It's an age old desire, longing to know what's ahead. Wouldn't you like to know what your future holds? Fortune tellers claim to help millions predict the future by cards, by palms, through astrology and spiritualism. Some feel these forecasts are based on solid, systematic, documented evidence. But, do you believe it? Can you trust predictions and prophecies? Is there a reliable source you can go to to discover your future?
Stay tuned to Beyond Today as we examine the incredible truth regarding Fate, Fortune and Your Future .
It seems that everyone's interested in what the future holds. Most wonder about relationships. Perhaps you've thought: What will happen to my family? What about my love life? Will I be successful? What about a truly meaningful relationship?
You know, famous inventor, Charles Kettering said, "My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there." Well, we are going to spend the rest of our lives there, but is there a way to know what lies ahead? Where should you look for answers?
Many explore astrology in order to discover what might happen tomorrow. Of course astrology claims that you can discover your future by the influence of the stars and the planets.
A recent Parade magazine poll found that more than one in ten Americans believe in astrology and check their horoscope regularly. They get out their newspaper and find them, right there, in their life section. But is that where we should look? Most do it for fun. But is that the place to look for answers about your future?
Think about that for a moment. Let's say you were to read your daily horoscope and it predicted that your future holds an exciting weekend in Las Vegas with a tall dark stranger. Now you'd have to step back a little bit, and think, that's not just for me, but that applies to 1/12th of the world's population. In other words, five hundred million people! Now imagine if they all tried to fly to Las Vegas for the weekend. Can you imagine what kind of a travel nightmare that would be?
How many people do you know that are born in the same month as you? Now if horoscopes were accurate, and they were right, all of those people born in the same month should be very similar to you. But, instead you'll find that you are extremely different.
Now most importantly, did you know that time after time after time, detailed studies that have been done have shown that astrology is false? Here's an example. In a famous experiment psychologist, Bertram Forer, administered a personality test to his students. Now rather than giving them actual results, he gave all of them exactly the same personality analysis copied from the newspaper astrology column.
The students were then asked to rate the personality's profile accuracy on a scale from 0-5 with 5 being the most accurate. Do you know what the average rating was? 4.26! Even though every student received exactly the same description; I mean amazing. This experiment has been repeated countless times since 1948 with the same results.
In fact, it's been dubbed the Forer Effect. It shows that we tend to see vague personality descriptions as very accurate when we believe it has been tailored specifically for us. That is part of the reason horoscopes hold so much appeal to so many. But they are not true. The descriptions are fictitious. They are false.
Put simply, if you want to know what your future holds, horoscopes and the zodiac can't tell you. Have you ever noticed that horoscopes are right next to the comics in your newspaper?
You see, so many tests have shown that despite their claims, astrologers really can't predict anything. It's just wishful thinking.
Did you know the Bible points this out very clearly? It says, "You have worn yourself out, asking for advice from those who study the stars and tell the future month after month." (Isaiah 47:13 Contemporary English Version)
So are you tired of looking in the wrong places for solutions for your life? Where do you turn for answers about your fate?
Almost one in ten look a different direction. They've gone at least once to a psychic for a personal reading. Now, you know what a psychic is, someone who claims to perceive things that can't be recognized through the five sense of sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell. They're said to have ESP, or a sixth sense.
Now did you know a substantial percentage of university students believe it? They believe in psychics. They believe in contact with the dead or astrology or clairvoyance. An amazing study recently showed that up to one out of three believe it! (Hollinger, F. and T. B. Smith. 2002. "Religion and Esotericism among Students: A Cross-Cultural Comparative Study." Journal of Contemporary Religion 17(2): 229-249.)
Now you might never go to a medium, a psychic for advice for your future, but chances are you've watched them on TV. Twenty percent of you polled have watched psychics on television. Can you trust them for you future? In fact, how much would you pay for reliable information?
The James Randi Educational Foundation offers one million dollars to anyone who can prove psychic, paranormal or supernatural powers. Thousands of people have applied for it, but no one has come close to collecting the money. Do you know why?
The tests are done under strictly supervised conditions. There is no access to any props, any hidden devices. So no one has even passed the preliminary test. Why can't it be done? Because spiritists can't really do what they claim they can do.
They claim your dead relative has a message for you with absolutely no proof whatsoever and then they take your hard earned money for their service. And unfortunately, TV and the internet, they've legitimatized them from the old carnival sideshow.
It's amazing to think that with all our technological advancement, all our sophistication, it's amazing how many are fooled by fortunetellers and psychics. Now for the most part, it's a sham! But there is a real spirit world out there that wants to harm you.
