Gimme That Old False Prediction, It's Good Enough For Me

The author of the letter to the Hebrews began his letter, “ these last days,” and argued on such a basis that, “He (Jesus) would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” With equal fervor he employed the phrase, “as you see the day drawing near…”--and made the prediction, “…for yet a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay.” (Heb. 1:2; 9:26; 10:25,37) Oops! There’s been a sleight delay.

Even worse is the fact that “at the consummation” can also be translated, “at the end of the age.” What does that phrase mean, “the end of the age?” A verse in the Gospel of Matthew defines it precisely: “At the end of the age... the Son of Man will send forth his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” (Mat.13:40-41--the author based his description of “the end of the age” on Daniel 12, which was a description of the final judgment of mankind). So that is exactly what the author of Matthew and the author of Hebrews predicted would happen in their day, i.e., the final judgment of mankind.

Also note the logic behind the argument in Hebrews 9:26. The author argued that continuous sinning “since the foundation of the world” required blood sacrifices “often.” But God saw to it that Jesus’s sacrifice occurred at a time when no further sacrifices would be required. That time could only be “at the consummation” or “at the end of the age” when the time of final judgment for all sinners had arrived. Thus he hoped to persuade his readers of God’s wonderful plan in having Jesus sacrifice himself “in these last days,” and that it was only a “very little while” before “he who is coming will come, and will not delay.” It should appear even to the most dense that the prediction as stated in the Book of Hebrews has failed. So, the author of Hebrews was a false prophet.

For more examples from the New Testament of false prophecies see, "The Lowdown on God's Showdown."