The "Signs of the Times"
Drumroll of Earthquakes, Floods, Famines, and Volcanic Eruptions'
"In a matter of seconds the world could be plunged into a third world war that nobody wants. Jesus said, 'And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars.. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom' (Matthew 24:6-7 NKJ)." ("The Troubling Trends Portray His Coming," in
10 Reasons Why Jesus is Coming Soon: Ten Christian Leaders Share Their Thoughts (Sisters, OR: Multnomah, 1998, p.44)
Tim LaHaye (1998)
"An increase in earthquakes, even multiple and enormous earthquakes was predicted by both our Lord in Matthew 24:7, and also by the apostle John in the book of Revelation, for the time of the end.. Notice in the following chart how they have increased during the past five decades, according to the U.S. Geological Society: 1940-1949: 4; 1950-1959: 9; 1960-1969: 13; 1970-1979: 56; 1980-1989: 74" (LaHaye, Tim, "The Signs of the Time Imply His Coming," in
10 Reasons Why Jesus is Coming Soon: Ten Christian Leaders Share Their Thoughts (Sisters, OR: Multnomah, 1998), p. 205-206)
"In 1993, a news report indicated there were other worldwide problems of nature: South Africa experienced widespread crop failures.. floods. Bangladesh - nearly half under water, 316 people killed, 6 million homeless. 1100 flood victims in Himalayan kingdom of Nepal. 700 die in floods in India. In our country, in one year we experienced hurricane Andrew in Florida, which destroyed 40,000 homes at a cost of over $20 billion.. Floods hit the Mississippi valley at a cost of $20 billion. Early in 1995, torrential rains hit northern California and devastated a whole region." LaHaye, Tim, "The Signs of the Time Imply His Coming," in
10 Reasons Why Jesus is Coming Soon: Ten Christian Leaders Share Their Thoughts (Sisters, OR: Multnomah, 1998), p. 206-207)
WHAT OTHERS HAVE
Richard Abanes (1998)
"Despite the clear facts of history, famines provide one of the most heart-wrenching signs of the end that both doomsday cults and prophecy teachers cannot resist reciting.
Interestingly, earthquake-related casualties in exceptionally strong tremors have actually
decreased over the years. More people died "between 1715 and 1783 from earthquakes (1,373,845) than between 1915 and 1983 (1,210,597)." (End Time Visions: The Doomsday Obsession (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, p.263)
[Charles F. Richter] explains that modern seismographs can record minor quakes that previously would have gone unnoticed." (ibid., 260)
"Richter stated the following: "One notices with some amusement that certain religious group have picked this rather unfortunate time to insist that the number of earthquakes is increasing. In part they are misled by the increasing number of small earthquakes that are being catalogued and listed by newer, more sensitive stations throughout the world." (ibid., 399, n.18)
"Beginning with the book of Acts, we see that famines were prevalent in the period prior to Jerusalem's destruction in A.D.70.. Contemporary secular historians such as Tacitus, Suetonius, and Josephus mention other famines during the period prior to A.D.70." (Last Days Madness: Obsession of the Modern Church, 4th ed., Atlanta, GA: American Vision, 1999, p.79)
"Floods in the Midwest in the summer of 1993 led one Baptist minister to conclude: The Bible says that in the latter days, there will be earthquakes, and all of that refers to natural disasters.. we live in a time like that." (Last Days Madness: Obsession of the Modern Church, 4th ed., Atlanta, GA: American Vision, 1999, p.35)
Pate and Haines
"Thus it can be argued that the messianic woes (wars, famines, earthquakes, persecution, apostasy, cosmic disturbances) are perceived by a number of New Testament authors as
having begun in Jesus' generation. This is the 'already' aspect of eschatology."
(C. Marvin Pate and Calvin B. Haines, Doomsday Delusions: What's Wrong with Predictions About the End of the World Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1995, p.36.)
"History has witnessed a number of devastating earthquakes. The most deadly earthquake occurred in central China in 1556; approximately 830,000 people perished. The Lisbon earthquake of 1775 killed about 60,000 people. The 1811-12 quake in New Madrid, Missouri, killed few people because of the sparse population. But it shifted the topography of the entire area. Chile experienced a major earthquake in 1960, killing 3,000 people and sinking about 5,000 square miles of land. The worst natural disaster of the twentieth century occurred in Tangshan, China, in 1976 when 242,000 people perished.
Some people see God employing earthquakes and floods to punish humanity. Other people attach no eschatological significance to such events."(The Last Days Are Here Again: A History of the End Times (Grand Rapids, MI:Baker Books 1998, p. 50)
Jack P. Lewis (1998)
"The end here must be the fall of Jerusalem." (Matthew 24:13; The Gospel According to Matthew: Part II,
13:53 - 28:20, The Living Word Commentary, gen. ed. Everett Ferguson, Austin, TX: Sweet Publishing Company, 1976, p. 122-123)
Dr. Stafford North (1991)
"Many these days teach that current wars and world events fulfill Bible prohecies which signal the beginning of the end of the world. These writers present a "drumroll" of earthquakes, floods, famines, and volcanic eruptions to be followed by sudden disappearance of the righteous, a terrible war climaxing in a nuclear holocaust called Armageddon, and finally the return of Christ for a thousand year reign from Jerusalem."
"The signs given in Matthew 24:4-34 apply to the destruction coming on Jerusalem in A.D. 70 and are not at all signs by which we today can predict when the world will end." (Armageddon Again? A Reply to Hal Lindsey,
Oklahoma City, OK: Author, 1991, 7-10.)
"Current famines do not tell us the time of the end." (99 Reasons Why No One Knows When Christ Will Return, Downers, IL: InterVarsity Press, p. 76)
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