Apologetics, End times, Main, z43
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Geologists warn mega earthquake looming

The aftermath of a 6.5 magnitude earthquake that hit California on December 22, 2003. Photo: Brian Lopez/Flickr/Creative Commons

The aftermath of a 6.5 magnitude earthquake that hit California on December 22, 2003. Photo: Brian Lopez/Flickr/Creative Commons

Over the past week the earth has been hit with several large earthquakes resulting in hundreds of people being killed.

Two major earthquakes hit Japan. The first one occurred on Thursday, April 14. With a magnitude of 6.5, it resulted in nine deaths and 800 injuries. A similar-sized earthquake hit the Pacific island of Vanuatu that same day with no reported deaths.

Then a second 7.3 magnitude earthquake hit Japan two days later on Saturday, April 16 killing 34 and injuring 1,500. There is even concern that repeated earthquakes could eventually split Japan’s southern island in half.

That same day an earthquake with a 7.6 magnitude rocked Ecuador, South America killing over 272 people (update: 570 dead as of April 21, 2016) and injuring 2,500.

This group of earthquakes fell in the Ring of Fire, that circulates around the edges of the Pacific Ocean. About 90% of the world’s earthquakes occur in this region and as well 81% of the major earthquakes, those exceeding 7.0 magnitude.

Anyone with an interest in end-times events are probably aware earthquakes are on the menu. They will be the birth pangs, a sign of the times, leading up to the main event — the second coming of Christ.

According to the Bible there are two distinctive characteristics about earthquakes that we need to watch for.

First according to Jesus there will be a dramatic increase in the number of earthquakes in diverse places.

Jesus describes it this way:

You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs. (Matthew 24:6-8 NASV)

According to a study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters in June 2015, Tom Parsons and Eric Geist, who both work for the US Geological Survey, write:

“We have recently experienced a period that has had one of the highest rates of great earthquakes ever recorded.”

According to LiveScience, their study showed that during the first four months of 2014 the number of major earthquakes was already double the number of major earthquakes reported in an average year before 1992.

The two geologists stated that the number of large earthquakes with a magnitude exceeding 7.0 has been increasing at an alarming rate:

  • Between 1979 and 1992, the earth averaged 10 earthquake exceeding 7.0 magnitude per year
  • Between 1992 to 2010 that increased to 12.5 per year
  • After 2010, the earth was averaging 16.7 per year
  • First three months of 2014 — 20+ (in three months this was double the yearly average before 1992)

But perhaps equally curious, LiveScience writes:

The rise in earthquakes is statistically similar to the results of flipping a coin, Parsons said: Sometimes heads or tails will repeat several times in a row, even though the process is random.

“Basically, we can’t prove that what we saw during the first part of 2014, as well as since 2010, isn’t simply a similar thing to getting six tails in a row,” he said.

In other words there is no scientific reason this is happening. It just is.

But then the Apostle John in his vision of the end times, recorded in the Book of Revelation, adds another piece to the puzzle. He talks about ONE GREAT EARTHQUAKE taking place — the mother of all earthquakes.

12 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; (Revelation 6:12 NASV)

John uses the Greek word “megas” to describe this earthquake. Megas means exceedingly great and is used to describe rank — making it the largest.

He warned of one coming earthquake that would make the others pale in comparison.

With five major earthquakes recently going off in rapid succession, the Daily Mail reports that University of Colorado seismologist Roger Bilham is warning that the earth may be rocked by a number of mega earthquakes exceeding 8.0 in magnitude.

Earthquakes of this size would result in every single building collapsing and if they struck in an highly populated area, the impact would be absolutely devastating.

Some with the US Geological Survey have even wondered about an earthquake in the 10.0 magnitude range hitting earth. Scientists have been recording earthquakes for the past 100 years and though there is no record of an earthquake of this size taking place, it is certainly not out of the realm of possibility.

The one that hit Chile in 2014 was 8.2 and the earthquake that rocked Sumatra in 2004 was over 9.0 and caused 300,000 deaths mostly from tsunamis.

It’s nearly impossible to speculate the type of damage a 10.0 earthquake could cause if it hit a populated area.

The increase in earthquakes is one of the sign posts that Jesus said would tell us the end times is approaching.

But we will know that we are in the throes of the apocalypse when a mega earthquake hits. It will occur after the Angel sounds the sixth trumpet and we can blame geological forces and the Ring of Fire all we want, but the Bible is clear on one thing — God is the one who will cause it.

Earthquake rankings:

  • 1.0-2.0 magnitude: People will not feel these earthquakes but instruments will detect them.
  • 3.0 magnitude: People indoors will feel a bit of a tremor similar to the passing of a large truck
  • 4.0 magnitude: An earthquake this large can crack walls. It will weaken trees.
  • 5.0 magnitude: Furniture will move in homes and it can damage poorly constructed buildings.
  • 6.0 magnitude: At this level walls can collapse. Fireplaces are particularly vulnerable. Depending on the quality of construction, damage can range from moderate to heavy.
  • 7.0 magnitude: All buildings in the area will suffer major damage. There will also be cracks in the ground and potential for landslides.
  • 8.0 magnitude: It will destroy all buildings.


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