The Big One

By Johnie Edwards

Northern California was hit with an earthquake on Tuesday, October 17, 1989 around 7:04 p.m. Ellettsville, Indiana time. The quake lasted for about fifteen seconds and registered 7.1 on the Richter scale. It has been estimated that the damages may run into the 10 Billion Dollar figure. About all of the news people were asking if this was the big one. Those in the know about such things say the big one is yet to come. I got to thinking about the big one; yes, it is to come!

Bible Earthquakes

The Scripture speaks of several earthquakes. One occurred in the twenty-seventh year of Uzziah, king of Judah. “And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the day of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee” (Zech. 14:5). Perhaps the most remembered earthquake was at the time of the crucifixion of Christ. “And behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent” (Matt. 27:51). Such miracles as “the graves being opened, the resurrection” and the like caused the centurion to say, “Truly this was the Son of God” (Matt. 27:52-54).

The Prison Keeper and An Earthquake

A great earthquake was involved in the story of the conversion of the Philippian Jailor. Paul and Silas had been put in prison and as they were singing and praying at midnight, “Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed” (Acts 16:26). This earthquake led to the jailor asking, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30) As an unbeliever, he was told to “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (Acts 16:31). In order for him to be saved, “they spake unto him the word of the Lord”; his repentance can be seen in that he “washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his straightway” (Acts 16:32-33). The world has been taught that this man was saved at the point of faith, but a careful reading of the conversion will indicate to the honest person that he heard, believe, and obeyed the word, being baptized the same hour of the night, which was about midnight.

God’s Shaking of the Earth

The Hebrew writer said, “Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven” (Heb. 12:26). Down through ages past God has shaken the earth as he took out of the way false gods, passed judgment upon his people of the Old Testament, removed nations and the like. The big shake is yet to come!

The Big One to Come

At the end of time there surely will a shaking of the earth as “the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall be raised first” (1 Thess. 4:16). Can you imagine the earth being opened up as every grave will be opened. “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which an that are in the graves shall hear this voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation” (Jn. 5:28-29). As the recent earthquake in California found folks buried under rocks of concrete, I am-reminded of the time of God’s judgment when people will cry “and say to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” (Rev. 6:16-17)

The Unshakable Kingdom

There is not too much safety here on this earth but there is a place which cannot be shaken. The church of the Lord is unshakable! “Wherefore receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved (shaken), let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: for our God is a consuming fire” (Heb. 12:28-29). You are encouraged to become a member of this unshakable kingdom.

Guardian of Truth XXXIII: 24, pp. 737, 751
December 21, 1989