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Natural Disasters—Are They Getting Worse? (3656 hits)

China quake leaves 4.6m homeless
From correspondents in Beijing

May 16, 2008 09:34pm
Article from: Agence France-Presse

MORE than 4.8 million people have been left homeless in China's southwestern Sichuan province by this week's earthquake, a senior local official said today.

A total of 4,807,200 people have been forced into "temporary shelter" in the province, Li Chengyun, the vice governor of Sichuan, told a news conference.

More than 50,000 people are estimated to have died in Monday's 7.9-magnitude earthquake, China's deadliest natural disaster in a generation.

to All Disasters

“Children and children’s children. Hear! . . . Sooner or later this mountain takes fire. But before this happens there are mutterings and roarings and earthquakes. Smoke and flames and lightning are spewed forth, the air trembles and rumbles and howls. Flee so long as you can . . . If you despise it, if goods and chattels are dearer to you than life, it will punish your recklessness and greed. Do not trouble about your hearth and home, but flee without hesitation.”

THAT warning, from the book Earth Shock, by Andrew Robinson, was inscribed on a memorial tablet at Portici—a town at the foot of Mount Vesuvius in Italy—after the volcano erupted in 1631. The eruption claimed over 4,000 lives. “By a twist of fate,” says Robinson, “it was this eruption of 1631 . . . that made Vesuvius a household name.” How so? The reconstruction of Portici led to the discovery of Herculaneum and Pompeii. Both cities had been smothered when Vesuvius erupted in 79 C.E.

Pliny the Younger, a Roman who survived that disaster and later became a governor, wrote of unusual warning tremors. He, his mother, and others acted on the warning and survived.
A Warning Sign for Our Time

Today we are fast approaching the end of the economic, social, and political systems of the world. How do we know that? Because Jesus Christ foretold a series of world developments that would provide a sign indicating that God’s day of reckoning is near. Like a volcano that rumbles, smokes, and spits out cinders, that composite sign includes great wars, earthquakes, famines, and pestilences—all of which have ravaged the world on an unprecedented scale since the year 1914.—Matthew 24:3-8; Luke 21:10, 11; Revelation 6:1-8.

Are you taking note of the warning that the present world is in its last days?

But Jesus’ warning sign also includes a message of hope. “This good news of the kingdom,” he said, “will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14) Notice that Jesus called the Kingdom message “good news.” It is indeed good news because God’s Kingdom, a heavenly government in the hands of Christ Jesus, will undo all the harm that humans have caused. Additionally, it will cause natural disasters to cease.—Luke 4:43; Revelation 21:3, 4.

Indeed, as a man on earth, Jesus demonstrated his power over the elements by calming a life-threatening storm. In awe, his fearful disciples said: “Who really is this, for he orders even the winds and the water, and they obey him?” (Luke 8:22-25) Today, Jesus is, not a mere human, but a powerful spirit. Hence, controlling the natural elements so that they do no harm to his subjects will present no problem to him!—Psalm 2:6-9; Revelation 11:15.

Some may view all of this as wishful thinking. But keep in mind that Bible prophecy—unlike human promises and predictions—has a flawless record, including the prophecies we have seen fulfilled since 1914. (Isaiah 46:10; 55:10, 11) Yes, earth’s peaceful future is guaranteed. Our future will be too if we take God’s Word to heart and heed its loving warning concerning the earth-shaking events that are soon to occur.—Matthew 24:42, 44; John 17:3.

Appeared in Awake! July 22, 2005
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Friday, May 16th 2008 at 10:00AM
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