past 80 years of age.) Another common factor of these Loma Linda residents is that they all belonged to the same faith community known for its counsel on healthy living and its strong network of like-minded believers.

The workweek? It doesn’t allow for four-day weekends, but many of us are able to better structure our lives around our jobs, including working from home or a remote office, avoiding massive traffic jams and the high costs of living in expensive urban areas. Not everyone is benefitting from these changes, but the decentralization of work is a growing trend.

And while we can collect data on these kinds of trends and make, at best, highly educated guesses about the future, we, as fallible human beings, will never be able to actually make genuine predictions on our own.

God’s Predictions Remain True

There is, however, a collection of predictions about the future—your future—that are 100-percent guaranteed to be fulfilled. We know this because its earlier predictions have been fulfilled to the letter, while others are coming to pass right before our eyes.

These predictions—usually called prophecies—are found in a book you might already have, the Holy Bible. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible is packed with predictions about what the future holds for nations and individuals. In each and every case where the event has taken place, the Bible prophecy has come true.

For example, in Revelation 13, written in the early years of the first millennium, it’s predicted that a powerful beast will emerge onto the world’s scene. Students of Bible prophecy, including Sir Isaac Newton, have historically believed that this beast is a symbol that refers to the papacy. In verse 13 the prophecy goes on to explain that one of the beast’s heads will appear to be “mortally wounded” but will recover. True to the Word, in 1798, Napoleon Bonaparte’s French army entered Rome and took Pope Pius VI captive, effectively ending the papacy’s reign. Restoration of the papacy’s political power came in 1929, healing its supposedly fatal defeat some 130 years earlier.

Isaiah 7:14, written centuries before the birth of Jesus, contains an amazing prediction: “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”

And that’s what happened! We read the fulfillment in Mathew’s Gospel: “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. … So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us’” (Matthew 1:18, 22, 23).

One of the most fascinating chapters of Bible prophecy is Daniel 2, and Pastor Doug Batchelor taught a Sabbath School class on what this prophecy contains. You’ll be challenged and informed by this up-to-the-minute teaching!

Also, remember that BibleProphecyTruth.com is a powerful website filled with insight and answers to all sorts of questions about prophecy. You won’t find a jetpack here, but you will learn what the future holds for you and for this world!

Mark Kellner
Mark A. Kellner is a staff writer for Amazing Facts International. He is a veteran journalist whose work has been published in Religion News Service, The Washington Times, and numerous computer magazines.

When you post, you agree to the terms and conditions of our comments policy.

If you have a Bible question for Pastor Doug Batchelor or the Amazing Facts Bible answer team, please submit it by clicking here. Due to staff size, we are unable to answer Bible questions posted in the comments.
To help maintain a Christian environment, we closely moderate all comments.

  1. Please be patient. We strive to approve comments the day they are made, but please allow at least 24 hours for your comment to appear. Comments made on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday may not be approved until the following Monday.

  2. Comments that include name-calling, profanity, harassment, ridicule, etc. will be automatically deleted and the invitation to participate revoked.

  3. Comments containing URLs outside the family of Amazing Facts websites will not be approved.

  4. Comments containing telephone numbers or email addresses will not be approved.

  5. Comments off topic may be deleted.

  6. Please do not comment in languages other than English.

Please note: Approved comments do not constitute an endorsement by the ministry of Amazing Facts or by Pastor Doug Batchelor. This website allows dissenting comments and beliefs, but our comment sections are not a forum for ongoing debate.