the worst failed Biblical prophecy

The scene is the turn of the first century AD. Israel is under the rule of the Roman Empire. Certain Jews are confident that God will soon save them and restore a righteous kingdom (Luk 1:71). Angels are seen prophesying a new ruler (Mat 2:6) who will reign forever (Luk 1:33).

John the Baptist begins preaching about the end of the world. To John, soon angels would descend on mankind, kill the wicked (Mat 3:10), and create a new city ruled by God or God’s delegate. John called this the “Kingdom of God” (Mat 3:2). To prepare for this coming apocalypse, John preaches that his hearers must flee from their sin (Mat 3:7), turn to God, and become righteous. Those who don’t will be burnt to death (Mat 3:12).

Jesus picks up this ministry. In this time John is killed and Jesus becomes the main preacher of the apocalypse. Jesus’ message is that very soon, God would separate the sheep and the goats (Mat 25:33), the righteous from the unrighteous. Those who turned to follow Jesus would live and the rest would be punished by angels (Mat 16:27). The angels were reapers sent to kill the unrighteous (Mat 13:39). They would round up the wicked and slaughter them (Mat 13:41). The rulers and current powers would be overthrown and supplanted by the Kingdom of God.

Throughout Jesus’ ministry, the apocalypse was at hand (Mat 4:17, 10:7, 21:34, Mar 1:15). People he spoke to would not die before it happened (Mat 16: 27-28). That generation would not pass away before it came (Mat 24: 25-34). Everyone would soon see the Son of Man sitting in the clouds (Mat 26: 63-64). The disciples could not even go through the cities of Israel before it happened (Mat 10:23). Jesus even stated that the current age was when everything would occur (Luk 21:22) and the end was nigh (Luk 21:28). The people Jesus spoke to would see it just as they see spring (Luk 21:31). Jesus chastised people for not seeing the time had come (Luk 12:56).

But something happened. Jesus was crucified. Jesus’ apostles took up his ministry, and they continued teaching the end was nigh (1 Pet 4:7). They believed they were living in the last days (Heb 1:2, 1 Pet 1:20). That it was the end of the ages (Heb 9:26). People could see the end (Heb. 10:25). It was described as the last hour (1 Joh 2:18). People should not bother planning for the future (Jas 4:13) and hope God allows them to live (Jas 4:15). The judge was at the door (Jas 5:8)! Some apostles even taught that although people were beginning to doubt the imminent apocalypse, their fears were unfounded (2Pe 3:9). The world would soon burn so people should remain righteous (2Pe 3:11).

The apocalypse was soon coming (Rev 3:11) and the righteous would be spared (Rev 3:10). Those who had been martyred call out for vengeance against those who killed them (Rev 6:10). Angels would slaughter the wicked in such numbers that blood would run as deep as a horse’s bridle (Rev 14:20).

The words of the end times were once sealed (Dan 12:4, 9) but now they are open and not to be sealed (Rev 22:10).

But the end never came. God did not send angels to kill the wicked. The Romans were not supplanted by a righteous Kingdom. The martyrs were not avenged. Instead Israel suffered hundreds of years of foreign dominance. When it comes to failed prophecy, never in the Bible were so many sources so certain, so specific, and so wrong.

So, only one of two things can be true:

1. The Bible is false.


2. There was some sort of unforeseen development that changed what was strongly predicted to happen. Unforeseen is the operative word. No prophet or apostle before or after Jesus, including Jesus, thought there was a chance that the end would not come imminently. That development would have to be strong enough to justify falsifying the prophecies of countless martyrs who died for it. This development would have to have been a mystery to those individuals. Everything only makes sense in light of dispensationalism, open theism, and Paul.


About christopher fisher

The blog is meant for educational/entertainment purposes. All material can be used and reproduced in any length for any purpose as long as I am cited as the source.
This entry was posted in Bible, Church History, Dispensationalism, History, Jesus, Jewish History, Open Theism, Prophecy, Theology. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to the worst failed Biblical prophecy

  1. Pingback: Jesus preaches against the temple leaders | reality is not optional

  2. Pingback: God and predictability | reality is not optional

  3. Pingback: misquoted verses – vengeance is mine | reality is not optional

  4. Tom Torbeyns says:

    I believe that Matthew 24 and Mark 13 were in fact fulfilled in 70 A.D. when the temple of the Jews was destroyed. It all matches perfectly with Flavius Josephus. That did happen within that generation. This is an alternative step, on which I wrote extensive commentary in my upcoming commentary on the Gospel of Mark.

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