So, where should you turn for real answers about fate, fortune, and your future? How could you know the real purpose for your life? From the pages of your Bible, God reveals the vital answers about your future and the fate of the world. The details are amazing!
Even though more people own the Bible than any other book in world history, most rarely read it and even fewer understand it. Yet it's the Bible that holds the solutions to mankind's problems and provides the key to your future.
Now, it's a big subject. It's difficult to know where to start. So to help, we have a special booklet, What is Your Destiny? This booklet will make it easier to unlock a proper understanding of what lies ahead for you. To request you booklet call toll free: 1-888-886-8632. Or you can go online to BeyondToday.tv to download it. You can read it there. Or you can order your copy of What is Your Destiny? As always, all of our publications are provided free as an educational service.
You were created for a wonderful future, but you do you understand what the great purpose is? Don't you want to know what God has in mind for you and your family? Request your free booklet, What is Your Destiny? It will help you understand the incredible truth about your future.
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Now, you may think, what's the big deal about horoscopes or psychics anyway? Sure astrology is something that doesn't work. But it's all in fun! Right?--Wrong.
There is real harm. Over 3,000 years ago, this amazing statement was recorded for us in the Bible. "Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the Lord Your God." (Leviticus 19:31 NIV)
You see, there is real danger is getting involved in the occult. These seemingly innocent activities can be a gateway to a dark world. Now, on the other hand, taking these things lightly promotes shallow thinking. Do you simply accept something as true? Do you only look on the surface of things? Do you just assume that it's right?
Whether its astrology or whether its religion, uncritical thinking makes it harder to look at your life realistically, to look at life rationally. No wonder a recent Gallup survey found that just about three out of four Americans--that's 75% of us-- believe in the paranormal; believe in astrology, clairvoyance, or communicating with the dead, and reincarnation and witches.
You see, we forget that the quality of our thinking affects the quality of our lives.
So are we becoming a people who believe in nonsense? The Bible puts it this way, "They knew God but they did not give glory to God or thank Him. Their thinking became useless. Their foolish minds were filled with darkness." Romans 1:21 (New Century Version)
You see, it's estimated that hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on psychics and astrology every year in the United States alone.
I once knew a lady who visited her friendly psychic numerologist. She became convinced that he had her lucky numbers that would stay with her for life. Now, since she was so confident that this was true--she was so convinced--she decided to gamble on one of the lottery games. She was certain that she couldn't lose, she'd win millions!
So, she decided to choose every combination of those numbers possible. She went to the bank. She drew out her money to buy the tickets and when the winning numbers were announced, she had gone against the odds and ended up losing $5,000--her hard earned life savings. Talk about hurting your future; hurting your financial future. Just wasted money on something that just doesn't work.
You know, there are so many things out there that are trying to distract you, trying to steer you away from a relationship with God and the future He has in mind for you.
God tells us, "When they say to you, 'Seek those who are mediums and wizards (those spiritists, those fortunetellers), who whisper and mutter,' should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living? To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." (Isaiah 8:19-20 NKJ)
You see God has a clear message. He says, if someone is not teaching obedience to God's commandments, don't you believe them. God says, there's no light in them. So with so many counterfeit messages, doesn't it make it hard for you to find the truth about what God intends for your future?
Here's what God says He really wants for you: "I know what I am planning for you," says the Lord. "I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future." (Jeremiah 29:11 NCV)
Now, that amazing passage is not just something for the world. It's not just for the nations. It's not for those around you, but for you! It's for you specifically. God has a hope and a good future planned just for you.
Now, as you think about that, you won't find any of us mentioned by name in the Bible or told precisely what God expects of us in our lifetime, like, you know, what job you should take, or who to marry, or where to live.
But is there a place in the Bible where you can find out how God wants you to live? Yes.
Jesus said this, "If you want to enter into life, obey the commandments." (Matthew 19:17 GW) Now, so much of Christianity claims that, that the commandments are done away with. But that's just not true! Christ gives very clear instruction: If you want to enter into eternal life, part of the requirement includes keeping God's commandments.
After all, their core, the very nature of these commandments all stem from love--love to God and love to our fellow man. So God wants us to love and obey Him with our whole being.
Here's where your future gets interesting. God says, "I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the LORD Almighty." (2 Corinthians 6:18)
You see, God wants you to see Him as your Father. Now, that can be difficult since so many have seemed to have dysfunctional physical fathers, but not our great God! He wants a personal, family kind of relationship with you based on love.
