In the end there will be many wars; this will be one of the signs that the end is near. In Matthew 24:7-8, Jesus Christ foretold signs that would mark the time leading up to His return: "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places …" We have certainly seen devastating earthquakes in recent years. The December 2004 earthquake off Indonesia was the most powerful in decades, unleashing a massive tsunami that took some 300,000 lives. Less than a year later, an earthquake in southern Asia killed another 30,000. In Matthew 24:7, the Greek word translated "earthquakes" is seismos, from which we derive such English words as "seismology," referring to the study of earthquakes. Strong's Lexicon defines it as "a commotion, i.e. (of the air) a gale, (of the ground) an earthquake—earthquake, tempest. Seismos has a broader meaning than just the earth shaking. Matthew 8 records how a violent storm overtook Jesus and His disciples on the Sea of Galilee, threatening to capsize their boat and drown them—until Jesus miraculously calmed the winds and waves.
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