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The biblical ‘big one': Awaiting the quake of quakes

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Are you prepared for the greatest earthquake of all time — a planet-wide shaking event?The Bible predicts such a tremendous cataclysm. Revelation 16:18 states: "And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great."Two verses later, Revelation 16:20, it reads: "And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found."Zechariah 14:4 also mentions changes in Jerusalem, probably because of quakes.God has used earthquakes in the past to denote important events. Matthew 27:50-54 illustrates there were quakes during Christ's crucifixion. And a quake heralded Christ's resurrection (Matthew 28:2).An earthquake also broke prison doors down for Paul and led to the conversion of the prison keeper (Acts 16:25-26).For centuries, earthquakes have been hot topics.The largest ever recorded was an 8.5 Richter scale event in Chile on May 12, 1960. Given the gigantic quakes prophesied in the Bible and knowing what tsunamis they could spawn would likely put those residents along coastlines or on small islands in double jeopardy.So how do you prepare yourself physically or spiritually for such upheavals?"The Bible does speak of an increase of earthquakes in what is termed in the Bible the 'last days,' and in the book of Revelation it speaks of major earthquakes that are still future," Pastor Terry Long of Salt Lake's Calvary Chapel, says."The Bible tells us that right before the return of Jesus these things would be taking place. The Bible says 'For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.' When a woman gets close to having a child the contractions get closer together and more intense. That is what happening right now to the earth when we see an increase in earthquakes. We are simply seeing the labor pains talked about in 1 Thessalonians."Pastor Long said on a practical level we should have basic supplies for any natural disaster."Not to go overboard with this but at least be prepared with the basics if there is some kind of disaster. On a spiritual level, Jesus tells us in Luke 21:28 that when we see these things begin to come to pass that we are to look up, our redemption is drawing near."In other words with all that is happening to our world we need to be ready because someday we are all going to stand in the presence of God and give an account for our lives and this increase of earthquakes is just a reminder that we are not going to be here forever. We need to be ready by having a relationship with the God that created us and loves us more than life. "The Rev. Steve Goodier of Christ United Methodist Church of Salt Lake, said he understands that the Revelation of John is actually encouragement written to a persecuted church while John was in exile."He spoke in figurative language about events that were occurring and soon would occur round about them."He said Jesus speaks of being ready for the coming of the bridegroom, interpreted as the coming of the Messiah in the last days."We should live in such a way that we might give an account of our lives at any time," the Rev. Goodier said. "So whether we live a long life or a short one, every day should be lived as fully and joyously as possible in relationship with God."He said there are Christians who wait for a cataclysmic end to the world."Others understand Revelation to be metaphorical picture language — that we shouldn't be preparing for an earthquake to destroy humanity, but that the true disaster is a life bent on it's own destruction and the destruction of others. Many people live such lives."He said his church's response is this:"Love others and love God as wholly and sincerely as you can. Be an agent of good in a world that can and will destroy itself in so many ways. Resist the evil that can be so pervasive in our world and be at peace. This is the life God would have for you."The Rev. Steve Goodier of Christ United Methodist Church of Salt Lake, said he understands that the Revelation of John is actually encouragement written to a persecuted church while John was in exile."He spoke in figurative language about events that were occurring and soon would occur round about them."He said Jesus speaks of being ready for the coming of the bridegroom, interpreted as the coming of the Messiah in the last days."We should live in such a way that we might give an account of our lives at any time," the Rev. Goodier said. "So whether we live a long life or a short one, every day should be lived as fully and joyously as possible in relationship with God."He said there are Christians who wait for a cataclysmic end to the world."Others understand Revelation to be metaphorical picture language — that we shouldn't be preparing for an earthquake to destroy humanity, but that the true disaster is a life bent on it's own destruction and the destruction of others. Many people live such lives."He said his church's response is this:"Love others and love God as wholly and sincerely as you can. Be an agent of good in a world that can and will destroy itself in so many ways. Resist the evil that can be so pervasive in our world and be at peace. This is the life God would have for you."Story continues belowQuantcastJehovah's Witnesses believe that even though many earthquakes so far fulfill prophecy, they are but tremors and a prelude to the great quake in Revelation 6:12."This indeed comes as a devastating finale to a series of advance tremors that shake Satan's human earthly system of things to its foundation." (From "Revelation Its Grand Climax at Hand!" by the Watchtower Society.The GoBeDo ministries (www.gobedo.com) believes there are three separate and distinct earthquakes mentioned in the Book of Revelation.The earth "will literally explode from within," the ministry says of the biggest quake of all.The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes that "the earth shall tremble and reel to and fro as a drunken man" (Doctrine and Covenants 88:87) in the last days."There are voices, thunders, lightnings and the greatest earthquake in earth's history; cities of nations fall; islands flee, and mountains are leveled; a great plague of hail," as stated in the Ensign, Oct. 1993, of the last days in a "Book of Revelation Overview" article.Elder Bruce R. McConkie said in his Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, that he believed that the greatest ever earthquake is part of the earth's return to like it was before it was divided in the days of Peleg (Genesis 10:25). Meaning all the earth's land masses shall unite into one island.In Mormon doctrine, Elder McConkie explained that by earthquakes God "delivers his servants from perils, destroys the wicked, and leaves a sign that his hand has been in transcendent events."Brigham Young also stated that when the elders are called home, the Lord will teach his own sermons with fire and earthquakes (Journal of Discourses 8:123 and D&C 88:88-92)."We need to make both temporal and spiritual preparation for the events prophesied at the time of the Second Coming," Elder Dallin H. Oaks said in a May 2004 Liahona address."And the preparation most likely to be neglected is the one less visible and more difficult — the spiritual. A 72-hour kit of temporal supplies may prove valuable for earthly challenges, but, as the foolish virgins learned to their sorrow, a 24-hour kit of spiritual preparation is of greater and more enduring value," he said.