One of the more famous prophecies of Jesus regarding "the signs of His coming" is found in Matthew 24:7-8:

"For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these [are] the beginning of sorrows."

We know that nations are fighting nations and that the Twentieth Century was the bloodiest in history, and we know that there are famines and pestilence (AIDS, Ebola, Swine Flu). It is difficult to get firm numbers on war deaths, or deaths due to famine or disease. Different nations keep track of these statistics in different ways, using different criteria.

However, statistics regarding earthquakes are readily available and use a common methodology, the Richter scale. The following is a graph created from data provided by the United States Geological Survey. ( The graph shows the number of earthquakes greater than 6.0 on the Richter scale, by year. You can see that, with the exception of the 1950s and 1960s, the number of such earthquakes was less than six per year.

Since 1996 there has been a tremendous spike in the number of earthquakes greater than 6.0. In fact, the total number of all earthquakes has almost doubled since 1990. Critics like to say that the technology for sensing and reporting earthquakes has greatly improved since the beginning of the Twentieth Century, and this is correct. However, it is not likely that earthquake reporting equipment is twice as sensitive now as in 1990.

There is something going on. I do not purport to know what it is. It is commonly known that labor contractions get stronger and come more frequently before birth. I strongly suspect that this increase in the number and intensity of earthquakes is the beginning of the "birth pains" (New International Version) spoken of by Jesus.

Come, Lord Jesus!

BACK to Lesson Archive.