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Monday, April 12, 2010

End-Time Activity Keeps Pushing Higher

By Todd Strandberg

I might be stating the obvious, but over the past several years, I have noticed a gradual increase in the amount of end-time activity. It has become so pronounced over time that the trend can be clearly seen on the site's Rapture Index. 

Last week, the Index reached a high it had not seen since January 2003. Right after the all-time high, triggered by the fallout from 9/11, prophetic activity subsided for a couple years...but then it began a prolonged rebound.

The yearly low reading is equally impressive. It has been more than five years since the RI has dropped below the 150 level. The record low is 57, which seems an impossible reading to reach with today’s level of activity.
Last month, our traffic hit an all-time high for bandwidth. I would blame the Chile earthquake, the east Jerusalem housing flap, and the healthcare bill as the causes of this large flow of traffic. In the 23 years that I've been operating RR, I don't recall a time when three major prophetic news events all occurred within a month of each other. In fact, I don't even recall two such events occurring so close together.

The day-to-day news activity is the most compelling indication of the unfolding of Bible prophecy at a higher rate. Let us take a look at the category of floods. A few days ago, New England had a 100-year flood--a term that has become very popular in recent years. Last week, the heaviest rains in Rio de Janeiro's history triggered landslides that killed at least 200 people. I remember that in the early 1990s, there was a time when we could go a whole year without a major flood event.

The rash of earthquakes in the past few days has caused many people to wonder what is going on. According the U.S. Geological Survey, each year, the earth experiences 17 major earthquakes (magnitude 7.0-7.9). One great earthquake (8.0 or above) will strike worldwide in any given year. Most of these large quakes occur in remote areas where there are few people. To cut through the clutter, I look for how often the major quake hits the bull's-eye--7.0 or higher in a populated area. On average, this should happen once every decade. In just the past 9 years, we've had 10 bull's-eyes.

The reason prophecy is so active goes back to what Jesus said two thousand years ago: "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains" (Matthew 24:7-8). As we get closer to the tribulation hour, our time will begin to match up with the time of calamity the Lord predicted would take place.

A problem with prophetic activity creeping up at a continuous rate is that we quickly get used to the change. The suicide bombings in the Middle East are probably the best example of end-time apathy. Right after the turn of the new millennium, Muslims in Israel perfected and gave this nasty gift to the world. At first, the cable network would break into regular programming every time a bombing would occur. Now, the events are seen as such an unimportant regular occurrence, you often have to turn to the extended news coverage to read about them.
Prophecy-minded Christians regularly fall into the trap of looking for some big event to spark their interest. I can see this from the traffic spikes on the site. When Obama was elected in November 2008, I spent election night struggling to keep RR from suffering a meltdown from all the traffic. Two years later, people's attention has drifted away.

During the Clinton administration, prophecy speakers were totally fixated on what "Bubba the Beast" was about to do. Now that we can look back, most of the concerns about him never panned out.

Obama has consistently proven he can deliver the goods (i.e., socialized healthcare), and yet I only see scattered comments about him as being a type of Antichrist. I think the reason for the disconnect is because it is very interesting to speculate about what someone might do. When someone comes along who can deliver the goods, one's attention is clouded by the systematic process of change.

If we are drawing very near to the rapture, it's vital for us focus on doing that which will be the most productive for the Kingdom of God. We stay productive here at Rapture Ready because we know we’re accountable to the Lord for our actions. If our life is one long film, it would be foolish for us to become lazy right before the closing credits.

"Just so, when you see the events I've described beginning to happen, you can know his return is very near, right at the door" (NLT Matthew 24:33).

-- Todd

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