Today there have been two mega-quakes in Indonesia, with major aftershocks. They occurred in the same place the terrible 2004 quake occurred, near Banda Aceh, which sparked a tsunami that killed almost a quarter million people. Thankfully today, no one has yet been reported killed (a miracle in itself!) but tsunami warnings went up in over a dozen nations almost immediately. Later it was discovered that the were not the kind of quakes that cause tsunamis. By this afternoon, the warnings had been lifted.
Three weeks ago, after a large earthquake in Mexico, I posted information about the Mexican quake and also looked at the bigger picture by asking ‘are there more quakes?’ Jesus said in Matthew 24:7 that as a sign of His soon coming there would be earthquakes in diverse places, and He also said in the next verse that the time would be like birth pangs. It is generally understood that because birthpangs increase in intensity and frequency as the birth gets closer that the signs He listed would also increase in the same manner. In that essay I posted a chart. I searched the USGS database for quakes in each of the large quake magnitudes, year by year. I plotted the results. I compared them against the annual average the USGS uses as a benchmark. Voila, here is the result:
Given that the number of earthquakes are rising, what is the percentage change? Here is the percentage change in 2011 over the annual average number of quakes USGS says we can expect:
5.0-5.9 mag: 72% UP
6.0-6.9 mag: 38% UP
7.0-7.9 mag: 36% UP
8.0-9.0 mag: 0% change
Percentage change in 2012 so far:
8.0-9.0 mag: 100% UP
People are curious about the connection to the end times and earthquakes. Many people wonder, is there a connection? Is there a Godly purpose to earthquakes? Yes. Yes there is.
God has used earthquakes for several reasons. Here are just a few. In the Old Testament, Mount Sinai ‘trembled violently’ before God spoke to Moses. (Exodus 19:18).
God used an earthquake to demonstrate the outcome of rebellion against Him. The ground opened, swallowing Korah and his men. (Numbers 16:31-32).
God used an earthquake to show that despite His power to create an earthquake, Elijah could also hear Him in the still, small voice. (I Kings 19:11).
The great earthquake at the time of King Uzziah was spoken of by Amos. Uzziah had grown insolent and haughty. The LORD used the earthquake to remind the king of the LORD’S power. That one was a judgment quake.
In Matthew 24:7 Jesus told His disciples (and us) that in the last days there would be earthquakes in various places as one of the signs of His coming. (Mt 24:7).
In Matthew 27:51-54 when Jesus died on the cross a great earthquake occurred, splitting the Temple veil in two and resurrecting many saints from their graves. This was a vivid demonstration of His power, and as a witness to the truth that Jesus is His Son.
In Revelation, quakes are mentioned 7 times. In Revelation 11, when the Two Witnesses are resurrected, “In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven.” (Rev 11:13). He will use that future quake to show His glory and many will respond.
In today’s twin 8.0-plus quakes, The UK Daily Mail reports, “In the Indonesian city of Banda Aceh, terrified residents screamed ‘God is great!’ as they jumped into cars and the backs of motorcycles, clogging streets as they fled to high ground.” I hope that of those who yelled God is great that they were speaking of the One True God and that they repented of their sins and sought Jesus as Savior.
An anonymous commenter posted on the previous blog essay about earthquakes, the following wisdom:
“God uses these things to calls us back to him…the Lord continues to come after us. He will keep reaching toward us all, to save us all. It will become more and more clear, and the choice will become very clear. Recently I had a young man who found out how evil music has become. He went away from it, and then made the clear decision to stay with it, evil or not. He made a clear decision. I think that the Lord will use things and people, so we make a clear choice. No more waffling, no more half-measures…either you are with the Lord, or you are not…”
As the LORD said to Ezekiel about His messages, “As for them, whether they listen or not– for they are a rebellious house– they will know that a prophet has been among them.” (Ez 2:5). By the end of time at the Judgment Seat, no one will be able to say that God didn’t use use various means to warn them. However, not all will make the choice to respond to His messages, whether they are bible verses, a sermon, an earthquake, or the still small voice of the Spirit. I believe the commenter is right. We are rapidly approaching the time when the entire world will have made the choice yea or nay. By the time Revelation 13 arrives, all the world will have either taken the mark of the beast and thus are condemned, (Rev 14:9) or will have chosen Christ – and be martyred in this life (Rev 20:4). By Revelation 13 it will be one, or the other. No middle ground. In the Tribulation, a person must declare for one or the other. There will be no atheism. No person saying ‘I believe what I believe, it’s private’. There will be no Islam. No Catholics. No Pope. There will only be people who are forced to take the mark to worship the beast and its image, bowing down to it (Rev 13:15-16), and people who refuse because they love Jesus. At the very end, there will be a clear choice.
The middle ground is rapidly shrinking even now, prior to the Tribulation. People are becoming entrenched in their views, for or against Jesus. Are you with the One True God, the God who shakes the world? Or are you not? Time is drawing to a close, possibly through death with the choice taken away from you and your final fate sealed forever. Or you may live on a while longer, waffling until after the rapture, when coming to the Lord will be hard and nearly impossible, only to end up facing the most evil beast there ever was. Please heed to the signs now. “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.” (Matthew 24:32-33).