“Scientists at loss to explain busy, severe tornado season.”

“Scientists at loss to explain busy, severe tornado season.”   So read Wednesday’s headline in the South Bend Tribune.  “‘Right now we’re on track to break all previous counts through the end of the year,’ said warning meteorologist Greg Carbin at the Storm Prediction Center.  And it’s not just more storms.  The strongest of those storms—those in the 136-to-200 mph range—have been more prevalent than normal, and lately they seem to be hitting populated areas more, he said.”

Just another fluke of unpredictable Mother Nature?  Perhaps.  But a week ago I went to www.dlinquist.com to track earthquake frequencies.  The graphs begin in 1973 and climb gradually from 5,000 to 10,000 recorded earthquakes per year until 1995, when they spike to between 25,000 to 30,000 quakes per year by 2001 to 2005.  2008, only half through, has already logged around 25,000 seismic events (the most recent, of course, the May 11 national tragedy in China).

Just another fluke on our unpredictable planet?  One could so conclude.  The massive human catastrophe of the cyclone in Myanmar’s delta region can be explained the same way, no doubt.

But as the AP report about this year’s spike in tornados observed, “The nagging question is why.  Global warming cannot really explain what is happening, Carbin said” (Ibid).

At the risk of sounding like Noah, who for 120 years warned civilization of impending disaster (see Genesis 6 and 7), thus risking the taunt of the scoffers who have ever been quick to declare, “‘All things continue as they were from the beginning’”  (II Peter 3:4), I am compelled to interject this reminder into the news media’s reporting of the recent spate of natural disasters.  Jesus predicted that before his return:  “‘There will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the seas and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth; for the powers of the heavens [and the earth—Matthew 24:7] will be shaken’” (Luke 22:25, 26).

Do these disaster spikes prove true Christ’s prediction?  Or does his prediction provide the interpretive paradigm for understanding nature’s crescendo?  Obviously the answer will depend on the questioner.   It is in the accumulation of spikes—natural, economic, political, moral, religious—that the discerning mind of faith hears the call of Christ, “‘Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near’” (Luke 22:28).

And that’s why, unlike the headline, faith is not at a loss to explain its confidence.  For its bedrock is not the accumulating global numbers in the end, but rather the person and promise of Christ, “I will come again” (John 14:3).   The spiking statistics are simply a reminder that the end of earth’s heartache and misery is nearer than ever before, which is reason enough for faith to hope and love like never before.

Comments

Even so, come Lord Jesus.

Well yes it is true that scientists cannot prove many of the things that are happening. But I think that global warming and some other things are just part of the signs of the times.

Hello Pastor Dwight As an almost 81 year old, tho the loss of life and property from these global disasters is sad, I find myself getting excited at the nearness of our Lord's return. Yes, an 81 year old getting excited! We appreciate your sermon resources. We watch yours over and over as well as Pastor Doug's. I check every day for a new WMV! Keep up the good work. Betty Mills

Matt 16: 2He replied,[a] "When evening comes, you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,' 3and in the morning, 'Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.' You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. 4A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah." Matt 24:4Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you. 5For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ,[a]' and will deceive many. 6You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8All these are the beginning of birth pains. I hear people constantly saying that these things are the definite signs that the coming is soon. They have been saying that for generations, and they are some of the simplest indicators we have, but there are greater signs that we are expected to learn and watch. It is time stop the useless speculations about whether these increases are the final sign or not and start studying the word in earnest.

Thankyou for a powerful reminder! I am reading this from Sydney Australia, and I can tell you that even though we are quite removed from the tornados you are experiencing over there - we realize that something is stirring in this world today. Things really are intensifying. Petrol prices and food prices are soaring along with those quake statistics you mentioned. Jesus really is coming soon! God bless and thankyou for your ministry! Charissa

Pastor, I am 53 and I remember the weather over the years. Growing up, I noticed a severe change in our weather say some 20 years ago. Tornados, it seems, have increased in severity only within the last 5 to 10 years and it was rare for a tonado during the fall/winter months, unlike today. Global warming--could be! The earth is like a well oiled clock, disrupt one of the movements and the clock will not work. God designed the earth before and after the flood, He gave us the icecaps to regulate the earth's temperature so we can have land to grow crops and survive. Lose the ice and we lose farmable land, and with the ever-increasing population, we cannot afford to lose not one acre of land. How long will this continue--maybe years or maybe decades. Only God knows!

Hi Dwight, Thankyou for the timely reminder that things are wrapping up-and quickly. I'm from down town also, on the NSW coast in Australia and we are feeling our own share of the economic strains that are beginning to grip the entire world. We have been watching Revelation 13 coming into focus more so with events that transpired in the US in April. In Sydney, when he who is considered to be the "world religous leader" touches down in July the NSW state and federal government has gone all out to roll out the red carpet. The publicity and fan fare, not to mention the millions of dollars of taxpayer dollars is unprecedented in a country such as ours. Half a million pilgrims are expected to attend a rally at the premier horse racing stadium in Sydney that has raised more than one or two eyebrows amongst the racing fraternity. What's all the fuss most Australians are asking? I guess soon they will find out. Interesting times we live in - politically, economically, socially, environmentally and above all religously the clock hand is surely pointing almost straight upward. God bless and thanks for your inspiring messages, Danny Milenkov

pastor dewhite, i find it very exciting what is happening!the earth is still spinning but it will be spining in a new way as the things happen on this planet of ours.it will be a bumpy ride but then God didnt promise us all pease before he comes

Thank you so much for your ministry. I watch you on Hope TV every chance I get. And I agree with you totally. The end is near, and how excited I am that Jesus will be here soon and take us home with Him. The signs abound, and I want to be like Noah and heed them.

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