This talk about life and death should mean something to anyone who has paid even a tiny bit of attention to the great upheavals in our world. Whether it is civil war in Syria, drought and fires in California, Russian encroachment on Ukraine, the end of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, or any of the recurring tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, typhoons, famines, and pandemics, disasters seem to abound and to be getting worse. There is something about disasters that focus our attention very quickly onto what is really important in life.
Remember the great earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, 2011? When the ground shakes under your feet and you have to run from a three-story-high wall of water, things become very clear! I was in an earthquake in Japan. It was a little thing compared to what happened in 2011, but it was scary enough. I was in a tall hotel in Tokyo when a tremor hit. Many of us ran into the hall and for some reason gathered in front of the elevators. That’s when we heard this terrible clanging sound as the elevators banged around in the shafts. When the earthquake ended, one of the elevators opened and several American college students from our tour group tumbled out. Among them were some real men – big, strong, confident athletes. Yet all of them were crying like babies. Never have I seen any group of people so utterly terrified.
That was a small earthquake. There was no damage, no interruption of power, no danger of nuclear meltdown, and no loss of life. The disaster of 2011 left 15,885 dead, 6,148 injured, and 2,623 missing, and turned a million people into refugees without food, clothing, and shelter.
This kind of thing should make us wonder what it all means. A year before the Japan earthquake and tsunami, an earthquake had killed 222,000 people in Haiti, and a magnitude 8.8 earthquake had devastated Chile. In February 2011 an earthquake destroyed the city of Christchurch, New Zealand, and then two weeks later the magnitude 9.0 quake hit Japan with its worst disaster since World War II.
That was 2011. We have had many big earthquakes and volcanoes since then. It makes one wonder if we are at the end of the world.
Yeshua had this to say about that:
“And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” (Matthew 24:6-8 NKJV)
The fact that we are experiencing more earthquakes now than ever in history does not mean the world is about to end, but we are certainly in the ballpark. But does knowing that make any difference on how you live your life every day?