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Predictions in the Past Tense

Scientists at the Goddard Space Flight Center report that one of the largest stars in our galaxy is about to self-destruct.

Eta Carinae, which has a mass 100 times greater than that of our sun, is giving signs that its life is about over. Researchers say that it could become a supernova—a blazing, exploding star—within the next 10,000 years. What was especially interesting about the Science 81 report was the statement that since light from the star takes 9,000 years to reach the earth, the actual explosion could have already taken place.

This striking fact reminds me of the nature of biblical prophecy. For example, the predictions found in Revelation 8 are often written in the past tense. This is done because even though the prophet is writing of a future event, he has already “seen” it. Also, in the mind of God it’s as if the events have already happened.

Even though Christians differ on the interpretation of today’s Scripture, we can definitely say that God’s judgement those who continually resist Him is so sure that it has been written about in the past tense. This should cause us to reflect with the apostle Peter, who wrote so appropriately, “Seeing, then, that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy living and godliness?” (2 Peter 3:11). As Christians, we know what’s ahead for this world, and that knowledge should keep us living close to God.

Our Daily Bread, June 26

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