by Tad Lindley
Everyone who was there will never forget what they were doing when it hit. My family member was attending a training seminar in a tall hotel. As people poured out of the building she noted that some appeared to have come directly from the shower, and others from their beds. One friend was driving when it hit and mistook the writhing earth for ruts in the road until he came to a stop and saw everything around him shaking.
The end time and earthquakes
Jesus mentioned earthquakes in his famous sermon on the end of time. The sermon (in Matthew 24) begins like this, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. (24:4-8) Clearly there is a relationship between earthquakes and the end time, but what exactly is it?
In “divers” places
The printers of the King James Version of the English Bible must have been short a letter “e” for their printing press. “Divers” does not mean that there will be earthquakes happening in swimming pools, it means diverse. In other words, earthquakes will be happening in many different places. If you are looking for the Anchorage 7.0 as a fulfillment of “diverse” places, it is not. Anchorage is a place that we would expect earthquakes to happen. Diverse places indicates earthquakes happening outside of their usual hot spots. For instance, there is a recent earthquake swarm near Kaktovik, AK, and about a month ago residents of Hooper Bay felt an earthquake; those are earthquakes in diverse places.
The beginning of birth pains
Jesus told his listeners that earthquakes in diverse places would be the “beginning of sorrows”. The word sorrows comes from the Greek word for birth pains. In other words, when people see tribe rise against tribe and country rise against country and famines and pestilences and earthquakes all over the place, then the end time is about to be born.
Still more to come
Jesus went on to preach about more that would come prior to the end: Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. (Matthew 24:9-14) If you read that closely, you realize that these events are currently being fulfilled as well.
Closer than yesterday
The earthquake caused many to feel as if the cold grip of death was upon their very lives. Such a close brush with eternity has caused many to turn to God in repentance. How about you? While the Anchorage earthquake is definitely not a fulfillment of Bible prophecy, one fact remains: the end time is coming, and whenever happen to be reading these words, you are one day closer to eternity than you were yesterday. In fact any one of us may step from here into eternity in the next breath. Will I be ready? Will you be ready? Jesus was super clear in John 3:7, You must be born again.
Ready for eternity?
If you want to be ready for eternity, you must be born again (Jesus words, not mine). Verily, verily I say unto you, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. (John 3:5) Peter told the people on the day of Pentecost, Repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. (Acts 2:38) Earthquake survivor or not, are you ready for eternity?
Tad Lindley is a minister at the United Pentecostal Church in Bethel, AK.