Ever since the monstrous 9.1 magnitude earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia in 2004, people have had a heightened awareness of the danger of seismic activity. That year, the earthquake and great tsunami claimed 227,898 lives.
Last year the Haiti earthquake devastated an entire country, killing 222,570 people and destroying most of their poorly-constructed buildings. Since then, Chile suffered an 8.8 magnitude quake, and just two and a half weeks ago a 6.3 event caused great damage in New Zealand.
And now the world is aghast at the massive destruction caused by the 8.9 magnitude quake and tsunami in Japan. Because of the way earthquakes are measured, with each higher point representing a multiplication of strength instead of an addition of strength, this tremor was actually 1000 times as powerful as the recent New Zealand disaster.
The Japan earthquake is even worse because of the potential melt-down of one or two of their nuclear reactors. One of these power plants has already suffered an explosion and release of radiation, making it the second most serious nuclear accident in history [Chernobyl in Russia was the worst].
Jesus said that one of the initial signs of the End Times will be an upsurge of earthquakes.
Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. – Matthew 24:7-8
Until recently we have felt that the number and size of earthquakes was not increasing significantly. Geologists usually parrot the fact that the number of major earthquakes has been relatively stable during the past two decades with an average of 17 tremors per year having a magnitude 7.0 or greater. Last year there were 22 of these major events, and there have been 7 in the first 10 weeks of this year. The horrific death toll, the increased awareness, because of media coverage, and the financial impact on an already weakened world economy have brought earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis to the forefront of our consciousness.
And, as we mentioned in a blog last year (Jan. 13, 2010), it has been determined that there are at six ways that man-made activity might cause earthquakes: by nuclear tests, by building dams, by injecting water into the ground (disposal, geo-thermal power), by mining vast amounts of coal, by draining oil wells dry, and by building super-tall buildings.
In the light of other major world developments, such as the global economic malaise, the wave of Islamic nationalism in the Middle East, and the growing threat of wars and rumors of wars, we must snap out of our delusion that things are continuing the way they always have been.
First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” – 2 Peter 3:3-4
What can we do about these catastrophes? Obviously, we can’t control them. But the horror and heartache of these disasters should bring out our Lord’s compassion in our hearts so that we reach out to the survivors with our earnest prayers, sacrificial help, and increased evangelism. And we should take Peter’s advice to heart to know the Lord and live a more godly life than ever before.
Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. – 2 Peter 3:11-12
Read our book, Connecting the Dots: A Handbook of Bible Prophecy for more information about End-time events.