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Over the Labor Day weekend, Christchurch New Zealand suffered a 7.1 earthquake. By God’s grace there were no fatalities and only a few minor injuries. (Please be in prayer for the people of Christchurch concerning the expected aftershocks.) It light of this event, I thought it was the right time to post this to my blog. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/sep/04/new-zealand-earthquake-curfew
Jerry Lee Lewis had it right, even though he didn’t know it when he sang” “there is a whole lotta shakin goin on” (his 1957 hit song – You can see him performing the song at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yRdDnrB5kM)
Back then he had no idea his song would apply to the age we are living in. In today’s time, there is increasing number of earthquakes rocking the globe. In the above chart, you can easily see that there has been a definite increase in reported earthquake activity over the past 18 years. (Above is a chart that clearly shows the increase in the number of earthquakes taking place over the past 18 years…. You can see the raw data that this chart was derived from at the USGS.gov website. Please use the following links to see the data:
Please note the data they have for 2009 and 2010 is incomplete and not included on the chart)
Some scientists look at the data and have come to the conclusion that climate change is the culprit in this issue. They claim that, until climate change (they used to call it global warming until our environment started to cool) is in check, we can expect the number of earthquakes to continue to increase. I do not doubt the earthquake rate is increasing…. But I question the cause in their “theory”.
Then there are other scientists, on the other side of the issue, that say that there really is no increase in earthquake activity but simply an increase in the number of seismographs worldwide. Their reasoning is that what is happening is that there are simply more earthquakes being reported due to the increase in number of measuring devices. In actuality, they say, the number of earthquakes has not increased. I believe, they are denying the obvious.
So what is going on with all these earthquakes? Does the Bible even mention them or explain what is going on? Let’s see what we can find in our study today….
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. (Rom 8:18-25)
When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden of Eden, not only was mankind affected; but, so too, all of earthly creation. This is the meaning of the phrases “For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly” and “Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption” found in our Rom 8: text.
This principle is a pretty easy one for us to grasp. When man committed sin in the garden, not only did it affect mankind, but it also affected nature. Where once you had peace between all animals, you now have animals feeding on one another. Where once you had animals that were in perfect submission to man, you now have animals that are wild, not easily tamed and dangerous to mankind. Where there used to be no weeds or thistles to harm our crops, you now have them spring up all over the place making an added burden upon man to keep them under control. The cataclysmic change in weather following the flood of Noah’s day is directly attributed to the sinfulness of mankind. (Gen 6:5-8) In these, and in many other ways, nature has changed due to sin.
As we continue on in our text, we find that “the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” (To “groan” has the idea of the noise founded in grief due to great loss. The earth, just as mankind, lost much due to the fall. To “travail” means birth pains. It implies increasing frequency and intensity as time progresses.)
To rephrase our verse… now that creation has fallen with man, creation is slowly decaying and wasting away waiting to be purified for the 2nd coming of Christ (Rev 19:11-Rev 20:5) and then reborn as the new heavens and earth for eternity (2 Pet 3:10-13, Rev 20:12-Rev 21:5)
One result of the earth’s decaying and wasting away are the increasing earthquakes we are experiencing in today’s time. The Lord speaks of earthquakes in connection with the signs of the last days several times in Scripture (Rev 11:13, 11:19, 16:18, Zech 14:5, Matt 24:7 etc.)
As these earthquakes take place, they are a solemn reminder of sin’s affects on the earth and the coming end of the world, as promised in the Scriptures.
THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:
For those who are saved the earthquakes should awaken within us the urgency of spreading the good news of Christ to a lost world. The earthquakes are one proof that mankind truly is fallen and in need of salvation, but it also causes us to reflect on the end of this sinful world and the restoration that the Lord has so graciously promised.
When I think of these things, Romans 13:11-14 comes to mind:
“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.”
For those who have never experienced the saving grace of God in your life. Allow these earthquakes, and their significance, to motivate you to seek the Lord before it is too late. There is no question of mankind’s need of salvation… the Bible is so very clear about this (Rom 3:9,19,23, 5:12, 11:32, Gals 3:22 Etc.) But also, the earthquakes remind us that time is short… we should not delay coming to Christ in submission, placing our spiritual life in His hands, by faith. The Word makes this urgency clear…
“For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2Co 6:2)
“The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” (Jer 8:20)
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