3.19.2011

The Good Guy Wins

Last night, we watched the animated Jetsons movie from 1990. I think I missed that one when I was 14. I have no recollection of its existence. But for the most part, it was true to the original cartoon, with the exception of an out-of-place soundtrack by 80's pop sensation Tiffany, who was also the raspy voice of Judy Jetson.

In the midst of watching it, I realized this: we've made it to the future, but the future doesn't look at all the cartoon told me it would.

As a kid, I expected the 21st century to bring me moving sidewalks inside my house. George Jetson never even had to get out of bed on his own. His bed just dumped him out, and a moving sidewalk carried him to the shower, which showered him and brushed his teeth while he was still asleep, giving true meaning to the phrase sedentary lifestyles. I expected to have a friendly Robot maid named Rosie by now, but I am the one breaking my back picking up toys. I want to be able to send her to do all the chores. Elevators should have been replaced by skinny glass tubes with vacuum suction capabilities, but we're still going up and down gaping shafts in big metal boxes.

The only Jetsons-like invention that has actually come to pass is Skype, allowing people to see each other on a screen and converse over long distances. In this case, Hanna-Barberra, to their credit, foresaw the technology that was the most fascinating possibility to me as a child. I couldn't understand why adults didn't think it would be cool for someone to see you every time you answered the phone. (Now I understand. It's 7:30 on a Saturday morning, and I would prefer that callers not see me right now.)

But why aren't we flying all over the sky in cute little spaceship cars? And for that matter, why aren't we living in space yet? Maybe it's still too early. Maybe the Jetsons' perks and conveniences are still to come one day.

We just can't know the future.

We can pretend and speculate and dream about what things might be like one day. That's what Hanna-Barberra was doing. But there is no way to know for sure. No way to know what's going to happen, even as soon as tomorrow.

We are just so limited. Sometimes we want to know so badly, it hurts. Where will I be in five years? Am I going to get that job or not? What is in store for me? Will this trial I am facing ever end? And what's going to happen to us as a nation, for the sake of my children?

"Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am God.
I am God, and there is none like me.
Only I can tell you the future before it even happens.
Everything I plan will come to pass,
for I do whatever I wish."
Isaiah 46:9-10

God gives us a few peeks into the future in the pages of the Bible. We still don't know a lot of things, but what we do know is this...the Good Guy wins.

The reason we know that God's promises about the future are certain is because Christ came, just as Isaiah and the prophets predicted.

There are at least 61 prophecies that were foretold and perfectly fulfilled during the life of Jesus. In the book Science Speaks, mathematician Peter Stoner says this: if you take only 8 prophecies out of those 61, the probability of all 8 being fulfilled is 1 in 10 to the 17th power. (That’s the number 1 with 17 zeroes behind it. I’m not going to even attempt to say what that number is).

This is what that probability would look like in real life. Stick with me, here:

If you had that many silver dollars (10 to the 17th power), and you lay them on the face of the state of Texas, they would cover the entire state two feet deep. Put a red X on one of those silver dollars. Stir up all the coins. Blindfold a man and tell him to pick one coin, in the hopes that it has the red X on it. The chance that he would pick the right one is 1 in 10 to the 17th power.

Now, if you look at 40 of the prophecies, instead of just those 8, the chance that all would be fulfilled is 1 in 10 to the 157th power.

But there weren’t just 40 fulfilled in Christ. All 61 were fulfilled through the Son.

God can tell us the future, and He has proved himself through the prophecies about Christ. Anyone who can predict the future and be right about it to such a striking degree is believable. Forget the psychic network hotline. Don’t waste your money. Or your brain cells.

This is the encouragement that we have from the Bible. No matter what happens, the Good Guy wins in the very end. And the bad guy loses.

Flying cars...or not.

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