The horrific tragedies that constantly occur around this world cannot help but affect the hardest of hearts. Who could have imagined the magnitude of the devastating and traumatic events that took place on 26 December 2005 in the Indian Ocean and the horrific aftermath of the tsunami that crippled the nations in that area. Similarly the tsunami that hit Japan on 11 March 2011, and many other disasters that have stalked this planet since.
There are no words that can describe the mind wrenching suffering of those who have lost loved ones, property and livelihoods. The wind and seas may have calmed and the earth tremors stopped but the pain, hurt and suffering of those involved will undoubtedly go on for the rest of their lives.
Without 'outside' aid these nations, our neighbours, would not cope. In such circumstances we are reminded of the 'good Samaritan' who not only stopped to give immediate help to one in need but also provided assistance for ongoing recovery. "But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise," (Luke 10:33-37). Please bear this in mind and support those agencies that are distributing aid to the victims of disasters around this world.
End of the World?
It may be tempting to say that this event signals the end time spoken of in Matthew 24, but according to Jesus Christ earthquakes along with wars, famine and pestilence are part of the sorrows we will encounter in this age. He said, "And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows," (Matthew 24:7-8). Earthquakes have certainly brought incredible sorrow throughout history and their effects have become more pronounced as the population has increased, but they do not necessarily signal the end of the world.
According to Christ the main event that signals the end of this age is the preaching of the gospel of the Kingdom of God to the all the world, "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come," (v14). The preaching of the gospel of the Kingdom of God to all the world has not yet taken place. Millions if not billions of people do not know what the Kingdom of God really is. Even many professing Christians do not understand and until the good news of that Kingdom is preached to all the world the end time events described in Matthew 24:15-51 and the Book of Revelation will not take place.
Act of God?
While insurers may call a 'natural' disaster an act of God, they could not be further from the truth! There is a being referred to as the god of this world who works against the gospel of Christ, “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them,” (2 Corinthians 4:4). The god of this world is none other than Satan who has deceived the whole world (Revelation 12:9) and blinded them to the truth concerning the gospel of Christ. The gospel that Christ brought to this world is the gospel (good news) of the Kingdom of God and His plan of salvation for all of mankind (Matthew 4:23, 9:35). And, as we read in Matthew 24:14, that gospel will be preached to all nations prior to the return of Christ, prior to God’s intervention in world affairs. We have included some relevant article on this site concerning the Kingdom, God's plan and the inheritance He has for you.
It is Satan, the god of this world, who is responsible for the destructive events that continue to add to the sorrows of mankind and not God the Father whose purpose is to eventually save mankind and offer all eternal life. Satan knows that he has but a little time until the end of this age when God will intervene through the return of Christ.
These disasters are not acts of God. They are a manifestation of Satan's anger - his aim is to utterly destroy mankind. He has not only blinded the world to the good news about God's Kingdom and His plan of salvation, but has deceived the world into thinking that disasters like this are an act of God!
While our hearts go out to the victims of disasters. We should help where we can and should also continue to pray, as Christ instructed (Matthew 6:10), for God's Kingdom to come.