In Back to the Future II, Biff Tannen, the stories lug-headed bad guy, travels back to 1955 and hands a Sports Almanac from 2015 to his 1955 self. Biff becomes the “luckiest man on earth” and predictably quite successful. Knowing the outcome of every sporting event might make your Super Bowl party a tad boring but it’d make your wallets quite fat.
Sometimes I think about how sweet it would be to have a world almanac that would “predict” the events that were going to take place for the next sixty years. But I’ll tell you what I’d really like. I’d like a lengthy letter from Jesus that outlined all of the significant things that were going to happen in the next 2,000 something years.
You might think I’m getting ready to tell you that we have such a book and it’s called the Bible. Now go read it!
But I’m not because that isn’t true.
The Bible isn’t synonymous to Biff’s Book, no matter what television preachers with rapture charts try to tell you. It’s simply not intended to secretly tell us the outcome of world events. So if I’m going to have something like Biff’s book then I need that special letter written by Jesus.
I’d like it to include things like this:
- I’m returning on this date: _________
- In such and such a year there is going to be a crazy debate in the church about worship styles. Here is what I say on the issue.
- People are going to divide over this thing called Calvinism. It’s a debate about words that we used in the Bible like election, predestination, etc. Here is what I have to say on the issue. (He then gives a helpful illustration that helps us somehow understand the relationship between divine sovereignty and human freedom).
- Watch out for a guy named Adolf.
- This is when the earth was created. Do the math. That’s how old the earth is.
- This is precisely how I would like to see the church ordered… (Here he’d outline everything on baptism, the Lord’s Supper, altar calls, and everything else we’ve divided over).
- Best way to win a debate with an atheist…
- Some of you will have really weird and befuddling things happen in your life. Here is why they happened.
- Some of you will have situations arise in your church that will leave you scratching your head and not having a clue what to do. Here is exactly what you need to do.
- Some of you will be left wondering what decision you should make. Here is what you should decide in every circumstance.
- Here are a few tips for inventions that you might want to consider. Be sure to invent them before such and such a date because somebody else will beat you too it. Invent it first and get filthy stinking rich and give your proceeds to the cause of missions.
That’d be such a wonderful letter. If we had that letter we’d be more successful than Biff and we’d do things that really mattered. We wouldn’t build Biff’s Pleasure Paradise. We would build a beautiful church that was set up exactly the way that Jesus wanted it.
But no such letter has been uncovered. We’ve blown it on inventing the light bulb before Edison and we missed the boat on watching out for that guy named Adolf.
So why didn’t Jesus write us that letter?
For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. –Psalm 84:11 (emphasis mine)