Typhoon Mangkhut came to life the week of Sept. 9 and struck Guam, the Marshall Islands and the Philippines.
The wildfires of California have burned since mid-July.
Also in July, more than 100 people are killed in mudslides in southwestern Japan.
On June 3, more than 2 million people are affected by the eruption of Mount Fuego in Guatemala.
In early May, Kilauea started spewing lava. Kilauea’s eruption has caused nearly 2,000 evacuations and the destruction of almost 300 homes.
Western and northern India suffered through massive dust storms May 2, killing 125 people and countless livestock.
February saw earthquakes spread around the globe; three quakes were particularly strong, killing nearly 200 people combined. The three big ones took place in Papua New Guinea, Mexico and Taiwan.
Three days in January saw winds blow through Europe, namely Germany, France, Belgium, Netherlands and Poland killing more than a dozen people.
On January 9 twenty-one people were killed by mudslides in California.
The above is only a few of the natural disasters that have wreaked havoc throughout 2018, so far. It is only mid-September. There will be more added to the list before we turn the calendar to 2019.
Every one of these events brought heartache and despair to those involved. The lives of millions of people will never be the same; loved ones were lost, homes destroyed, family heirlooms gone forever. Even after weeks or months of rebuilding nothing goes back to the way it was, at least not entirely.
If you look through the list, please note all of these horrific events are local or at worst regional in nature. I am in no way attempting to make light of the terrible things that have happened to the people involved in these events; I only want to make note that a few hundred miles from these events the material damages are nearly non-existent.
Jesus Christ tells us of a future time that will be worse than anything the world has ever seen. Matthew 24:21 says, “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”
Anyone who has lived through a significant natural disaster never wants to go through anything like it again, but this tribulation period that Jesus speaks of will not only be an increase of local emergencies but will also consist of global disasters.
A quick comparison of some verses in Matthew 24 and Revelation 6 will show the global effects of the Tribulation period.
Matthew 24:5 and 24:11 both mention that “many” shall claim to be Jesus Christ. In the last one hundred years, some famous and infamous people have claimed to be Christ. The shortlist is - Sun Myung Moon, Jim Jones, Charles Manson, and David Koresh. However, Revelation 6:2 tells us of the coming of the Antichrist who will someday have the whole world believing he is God (Revelation 13:4,7-9).
Matthew 24:6-7 talks of “wars and rumors of wars...nation shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom.” In other words, wars and the threat of war will pop up all over the place. Wikipedia, as of Sept. 16, lists 59 conflicts currently fought around the world.
Revelation 6:3-4 tells us the Antichrist will “take peace from the earth.” Not a place on earth will be at peace. The Antichrist will have a “great sword.”
Also in Matthew 24:7, Jesus tells us of famines, pestilences and natural disasters happening in various places. One here, one there, these catastrophes are local and regional events as they are now. Starting within the first few months of the Tribulation period, because of the horrific events of a global scale, food will be so scarce a loaf of bread will cost a day’s wages. Starvation, war, pestilence and natural disasters will bring the death of one-fourth of the world’s people. With today’s population, we are talking just shy of 2 billion people. These are not local or regional disasters. So again I would like to emphasize, this is only the beginning of history’s worst seven years (Revelation 6:5-8).
The comparison does not end there. Matthew 24:9 talks of the martyrdom of Christians. The charity Open Doors reported early this year that more than 3,000 Christians were killed for their faith during 2017, more than twice as many as in 2016. Revelation 6:9-11 reveals the persecution of Christians will be unrestrained around the globe. Power will be given to the Antichrist “to make war with the saints, and to overcome them” (Revelation 13:7).
Lastly, there will be the earthquakes. Matthew 24:7 gives us the famous Bible line, “and there shall be ... earthquakes, in diverse places.” This situation is basically what we have today. An earthquake here, an earthquake there, some stronger than others, but early in the Tribulation period, there will be an earthquake that will shake the foundations of the globe; the whole earth will feel it (Revelation 6:12-17).
No one wants to live through a natural disaster, and there are many people who have never experienced a flood, wildfire, earthquake, hurricane, tornado, mudslide, volcano or whatever else nature can come up with. But the day will come when no one will be able to escape. The only way to miss the global judgments of the Tribulation period is by trusting in Jesus as your Savior.
Preacher Tim Johnson is pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County, Indiana. Email him at [email protected] Sermons and archived Preacher’s Points may be found at preacherspoint.wordpress.com.