In fact, you can peer into the very mind of God and it reveals an amazing insight: "Take delight in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him and He will do this." (Psalm 37:4-5 NIV)
Delight in the Lord, in other words, spend time together. Developing that relationship with Him, now that's not so different than developing a relationship with anyone else. You share your inner most thoughts, your feelings, your desires. You have to connect with God and you have to listen. So you see your Creator knows you best. So, doesn't it make sense to ask Him for His guidance? There's no need to go the spirit world of psychics, palm readers or astrology.
God has the right direction for your life.
The more time you spend with God, the more you'll get to know Him and the more you will want to model that life of yours after Him! Because He can provide you with the wisdom you need to choose a path that's pleasing to Him. You see, He wants to help you make the best possible choices for your life and for your future.
Jesus put it this way, He said, "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." (Matthew 6:33 NKJ) In other words, you don't seek the spiritis. You don't seek your horoscope. You don't get distracted with fortune tellers. Seek what's best for your future!
That's the wonderful future that God has planned for you.
So be sure to make your plans with the ultimate destination of God's kingdom in mind. Because what He has planned is something so amazing, it's so incredible and awe inspiring that it's difficult to even begin to grasp it. "No eye has seen, nor ear heard or no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him." (1 Corinthians 2:9 NLT) Now that's a wonderful destiny that you can count on--the ultimate fate that leads to a fantastic future!
There's much more to discuss on this topic, up next we will be talking with the Beyond Today panel. But first, we have a special free offer for you. It's The Good News magazine. This magazine contains important articles to help you understand God's plan for you. What lies ahead for your future? What does the future hold? The Good News will help give you insight into life's questions--your questions.
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Now if you've ever wondered about your future, you're not alone. What does it all mean anyway? Perhaps you've thought there's no purpose to life at all. Can you actually know your own future? Well to discuss this, fellow host on Beyond Today , we have Darris McNeely and Gary Petty.
So this topic, where did it all begin? How did it start? How did it get into this whole idea of the future and understanding things?
You know Steve, astrology goes clear back to ancient times when people believed that the stars and the planets were actually spiritual beings. And so they tried to contact those beings because they believed that they controlled their lives. And that's where it began. So when you look at it it's actually Anti-God.
Yeah. And it's something God warned His people, Israel about, and we read in the scriptures very specific warnings on looking to the stars, those types of entities. In Deuteronomy 4:19, God says here, "lest you lift up your eyes unto heaven and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, even all the host of heaven, you be drawn away and worship them and serve them which the Eternal Your God has allotted unto all the peoples under the whole heaven."
God didn't want His people and He doesn't want us, turning our eyes to the heavens to worship in any way, shape or form as a deity or a power that can foretell the future or is involved in our life. It's just not so.
We get so distracted by the stars, or all these other ways that people think that they can understand their future, but the reality still comes back to, can we? Can we understand our future?
Yes we can. Not in the minute details like you mentioned previous in the program. Who we should vote for? Who we should marry? But we can in terms of our overall plan for our lives, because there is a creator God and the Scripture, His Bible, tells us the future--His plan for all humanity.
Really Steve, understanding the future, the key to that, I think for any of us, is to begin to really understand where we came from. Our past, what has brought us to this point in life as we face the future. It's important as you pointed out, we're going to be living in the future. But I think a lot of people today have not come to grips with who they are, where they've come from, and what has caused them to arrive at a particular moment; either by their own decisions or by the decisions made by their family, their parents, their grandparents, those in the past.
One of my favorite authors, Thomas Wolfe, he wrote in Look Homeward Angel and he summed up his whole story, really in the opening lines of this book, and he said we are all the sum of decisions in the past, just to paraphrase what he said. Every one of us is the sum of past decisions cause that's really what is all boils down to. It's not in the stars. It's not in some other power. The power is within our hands. And that's really where God places it in the Scriptures when He talks about the freedom of choice that each one receives--that each human being has freedom of choice. And throughout the Scriptures, God said choose. He wants us to choose life. So often we choose wrong. We choose a way that may lead to death.
And this freedom of choice is very important in understanding in a bigger context. In the context of purpose--why we were created. There is a Creator God who created all of us. He created you for the purpose of becoming His child.
Now we were created in the image of God, but all of us are very corrupt images of God. We are all marred images of God. And what God is doing through Jesus Christ is recreating human beings back into our original purpose, which is to be His children and that has an eternal purpose. So the decisions we make have to be put in that context of our purpose--as God's creation.
In other words, you can't talk about the future and understanding your future without talking about what the purpose of life is. So there is a greater picture in that regard. But we can't be locked into what's happening tomorrow or what the next year may hold.
