I’m not saying there has to be an earthquake when the rapture happens, but God has used earthquakes at some very significant times. Let’s take a quick look at some instances in scripture when God will bring, has brought, or allowed earthquakes to occur at great events.
We know that Jesus prophesied that “great” earthquakes are to happen, being one of the signs of His return in glory (not the rapture) in Luke 21:11. These are most likely quakes that will occur in the tribulation. Two are mentioned, in Rev. 6:12 and 16:18-20. It’s likely no coincidence that earthquakes have increased in number as we get closer to the rapture, but the two great ones described in Revelation are global, after the rapture: “every mountain and island were moved out of their places” and “every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.”
We know of no comparison to these; it says of the second one, “such as was not since men were upon the earth.” So, there’s no doubt that God has and will use quakes in judgment.
God saved Noah and his family in the ark when He brought judgment by the flood, which involved earthquakes breaking up the fountains of the deep. Another judgment that involved an earthquake was when Jesus was judged and died for our sins. Matt. 27:51-53 records,
“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; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose; And came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.”
So, an earthquake took place when Jesus died, likewise, also when He was raised, as stated in Matt. 28:2,
“And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.”
Matt. 28:1 even pinpoints the time of His resurrection: “In the end of the Sabbath[s]” or when the (Saturday) Sabbath was over, around 6PM (two Sabbaths that week).
The other Sabbath (called a High Sabbath, John 19:31) that week was on Thursday, the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Jesus was already buried by then, having been hastily entombed on the afternoon after the crucifixion, before that Sabbath feast began around 6pm Wednesday. (Matt. 12:40, Jesus said “so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”)
Keep in mind for later that these two quakes, involved closely with the death and resurrection of Jesus, also included the raising of the Old Testament saints who accompanied The Lord to heaven when He ascended: “He lead captivity captive” (Eph. 4:8, Ps. 68:18).
Another biblical event with interesting implications involving a judgment where God used an earthquake/seismic event was when Lot and his family were physically removed from Sodom (Gen. 19:16, 22). Lot had chosen to live and raise a family among the homosexuals there. Two angels sent by God to destroy Sodom and the surrounding towns had to physically remove Lot and his family first, before the destructive judgment could fall.
Luke 17:29 says “But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.”
It’s interesting that God chose to use a carnal believer like Lot to give a picture to us, possibly of the worldly, carnal church being removed from the earth before He brings judgment upon the world system. We notice that judgment fell the same day that Lot was removed, but couldn’t come until he was removed.
So, we have had a brief look at some great biblical events that involved earthquakes. When God speaks to His church at the rapture to “come up here,” might there be an earthquake and/or seismic event that accompanies it? If so, I wonder if He will use it in judgment as well.
I’ve heard it said that, since the United States being a superpower is not mentioned in the end-time events, that the country will somehow have to be insignificant by that time. How would this happen?
True, the rapture’s removal of millions of Christians could bring a severe economic crash or collapse to be sure. But, what else might cripple the country or even bring an end to it? An earthquake/seismic event of biblical proportions could occur as in other times, being caused by what is described in 1 Thes. 4:16:
“For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first; Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air…”
A blessed event for sure, but also an event that will precede God’s renewed work with Israel and judgment on the world that has rejected Jesus Christ. It must be said that, although the tribulation will be a time of judgment, God will use it to save multitudes who come to believe in Jesus. Also, this rapture/earthquake judgment may be what’s used to deal with this country for the murder of millions of unborn babies and the decisions made by our courts to change marriage.
Whenever I hear of increased seismic activity in the areas of the Yellowstone Caldera and Super volcano, which has erupted before, likely around the time of the flood, I wonder if God will use it again to bring judgment – a judgment that may be similar to the others mentioned, linked to the raising of dead believers; a judgment that may be like the time of Lot, not coming till he was removed, but then falling on the same day as his removal; or a judgment that could come swiftly, “as in the twinkling of an eye.”
The rapture and an earthquake judgment may come simultaneously as a result of a shout from the Lord, the voice from an archangel, and God’s trumpet blast, all happening at once.
“For whosoever will call on the name of the Lord, will be saved” (Romans 10:13).
May those who come behind us find us faithful.