Birth Pangs

We had a colder than usual winter where I live. This happened the previous winter also. It gave me hope that perhaps our record-breaking summer temperatures would not recur. Sadly, they did. Last summer we had more record-breaking temperatures. Already this spring we have had record-breaking temperatures in the very high nineties.

This is an example of the extremities of weather the entire world has been experiencing. Besides changes in weather patterns, the number of massive earthquakes is increasing. According to the United States Geological Survey, which tracks earthquakes around the world, at April 30, 2010 there had been 56 earthquakes measured at 6.0 or greater. As of April 30, 2011 there have been 111 earthquakes 6.0 or greater, an increase of 98.2%. This is not a long-term fluke caused by more accurate measuring devices.

Earthquakes are easy to quantify. They are closely watched by scientists. Other than the National Weather Service announcing that the Joplin, Missouri tornado was the worst in over fifty years, it is difficult to quantify the weather. But there is someone who keeps very detailed records of the destruction caused by our extreme weather.

Insurance companies have to pay for the damage, and they calculate insurance premiums based upon their damage experience on a world-wide basis. Veteran insurance industry underwriter Mario P. Vitale, of the Aspen insurance group, says the world is becoming riskier and insurer catastrophe models should reflect this. One of the largest insurers in the world is the Allstate group. The Chief Executive Officer of the Allstate Corporation, Thomas J. Wilson, states that his company “is running its homeowners business on the assumption that the increase in severe weather experienced in recent years is permanent.”

For over fifty years wheat farmers have not had to deal with crop decimating wheat rust. Now it is back. If unchecked, this could cause famine. There is an unprecedented E-Coli outbreak in northern Germany. Many have died and thousands are infected. This is pestilence.

On the liberal Public Broadcasting Service I recently saw a discussion of the many divergent “signs”; record drought and flood, record tornadoes, and extremes in the weather in general. They laid the blame on man-made global warming. They (not just PBS and the media in general) ignore the fact that scientists know carbon dioxide levels have been much higher in millennia past when man was not as populous and was not using carbon-based fuels (coal and oil) for heat. However, this is another subject.

The point is, mankind thinks that they are in control. Mankind does not wish to acknowledge that there is a Creator Who controls the global temperature, and earthquakes, and the extremities of weather. To acknowledge that there is a God in Heaven is to acknowledge that mankind is accountable for its actions. And that is something mankind is loath to do.

But we know Who is in control. Scientists and insurers have records that show something is happening. What we are seeing and what we sense seems to be the “birth pangs” spoken of by Jesus in Matthew chapter 24. How long will the birth pangs go on? How long will the Lord be patient with a rebellious world that refuses to honor Him?

Our job is to spread the Gospel as fast as we can. To this end I urge you to support Christian missionaries. The Church is losing ground in Europe and is barely holding its own in America. The growth is in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Support these missions to the Glory of God and the salvation of souls. And may the Lord come quickly.

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