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Why Earthquakes?

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As carnal men curse and blaspheme God's name—while even the so-called intelligentsia "make fun" of the idea of a real God and despise His ways—God will literally begin to shake the nations to humble them and to get their full attention.


Whether we realize it or not, dramatic prophecy fulfillments are bringing this world toward the end of society as we now know it! The recent horrifying earthquake in Haiti is turning out to be one of the worst tragedies of modern times. Within days of the disaster, more than 200,000 were reported dead, and another 1.5 million were left homeless. And as the days went on, the scope of the damage became more and more evident. Haiti suffered a blow from which it could take years to recover!

Many organizations rushed to send help, and we were able to help a Haitian member of our Tomorrow's World ministry personally bring aid—financial and otherwise—to many suffering Haitians. Naturally, all of us are concerned about our suffering fellow human beings.

But, why such tragedy?

Commenting on the Haiti quake, United States President Barack Obama stated, "For a country and a people who are no strangers to hardship and suffering, this tragedy seems especially cruel and incomprehensible" (USA Today, January 13, 2010). The President called the tragedy "incomprehensible"—something he cannot understand. Yet he also called it "cruel." Was he calling God cruel? Or did he mean that a satanic force cruelly caused the earthquake? No matter how one might interpret these remarks, they reveal a man who truly does not understand. And few do.

But we do need to understand. And countless thousands of you subscribers have already proved to yourself that we at Tomorrow's World do know the meaning of the prophecies being worked out here on earth! Many of us in this Work have been helping explain these events decades in advance, ever since we worked closely under Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong in the Work Christ did through Him. And we want you to know what we know.

First, it is vital to realize that God has a 7,000-year plan! He is not trying to "save" everyone at this time! Otherwise, as El Shaddai—"Almighty God"—He would save everyone right now—and no force in the universe could stop Him!

Jesus Christ Himself said, "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day" (John 6:44). Jesus' own teaching indicates that He and God the Father were not then trying to "save" everyone. Indeed, after proclaiming Himself the "Rock" upon which the true Church was to be built, Jesus rebuked Peter and said, "Get behind me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men" (Matthew 16:23)! For, like most people, Peter did not yet realize that much suffering is usually required for human beings to learn the lessons we need to learn, and that Jesus' suffering and death were a necessary part of God's plan.

And when Jesus said, "Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father" (John 6:65), Scripture goes on to tell us that "many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more" (v. 66).

Jesus did not go running after them—desperately trying to "save" them right then. For God is allowing the first 6,000-year period of His great Plan for human beings to write the lessons they need to learn through the human suffering that comes from going their own way. Most will not fully learn those lessons until later. So God has, in effect, kept "hands off" our human society, which He has now allowed to remain under the temporary control of Satan the Devil. Most of you readers know this—but the people who cry out, "Where was God in all of this?" do not understand!

These people have never understood or have completely forgotten the many, many verses which tell us that Satan is, in fact, the "god" of this age (2 Corinthians 4:4). And many of these people—often themselves nominal Christians—wrongly assume that God is somehow trying to "save everyone" now, and therefore would be remiss if He did not intervene to deliver human beings from every tragedy that comes along. But the Creator of the universe is not trying to do all of this—at this time.

Are the Haitian people worse sinners than most of the rest of us?

Speaking of the why of human tragedies, the Gospel of Luke tells us, "There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answered and said to them, 'Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish'" (Luke 13:1–5).

With all the rebellion against God's laws and ways throughout the entire world—the vicious wars, tortures and rapes, the crime and violence, the fornication, adultery and sexual perversion—there is plenty of sin everywhere! God is allowing mixed-up human beings to invent their own ways—to try out drunkenness, illicit drugs and even same-sex "marriage"! But God also allows the suffering and anguish that eventually comes upon those who break His laws. For God knows that in His time He will open their eyes to the Truth of His existence and His great Plan, and that most people will repent and turn to God when they truly understand.

Meanwhile, God normally allows the "laws of nature" to take their toll. Beyond that, He sometimes supernaturally intervenes to shake people to their senses. Jesus Christ Himself warned that, in the last days, "there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven" (Luke 21:11).

As carnal men curse and blaspheme God's name—while even the so-called intelligentsia "make fun" of the idea of a real God and despise His ways—God will literally begin to shake the nations to humble them and to get their full attention.

God inspired the beloved Apostle John to tell us of this soon-coming time: "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. Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. 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 6:12–17).

Will people finally begin to "wake up" and turn to God when a great earthquake begins to shake everything around them? One might hope so. But, for most, their hard-headed, self-willed attitudes will make it very difficult! For most people rebel against the idea of a real God who has the authority to tell them how to live their lives. They do not like to be told that the Ten Commandments are not just ten "suggestions"—but are an immutable, unchangeable law they must obey: "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be\ (Romans 8:7).

Each of us must regularly \examine ourselves" to see if we are truly surrendered to obey our Creator—the God of the Bible, "whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, 'Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven'" (Hebrews 12:26). Then, God's word tells us, "Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire" (vv. 28–29).

Dear subscribers and friends, please do not take these words lightly! Do not assume that the Haitian earthquake was just a one-time event. Rather, as you reflect on the pictures of the piles of rubble, the stacks of human corpses being hurriedly buried in mass graves, and the untold thousands of traumatized, starving, almost-hopeless human beings, realize that this very type of devastation will yet occur in cities where many of you live (Revelation 16:17–19)! Yes! For when God warns of a coming "great earthquake," He means exactly what He says! This present human society will soon come to an end. And God will not "play games" with those who deliberately refuse to obey their very Creator! If God is opening your mind, do all you can to act on His precious Truth while you have the opportunity. And, if you have not already done so, contact the Regional Office nearest you (listed at the bottom of this page) to request a free copy of our informative and inspiring booklet, Is This the Only Day of Salvation? It will truly "open your eyes" to God's great purpose and why He often allows human tragedies to occur.

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