Friday, May 20, 2011

Japan earthquake rocks the planet - but Bible prophecy expects far greater!

The release of the tension between the Pacific and North American plates due to the Japan earthquake caused a small redistribution of the earth’s mass such that its moment of inertia and figure axis (but not the spin axis) were changed slightly, increasing the rotation rate. According to an article in Science Daily,1 this increase in rotation rate shortened the length of the day by about 1.8 microseconds. Calculations show the Japan quake should have shifted the position of the earth’s figure axis by about 6.5 inches eastward.2

But the Japan earthquake is only the fifth largest since 1900. Major natural catastrophes have occurred and continue to occur on the earth. The recent events in Japan, though they were devastating, were not as large as many past catastrophes. Although the Bible speaks of cosmological and geological events occurring in the end times, the recent earthquakes and tsunamis do not match the magnitude demanded by prophecy. Nor does there appear to be an increase in the frequency of large earthquakes and other catastrophes that would lead one to believe that the last events of the end times are occurring. But even if there was an interval of increased frequency, Scripture specifically says, “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night” (1 Thessalonians 5:2). The cosmological and geological events of the end times will be greater than anything we have experienced in our lifetime and will descend upon those still present on the earth suddenly and unexpectedly.

However, another portion of Scripture reminds us to always be ready for the Lord’s return.
But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark. (Matthew 24:37-38)
The Lord’s return will be sudden and activities will appear to be normal. However, when the Lord comes, catastrophes will occur globally and destruction will be similar in magnitude to the days of Noah, but without a global flood. We really have no concept of how sudden and massive the events of the Genesis Flood were. For example, tsunamis during the Flood were not 30 feet high as occurred during the Japan tsunami, but were likely hundreds or even thousands of feet high. Earthquakes were not 9.0 on the Richter scale, but probably 10 or higher. That means earthquakes would have produced ground motions tens of times or more greater than those that occurred in Japan. During the Japan earthquake, one small volcanic eruption occurred in southern Japan. During the Genesis Flood, literally thousands of volcanoes would have erupted, based on some 10,000 extinct volcanoes remaining on the surface of the continents and under the oceans.

For Christians who are looking forward to the Lord’s return, His coming will be a blessing. The Lord will come to take His own to spend eternity with Him before the devastation hits. I always enjoyed walking into the San Diego office of ICR founder Dr. Henry Morris and seeing the plaque on his wall that said simply, “Perhaps today.” Let’s anticipate the return of the Lord by informing as many of our friends and family as possible how to escape the judgment to come.

(excerpted from Larry Vardiman, Japan Earthquake Rocks the Planet, Acts & Facts May 2011, Institute for Creation Research)

References (selected)

1. Japan Quake May Have Slightly Shortened Earth Days, Moved Axis, Theoretical Calculations Suggest. Science Daily. Posted on March 15, 2011.

2. Buis, A. Japan Quake May Have Shortened Earth Days, Moved Axis. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, News and Features. Posted on March 14, 2011.

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