It will frame your choices and you will be able to make better choices based on eternal truths. And God's Word, the Bible, that outline the entire purpose of life. You can know why you were born. You can know your purpose and your destiny, What God has in store for us—and then you can frame those decisions accordingly and with a degree of predictability, understand that blessing and good things can happen in measure. Life has its twists and turns that sometimes are beyond our control and in other factors. But, we can take control and responsibility and in doing so, we can know the future.
In other words, we are not stuck in a fate that this is what's going to happen. We have no choice in this matter –
No, we are not predestined.
We are predestined to do this and that, and say this and have this and do this...But it all fits into a plan, right?
How does that match then with what God has planned for us?
God has planned for us to literally become His children. Now we just said that a minute ago but understand the enormity of that! To be a child of God forever. But we're going to have to make that choice now to follow Him.
Yeah, so it's an effect we have, not reading the horoscopes to find out but that, you have to do something about it.
There's choices to make that should effect who we are, and that then has a tremendous impact then on what our future holds so, how do we deal with that as a relationship with God when it comes to His plan and the purpose for our life?
Well let me pass on something that I learned when I was a child. I remember walking into a store, and someone walked up to me who I did not know and said, you're Grover Petty's grandson aren't you? You look like him. You walk like him. You talk like him. You're his grandson. And how this should motivate us when we understand we can be a child of God, as we want to look like Dad, and act like Dad and be like Dad, and be like our older brother who Jesus Christ who came and modeled behavior, because we're part of that family and we want to be part of that family. So once we understand this purpose, our choices actually become much easier because our choices are in the framework of being the children of God.
That's one of the interesting things. All the way back in the book of Deuteronomy where God mapped out choices for mankind, He talked to them and told His people. You can choose life. You can go a different way, but you've got the choice. You have the opportunity to make that decision and I think the great part about it, is God wants us to have the best. So He said, choose life! That's the choice that needs to be made and talk about an ultimate destiny that affects our future and what God ultimately has planned for us. It's a remarkable thing.
Certainly God has an awesome purpose for life. You have an incredible future ahead. God's in the process for creating an immortal family and your destiny is to have a part of it.
Now remember our free offers today. They're designed to help you as you study. So we have that booklet called What is Your Destiny? It will help you grasp the real truth about your future and why you were born. It doesn't have to be a mystery.
Now you can get it by going online to BeyondToday.tv. You can download it. Request your own copy. Or you can call us, toll free: 1-888-886-8632 and request your free booklet. And of course, don't forget your free subscription to The Good News magazine. This unique magazine will help you understand God's purpose and how it matters for your life. Not only that, The Good News will help you recognize what's going on in the world when it comes to the Bible. There are all kinds of articles that are relevant to your life.
So remember, all of these publications are provided free of charge as an educational service. So get ready for some Good News! Go online and request your free subscription. You can leave us a comment or ask us a question.
In fact, we received a question by email just recently that was sent through our BeyondToday.tv website. It was from Cameron in Australia.
He writes: "I have been a Christian for the past 17 years…I went to a big…Church [but] something wasn't quite right. It… became even more evident to me that certain topics and scripture that I had read in the Bible just…didn't seem to be matching up with the word that was preached in the Church…When I started to question the …Pastor…he just tried to dismiss it and push it aside…I didn't want anything more to do with the…Church…because I didn't want to be mislead anymore…
This…put another question in my mind…where do I go to church now? What is the right church to go to?"
Cameron, to begin with, you have to look to the Word of God. There's a powerful passage in the Bible that tells us all to "contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints." (Jude 1:3)
In other words, you should attend the Church that continues in the true teachings and the practices that Jesus gave to the New Testament Church.
Now here's a key: the right Church, it rejects man-made doctrines that have been added or changed. So get out your Bible and study what Jesus Christ Himself taught His disciples. Wouldn't you want to be a part of the church that faithfully follows those teachings today?
To help you in your studies, you can go online to our BeyondToday.tv website. You can search through the website for many different articles and booklets to help you recognize the true Church.
Now, there are so many questions that challenge mankind. But you can be different. You can have answers. God has an incredible purpose for your life. You can know why.
So don't seek your future in astrology, horoscopes or psychics. Your destiny is found in the pages of your Bible. God has a wonderful future planned for you so, never underestimate the value of your life.
Do you understand His plan? You need to know about it. So read your Bible. Request our free literature and read it.
The outlook ahead is encouraging! There is hope. So get to know your Creator and develop a close relationship with Him. Your fate, fortune and future is in the hands of God.
Well that's it for today. I appreciate that you've joined me and hope that you'll tell your family and friends about our programs. I'd like to invite you back again next week at this same time, for another edition of Beyond Today . I'm Steve Myers. Thanks for watching.