Everyone knows about the terrible Tsunami that hit South Asia and killed so many people. Much has been written, yet here I will look at that deadly current from a perspective not normally explored by news agencies–a prophetic one.
At this moment, the official death toll is near 155,000, yet analysts say the actual numbers are closer to 300,000, and may even reach half a million. This quake/wave disaster is being called: “The Worst Disaster in History,” “The Most Expensive Disaster in History,” “The Largest Relief Effort in History.” U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan called it “an unprecedented global catastrophe.” Newsweek even labeled it, “A cataclysm of Biblical proportions.”
Secularists see it as a random act of Mother Nature, yet millions who believe the Bible sense that somehow, in some way, God Almighty is involved. Is the tsunami a sign of the end? In one of His end-time messages, Jesus Christ predicted:
And there will be SIGNS in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, THE SEA AND THE WAVES ROARING; men’s hearts failing them from fear and for looking at the things that are coming upon the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. THEN THEY WILL SEE THE SON OF MAN COMING IN A CLOUD WITH POWER AND GREAT GLORY. Now when these things begin to come to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:25-28, emphasis added).
Did you catch that? On December 26, 2004, “the sea and the waves roared” like never before devastating the coastlines of 11 nations. Jesus listed this very thing as one of the “signs” of His return. In the days following, people around the globe were “looking” at footage of this event on CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox News, and all other news networks. For thousands of years–until our modern era–it was impossible for people to “look at the things that are coming upon the earth,” but now they can. To me, Christ’s words pinpoint our generation. The next event is that the same people will “see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” The sequence is: the sea and the waves roaring, then the Second Coming. Jesus even said that when these things “begin to happen” we should starting looking up, because our “redemption draws near.”
The Book of Revelation predicts that at the very end of the world “every mountain and island was moved out of its place” (Revelation 6:14). Much of Revelation is symbolic, but not all of it. Some is perfectly literal. Some may have viewed the idea of islands moving as far-fetched. No longer. On December 26, 2004, the Indonesian island of Sumatra literally “moved” 100 feet. Maps are being redrawn. Thus islands can move. More will shift in the future. Believe it.
Revelation also says that at the very end there will be a “great earthquake as has not occurred since men were upon earth” (Revelation 16:18). In a parallel passage, Isaiah predicted:
The earth is violently broken, the earth is split open, THE EARTH IS SHAKEN EXCEEDINGLY. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall totter like a hut; Its transgression shall be heavy upon it, and it shall fall, and not rise again (Isaiah 24:19, emphasis added).
Thus someday Planet Earth will be “shaken exceedingly.” “Impossible,” skeptics may have thought. Not now. On December 26, 2004, one report declared: “All the planet is vibrating,” and later, “the entire planet shuddered in its orbit”. Thus earth can be shaken. According to prophecy, more movement is on the horizon.
There was no warning. Vacationers, natives and fisherman mostly knew nothing until the waves overwhelmed them. There’s a lesson here. Paul wrote:
For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, “Peace and safety!” then SUDDEN DESTRUCTION comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape (1 Thessalonians 5:2, 3).
“The day of the Lord” (when Jesus Christ returns) will arrive unexpectedly like a thief. It will hit like “labor pains upon a pregnant woman.” This is significant. Labor pains don’t come all at once (ask my wife, we just had a baby)–but they build up gradually until the moment when the baby comes. The Day of the Lord will come similarly. On Dec. 26, 2004, a major contraction occurred. Birth pains are increasing. Paul’s said we should understand this “perfectly.”
Jesus Christ is coming. The Day of the Lord is at hand. The sea and the waves are roaring, at least one island moved, and Planet Earth was shaken. For those with eyes to see and ears to hear, we know this is all preliminary to what is yet to come. Honestly, I long for it, for I would rather raise my newborn son in Heaven instead of in this sinful world. I will conclude this article with the hope God gives true believers:
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling… Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth (Psalm 46:1-3, 10).
God loves us. He suffers with those who hurt. He longs for the day when there will be “no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying…for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4). This time is closer than we think. In the light of Asia’s terrifying disaster and the Bible’s plain predictions about the future, let’s forsake every sin, believe in the One who died for us, and follow the Bible fully. Jesus Christ said, “When these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, for your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:28, italics added).
Even so, Come Lord Jesus! (Revelation 22:20)