The Bible said that it would be like this...

The Beginning of Sorrows
By David McNabb

Listening to the pundits in both Christian and secular circles, one might think that the title of this article indicates Jan. 1, 2000: the day of the ĎMillennium Bug.í These last few months, we have been incessantly bombarded with Y2K hype. Will computers survive the changeover? Will power go out? Will planes fall out of the sky? Will nuclear arsenals around the globe be launched?

The various media have provided an arena for such doomsday prognostication, and it has been particularly widespread among Christianity.

I have been flooded with e-mails about the Y2K bug, and havenít read a one. Prior to their deletion, however, I noticed that the majority, if not all of them, originated from my fellow Christians.

The Bible predicts troublous times. If there is anything of which I am utterly convinced is that there are rough roads ahead.

Will Jan. 1st bring major upheaval or minor nuisances? I truly do not know. What marks the beginning of sorrows? New Yearís Day 2000? What do the Scriptures say?

While Christian leaders are focusing on some possible, even probable (but at the very least questionable) event, God gave us a sure sign: a sign so clear that it should have been seen by every Bible-believer.

Our Lord said, in Matt. 24:6-8, "And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of war: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilence, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows."

At first glance, this seems like a non-sign. In what part of history did nation NOT rise up against nation? When was the world FREE from famines and pestilence? What year passed WITHOUT news of earthquakes?

The truth is that all of these things seem to go on year after year, without a break. These different things seem to be just another fact of life. Yet, God gave us a great sign in a phenomenal frequency of one of these common occurrences this year.

On Aug. 17, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.4 shook Izmit, Turkey. Just over a month later, on Sept. 20, an earthquake measuring 7.6 struck about 100 mi. SSW of Taipei, Taiwan.

Sept. 30, 10 days later, the people in and around Oaxaca, Mexico felt the earth shake with a magnitude of 7.4 on the Richter Scale. Then, a 7.0 earthquake hit in the Mojave Desert, 32 mi. north of Joshua Tree right here in the U.S., on Oct. 16. Finally, on Nov. 12, with a 7.2 magnitude quake in Düzce, Turkey, the cycle ended right near where it had begun less than 3 months before.

It is widely accepted that God uses numbers for specific meanings. Seven is the number of Divine perfection. Here, in a three-month span of 1999, we had five quakes around the globe registering 7.0 or above on the Richter scale.

Another interesting fact: during the Joshua Tree earthquake, no fatalities were suffered, but, in a nearby hotel, TWELVE people were awakened. (Twelve is another number often used by God)

Earthquakes are not new to the world. They have been occurring "in divers places" for millennia. But God, in his Divine wisdom, gave us a sign. He gave us, as it were, a cluster of five otherwise ordinary trees in the middle of a forest of trees.

What made these quakes special was their magnitudes and their closeness. They screamed, "WAKE UP! ITíS MATT. 24!" The Bible said that these earthquakes, together with the widespread famines, wars, and diseases, donít mark the end. They mark the beginning ... of sorrows.