“And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: 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 pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” (Matt. 24: 5-8).

These words that Jesus spoke in Matthew are certainly true of today. It seems that almost every day we hear of a war or some type of disaster happening somewhere in the world. A look at news items on the internet shows the following:

Syria: Tanks and troops ‘deployed in restive Hama’ – BBC News Middle East Floods at China mines trap ’40’ – BBC News Asia-Pacific Los Alamos fire evacuees might return home soon – Weather on MSNBC.COM Jim Rogers: Boost Crop Production or ‘No Food at Any Price’ – MONEYNEWS.COM A Look at the Devastating Impact a Solar Storm Could Have on Society – OILPRICE.COM Huge rock avalanches rumble down Mount Rainier – The Seattle Times Tropical Storm Arlene slams Mexico – MSNBC.COM Global Warming and the Science of Extreme Weather – Scientific American Horn of Africa sees ‘worst drought in 60 years’ – BBC News Africa Asian ‘megapest’ is chomping up US orchards – YAHOO NEWS Record Flooding Crests for Some in North Dakota – AccuWeather.com Scientists Say California Mega-Quake Imminent – The Weather Channel, weather.com Another Step Closer To A One World Religion: 50 U.S. Churches To Read From The Quran On Sunday – The American Dream, endoftheamericandream.com How climate change could cause a 30-year war – The world is careening toward a bloody global battle over energy, says Michael Klare at CBS News. – The Week, theweek.com Australia Urged to Protect Key Farmland from Foreign Buyers – voanews.com Qantas and Jetstar cancel all flights for weekend – It could be a long weekend for travellers wanting to get home as Qantas and its budget subsidiary Jetstar announce all flights in and out of New Zealand are cancelled all weekend because of ash from the Chilean volcano.

These are just some of the headlines from the end of June, 2011 to July 1, 2011. So much is happening in the world right now it is hard to keep up. Natural disasters seem to be increasing and are more intense. Here are some statistics that I found on the internet for earthquakes of magnitude 5.0 to 9.9: 2004 (1,672), 2005 (1,844), 2006 (1,865), 2007 (2,270), 2008 (1,948), 2009 (2,056), 2010 (2,117), 2011 (659 up to March 16). It certainly appears that the earthquakes are becoming more intense. Here is the website if you would like to look at the full list back to 1970, http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/other/quake1.html. Of course we are aware of the huge earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand and in Japan. These were both extremely devastating earthquakes and have changed those areas forever.

Tornados in the US have been extremely harsh so far this year. Here are the statistics on tornados up to July 1, 2011 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tornadoes_of_2011:

“As of July 1, there have been 1,604 tornadoes reported in the US in 2011 (of which at least 1,142 were confirmed). 2011 has been an exceptionally destructive and deadly year for tornadoes; worldwide, at least 551 people perished due to tornadoes: 12 in Bangladesh, one in New Zealand, one in the Philippines and an estimated 537 in the United States (compared to 564 US deaths in the 10 years prior).[2] Due in large part to several extremely large tornado outbreaks in the middle and end of April and in late May, the year is currently on near-record to record pace. It is also the deadliest year in the United States since 1936, due mostly to the 322 tornadic deaths that occurred during the April 27 outbreak across the Southeastern United States and the 157 tornadic deaths in the 2011 Joplin Tornado.” Canada has also had some severe winds and a few destructive tornados.

Flooding has been a very destructive force in the past year. There has been flooding in Australia, especially in Queensland, which was disastrous. Flooding in China, the Philippines, Sumatra and many other countries has been extremely devastating. Canada has had and is still experiencing flooding in Manitoba, Quebec and Saskatchewan. The United States has also had terrible flooding along the Mississippi River, which affected Memphis, TN and West Memphis, AR. There was also extreme flooding in the Midwest which affected Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa. It’s amazing to me how much of the land that is being flooded is the bread basket of our nations. What will come next, famine and high food prices?

What a year and these are only the beginning of sorrows! We must remember though, that the worse things get, the closer we are to the Lord’s return and the coming Kingdom on earth. Hallelujah! Remember Jesus’ words, “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh.”

(Luke 21:28).