And He said, "See to it that you are not misled; for many will come in My name, saying, 'I am He,' and, 'The time is near.' Do not go after them.
"When you hear of wars and disturbances, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end does not follow immediately."
Then He continued by saying to them, "Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom,
and there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. (Luke 21:8-11)
My friend and colleague Michael sent the "Gemette" below. It is good thought provoking material so I send it on to you as the Gem for today.
This should stir the pot. Feel free to respond and enter into the debate.
My working theory is that in the first part of the Olivet Discourse, including Luke 21:8-11, Jesus is saying that wars, disturbances, earthquakes, etc., are NOT signs of the end. These things will happen, these things always happen. But they do not mean that the end is imminent. The wording in Matthew is clearer on this point: "...for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end."
I think that Jesus' point in Luke 21:8-11 to tell the disciples not to be misled into thinking that the end has come when they hear of false messiahs, or when they hear of wars, earthquakes, etc.
The book of Revelation also speaks of great plagues striking the earth. Some think the things described in Rev. are to be understood somewhat literally and will take place just prior to the Return of Jesus. If so, there will some great plagues and earthquakes and other catastrophes just before that Event. Others think much of Revelation is filled apocalyptic symbols, e.g., there won't be a literal city of Babel that will be destroyed by an earthquake; it is an apocalyptic image meaning that God will destroy the evil world system, be it the Roman empire's emperor worship in the 1st century or the antichrist's government in the end times. I don't know.
You have found data that says the frequency of earthquakes is on the rise. Others have data that says the frequency is steady. I don't know.
What Jesus teaches in the Olivet Discourse - or my working hypothesis - is that the disciples should not be misled by things like false messiahs, earthquakes, etc. They will experience all those things, and they will also face times of persecution. Jesus begins to give signs of the end in Luke 21:20.
For what it's worth!
Hope it spurs you to deeper thought – Ian
God doesn't want spiritual nuts - He wants spiritual fruit! Paul Hallam
A stumble may prevent a fall. (English Proverb attributed to Abraham Lincoln)
Doing something small is better than talking about something big. Rick Godwin
Maturity isn't when you start speaking big things, its actually when we start understanding small things.