MORE EARTHQUAKES. WHERE'S GOD?
J. Grant Swank, Jr.
God speaks through earthquakes. God made the Earth. The Earth will answer to God.
According to the Bible, End Times occurrences include multitudinous earthquakes. Evangelical biblical scholars are repeating that it appears as if we, this last generation of the Church Age, are the capstone to the End Times.
The Church Age began with the First Coming of Christ. The Church Age will conclude with the Second Coming of Christ. As to deity in relation to the creation of this Earth, it is specifically the Second Person of the Trinity — Christ — who was the agent of creation. (Read John 1:1-3; Ephesians 3:9; Hebrews 1:1-2; II Peter 3:5; Revelation 4:11).
This same Christ who created Earth came to Earth in the incarnation in order to offer Himself as the sinless sacrifice in our stead. By His sacrifice on the cross, His holy blood was shed from seven body fountains in order that the repentant soul may find salvation.
That salvation includes divine forgiveness of all past sins, present abiding presence of the Holy Spirit, and at death the hope of heaven. “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” (II Corinthians 5:8)
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
This Christ ushered in the Church Age. This Christ will take out the Church Age. Near to the close of the Church Age, there are various signs to occur on the planet. These signs were enumerated by this Christ to His disciples two thousand years ago. The message is recorded in literal terms particularly in the Gospels of Matthew (chapter 24), Mark (chapter 13) and Luke (chapter 21) of the New Testament.
Included in the End Times signs are earthquakes, such as the Earth is experiencing today. For instance, in the Second Coming chapter detailing End Times signs, Matthew 24, Christ states that “nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes” (verse 7).
At His crucifixion — unjustly brought upon Him by both sinful Gentiles and Jews — Christ’s sacrificial death triggered an earthquake. “And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up His spirit. And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, and the earth shook.
“And the rocks were split, and the tombs were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to man.” (Matthew 27:50-53)
Christ’s last breath triggered an earthquake upon His own created turf. That quake split the Holy of Holies veil in half. It also split rocks. There were tombs coughed open after His first-day-of-the-week resurrection, permitting the saints to enter Jerusalem, appearing to mortals. (The saints did not come forth on Friday. Since Christ is the “firstfruits of the dead,” the saints came out of their tombs after Christ came out of Joseph’s tomb. Therefore, the saints appeared to others on Sunday.)
Further, after Christ’s return from the dead, an earthquake signaled that resurrection miracle. “Now late on the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave.
“And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the lord descended from heaven and came and tolled away the stone and sat upon it.” (Matthew 28:1-2)
An earthquake shook the planet at Christ’s last breath. Another earthquake shook the planet at His coming back to life. The two earthquakes were as large parentheses enveloping the saving divine act begun and completed.
During the Early Church beginnings, there was a significant earthquake recorded. “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them: and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s chains were unfastened.” (Acts 16:25-26)
In Christ’s vision (The Revelation) given to John the Beloved on the Isle of Patmos off of Greece, Christ detailed an earthquake occurring at the time of the Second Coming. As Christ is cascading through Earth’s atmosphere with His saints and a host of angels, the atmosphere itself is in quake. Along with that, the Earth is shaking.
“And I looked when He broke the sixth seal and there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. And the sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
“And the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come; and who is able to stand?’”
Islands moved out of their places. That is happening with present-tense quakes and tsunamis. Mountains are moved out of their sockets. That likewise is happening with present-tense quakes and tsunamis. At the Second Coming, EVERY mountain and island will be “moved out of their places.”
Presently world leaders are quaking due to the severe threats to the global community: AIDS, weapons of mass destruction, famine plagues, and so forth. These leaders will realize at the close of the Church Age, at the time of the Second Coming of Christ especially, that human resources won’t supply. They won’t add up. Further, they will realize, along with the world community of rich, poor, powerful and powerless, that the End has come. A great earthquake will be a major thrust of that culminating divine message.
Will humans have prepared themselves for this culmination? Will souls have cried out for salvation in Christ? Will evil lives be traded in for holy lives? Will secularism and materialism be put aside for the self-giving Christ-like life? Will atheism be cast to the winds in favor of the Christian witness? Will New Age, cults and false religions be recognized as fabrications of hell?
In The Revelation, Christ reveals to John the following earthquake that will occur right at the Second Coming: “And the seventh angel poured out his bowl upon the air; and a loud voice came out of the temple from the throne, saying, ‘It is done.’
“And there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it, and so mighty.
“And the great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath.
“And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, came down from heaven upon men, and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague we extremely severe.” (Revelation 16:17-21)
Note that Christ revealed to John that at the Second Coming, EVERY island will “flee away.” “Mountains were not found.”
Earthquakes now are messages from God for human beings to repent of their sins, find salvation in the coming Christ, and live the holy life.
Those who do not will answer to the “fierce wrath” of the divine. God is not only everlasting love. He is also everlasting anger. Both are in perfect eternal balance. There is not one without the other in the person of God.
For those who genuinely turn from their selfish, wicked ways unto the Christ way, there is the loving compassionate mercy from the heart of God. For those who stubbornly continue on in their sins, living for Satan, there is the anger of God descending upon their eternities.