Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010 Natural Disasters: A Sign of the End?

As we wrap up the the first decade of the new century (depending on how you determine a decade), it is only fitting we look for signs that might help us gauge how close we are to the prophesied end of the age.
Many occurances stand out that easily qualify as biblically significant.
First on my list is the decline of a truly Biblical worlview among the citizens of the United States, and the resultant rise in false religions. That there is even consideration for building a mosque at ground zero in New York is evidence of a horrible decline in our Judeo/Christian ethic.
Second, and this rides on the heels of the first, is the worldwide rise of radical Islam. 9/11 was a reality check for America, but the resulting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have ushered in a consolidation of radicalized Muslims who are willing martyrs in their mindless Jihad. Sadly, entire governments fall into this category. Iran, Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and others notably fall into this Islamic mess, but all are prominent in Biblical, end time prophecy. These, plus Israel, are the nations to watch in the next few months.
The most significant event of the year is the number of natural disasters. The year 2010 was the deadliest in more than a generation. Earthquakes, heat waves, floods, volcanoes, super typhoons, blizzards, landslides and droughts killed more than 260,000 people. Last year only saw 15,000 deaths from natural disasters.
"It just seemed like it was back-to-back and it came in waves," said Craig Fugate, who heads the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency. It handled a record number of disasters in 2010. “The term '100-year event' really lost its meaning this year."
Most of the deaths were related to the January earthquake that struck Haiti. Because the vast majority of quakes follow a random pattern, their impact on populated areas is reduced. The Haiti trembler had the marking of judgment because it repeatedly hit the bull’s eye. It struck at the right depth, distance, and magnitude. When the Chile quake followed with a strength not seen in a decade, I could only wonder if a new level prophetic fulfillment is upon us.
So, how should we face what is ahead when the Bible says these types of events will only increase in frequency and intensity? Might I suggest a few practical steps.
1. Jesus told us in Matthew 24 that anti-Christian attitudes would increase as we close in on the rapture of the Church. In Matthew 6 we learn that we are blessed when we are persecuted for serving the Lord of Lords. James tells us to count it all joy when we encounter these, and various other trials. Rather than panic and fret, wringing our hands over nativities being removed from courthouse lawns, maybe we should smile and thank the Lord that we are counted worthy to suffer for his name sake. That doesn't mean we should forsake our civic responsibilities of keep Christ in the marketplace, but perhaps we should try not to be so fatalistic in our outlook.
2. If we are ever going to openly proclaim the saving grace of Jesus Christ and his gospel, we had better do it now. People are more open than ever, more receptive, and literally ready for the truth. Speak it...the gospel....with much love and patience.
3. Rely on the Spirit of God for everything! And I mean everything. Talk to him continually. Listen always. Be full of faith, not fear.
4. Share yourself with others, especially those who are hurting. Many have lost jobs, or have had hours cut back drastically. Bills can't be met. Folks are losing their homes. It will only get worse. Share. You can never be too generous. God loves a cheerful giver, and that doesn't just apply to how much you put in the offering plate at your church.
5. Increase you r personal prayer time, worship, and study of the scripture. You can't go wrong doing those three things.
6. Encourage one another by limiting your complaints and finding the positive in every situation. Be a joy giver, not a joy sucker.
Try those six things, and maybe you can add a few of your own. Go into 2011 with your eyes open for prophetic fulfillment and your heart full of love for your fellow human beings.
God bless you as we plunge into this new year.

Jimmy Root Jr
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