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Man-Made Earthquakes and the Rapture

by Tom Stewart
July 20, 2002

As a Baby Boomer, this writer vaguely recalls a science teacher speaking in jest to our class about the possibility of the Communist government of the People's Republic of China (PRC) using its vast populace to jump up and down in unison to cause an earthquake that would trigger a tidal wave (tsunami) that would devastate the Pacific Coast of the United States of America. "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things" (1Corinthians 13:11). On September 7th 2001, one million British school children were recruited by their teachers to participate in an experiment on their playgrounds at 11:00 AM (London time), where they jumped up and down for one full minute without stopping. The organizers of "The Giant Jump Event" were attempting to create a "measurable earthquake" in order to stimulate the imagination of their students about science and technology. This event marked the launch of the government's Science Year. Seismographs around the United Kingdom (UK) measured "something like a hundredth of a serious Earthquake." Earlier, it was projected that 75,000 tons of energy would be released during that minute of jumping. Devastating, if it was directed on one spot, but completely tolerable, if spread across the UK. Scientists had calculated that a "million children with an average weight of 110 pounds jumping 20 times in a minute would release two billion joules of energy and trigger the equivalent of an Earthquake measuring three on the Richter scale." 3.0 on the Richter Scale would be unnoticeable to most humans. The combined energy released from the jumping was dissipated before combining to form a national earthquake. Though it was difficult to scientifically conclude that a "measurable earthquake" was produced, micro-tremors were recorded across the country. Thus, the fanciful notion of man-made earthquakes was not proved, but neither was it completely removed from the realm of possibility. And, it should be noted that nuclear testing is recorded by seismographs worldwide, indicating that the idea of man-made earthquakes is not ridiculous. "I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit" (Ecclesiastes 1:14).

But, how does this relate to the prophetic discussion of the Rapture? Significant man-made events do not necessarily force the Hand of God to cause the event known by Christians as the Rapture.
"And all the inhabitants of the Earth are reputed as nothing: and He doeth according to His will in the army of Heaven, and among the inhabitants of the Earth: and none can stay His hand, or say unto Him, What doest Thou?" (Daniel 4:35). If significant man-made events were necessary to trigger the Rapture, then the September 11th 2001 destruction of the World Trade Center would have been a good opportunity to do so. Or, what about the wildly fluctuating Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), the Enron bankruptcy, the Kmart bankruptcy, and the WorldCom earnings coverup and expectation of imminent collapse? "By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of His nostrils are they consumed" (Job 4:9). However, God-inspired faith is God's prescribed means to influence Him concerning the Rapture. "Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them" (Mark 11:24). God expects His people to pray to Him about the fulfilling of prophecy. "Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask Me of things to come concerning My sons, and concerning the work of My hands command ye Me" (Isaiah 45:11). In particular, He expects His Saints to pray that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the attendant Rapture would occur soon, as it is recorded in the second to the last verse in the Bible. "He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, LORD Jesus" (Revelation 22:20). This has been part of the Christian program for Young Believers since the inception of Christianity. "Thy Kingdom come. Thy Will be done in Earth, as it is in Heaven" (Matthew 6:10). What little we understand of prophecy, we do know that we have been told to earnestly pray that we would be raptured. "Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things [i.e., all the events of the Tribulation Week] that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man" (Luke 21:36).

Man may speak facetiously of man-made earthquakes, but we are to be as serious as we know how, when we say that all thoughtful Saints should be praying,
"Come [quickly] LORD Jesus." "And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive" (Matthew 21:22). This is not to say that we should cease to labour for the support of ourselves and our families. "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat" (2Thessalonians 3:10). Neither should we cease to labour for the salvation of souls and the sanctification of the Body of Christ, for we know that the End will not come without first the Gospel being preached in all the world. "And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall The End come" (Matthew 24:14). Our continual and earnest prayer for a soon Rapture is actively solicited by the Almighty. "Thus saith the LORD GOD; I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them" (Ezekiel 36:37). In fact, any activity engaged in by faith in the LORD-- but especially with the understanding that faith influences the soonness of His Return and our Rapture-- promotes the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the Rapture of His Saints. "But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6).

"Even so, come, LORD Jesus" (Revelation 22:20).


[Now would be a good time to review our article, "Must There Be a Pre-Tribulational Rapture?" ---New Window.]

Tom Stewart

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