That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill, one will be taken and the other left. (Matthew 24:39b-41)
On October 18, 1751 an earthquake devastated Haiti and left only one building in the whole city standing.
On June 3, 1770, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit Port-au-Prince, Haiti and 200 people died as a result.
On August 8, 1946 an earthquake hit the Dominican Republic which also shook Haiti and caused a Tsunami which killed 1,790 people.
On December 26, 2004 a 9.2 magnitude earthquake in the Indian Ocean off the North West coast of Sumatra, caused a Tsunami which devastated Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.
On January 12, 2010 the earth moved again in Haiti. The epicentre was located about 16 miles west of Port-au-Prince at a depth of 8.1 miles. The Red Cross reported 52 aftershocks. There were 217,000 identified dead, and an estimated 300,000 injured. Ten million people were left homeless.
As I hear and watch these stories unfold on film with the help of modern technology, I can’t help but be reminded of the words of Jesus in Matthew 24:41 where he says: one will be taken, the other left.
In one of the first pictures of the tidal wave coming onto land, I saw an older couple swimming in a pool beside each other enjoying the beautiful day. As the tidal wave washed over them, they were separated. Within a few minutes, the man was rescued. The woman did not make it.
I also heard the story told of a young couple who were together in their hotel room. One of them survived. The other was washed away.
My heart went out to a young man who cried as he lay in his hospital bed and told how he had survived and his girlfriend who had been with him was nowhere to be found.
Two young sisters were playing on the beach together. One survived. The other was never seen again.
One young woman was able to save herself by clinging to a tree for eight hours. Her boyfriend was washed away.
Jesus tells us that earthquakes such as these are the beginning of birth pains which will lead up to the end of the world. He tells us in Matthew 24:7 & 8, Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.
Does that mean the end of the world will be soon? There is no way for us to know. We must remember that God is not bound by time like we are. In 2 Peter 3:8 he tells us: But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years are like a day. He also tells us in Matthew 24:36: No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven nor the Son, but only the Father.
As I hear of, and see the “birth pains” that Jesus tells us about, I can’t help but wonder how close we are to the end. That day when Jesus comes again in all his glory, will be devastating for those who in this life, rejected his free gift of salvation, but for those who are members of his family through faith in him, it will be a day of rejoicing. In other words, the believers (those who follow Christ as their Savior from sin) will be taken up to heaven. The unbelievers (those who rejected Jesus during their time of Grace here on earth) will be left behind for destruction and an eternity in hell.
I am ready. I am certain of my salvation through faith in Jesus as my Savior. I am not afraid. Are you ready? If you feel like you are not ready and are fearful, pick up your Bible and begin reading the Gospel of Matthew. The Holy Spirit gives us faith through the word. He will take your spiritually dead heart and soul, and bring it to life – a life that will last through eternity.
While I wait for Jesus to return, I will work in service to Him, using the time He has given me to tell all people I meet about His free gift – a gift given lovingly through the sacrifice of His only Son.
Together we will wait for the final and great “Tsunami”, the day when Jesus comes back to earth to take us home. We will wait without fear, confident that God is in control of all things, and that every promise he has made to us will come true in His own good time.
By Kristeen – To God be the Glory