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Asteroids: Media Hype or Menacing Danger?

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Movies such as "Asteroid" (1997) "Armageddon (1998), and "Deep Impact" (1998) have portrayed asteroids as threatening all life on Earth. Do science and Bible prophecy agree that asteroids can or will pose such a threat? Are we in danger of an asteroid impact?

According to National Geographic News writer Stefan Lovgren: "The Minor Planet Center receives observations of up to 15,000 new objects every day from two telescopes in New Mexico alone. An informal network of amateur astronomers around the world does much of the follow-up observation work" (April 14, 2004)

Will any of those many objects endanger us? Or are we simply imagining science fiction scenarios? What is the reality? Have asteroids actually impacted the earth in recent centuries? Early in the last century, an asteroid known as the "Tunguska fireball" shocked the world: "In 1908 an asteroid believed to be about 60 meters (197 feet) in diameter exploded in the atmosphere over Siberia. The resulting shock wave knocked down trees for hundreds of square miles…. According to one expert scenario, there is a 10 percent chance that a 70-meter (230-foot) asteroid will impact Earth in our lifetime, striking with an energy of 10 megatons, equivalent to 700 Hiroshima-size atomic bombs" (ibid.).

Scientists are going to great lengths to identify large asteroids that may impact earth and cause civilization-destroying devastation. But smaller projectiles like the Tunguska asteroid can strike without warning. What does the Bible say about cataclysmic damage to our earth? Bible prophecy predicts that there will be frightening activity in the heavens, and that great earthquakes will convulse great portions of our planet. The book of Revelation describes the effects: "Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place" (Revelation 6:14). At the end of this age, the Great Creator will intervene in human affairs. Notice what astronomic activity will affect us. The Apostle John envisions the future: "I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind" (Revelation 6:12–13).

These events will frighten human beings, who by then should have realized there is a Great God who controls the universe: "And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, 'Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?'" (Revelation 6:15–17).

God will give human beings an opportunity to repent and change before He pours out these judgments on a rebellious and God-defying mankind. But many will harden their hearts. In conjunction with gigantic earth upheavals, objects like small asteroids will fall from the heavens. "And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague was extremely severe" (Revelation 16:20–21, NAS).

While scientists strive to monitor millions of asteroids, you need to monitor your Bible and prophetic events. Be sure to watch world news in the light of Bible prophecy. The Tomorrow's World telecast and magazine keep you up to date with world trends and Bible prophecy. Let us consider the Creator's admonition: "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man" (Luke 21:36).