It's not the End of the Age: it's just Oklahoma!1
Before I go any further let me say that I love the state of Oklahoma! I was born in Shawnee, in Pottawatomie County (not far from Tecumseh and Seminole; how’s that for some Indian culture!) and have lived nearly 32 years in the state. That being said, we have some interesting weather patterns here in the heartland. Continue reading . . .
Before I go any further let me say that I love the state of Oklahoma! I was born in Shawnee, in Pottawatomie County (not far from Tecumseh and Seminole; how’s that for some Indian culture!) and have lived nearly 32 years in the state. That being said, we have some interesting weather patterns here in the heartland.
I can’t begin to count the number of articles or sermons I’ve come across that try to argue that unusual weather patterns and other natural phenomena are signs that we are fast approaching the end of history and the Second Coming of Christ. Please don’t point me to Matthew 24 or the other gospel versions of what is known as the Olivet Discourse. As I argue in my book, Kingdom Come: The Amillennial Alternative, a careful reading of these texts indicates that Jesus was talking primarily about events that would characterize the years leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple in 70 a.d.
That aside, I couldn’t help but take note of what transpired this past week here in the great state of Oklahoma. Trust me: if some of the date-setting, less responsible prophecy pundits of our day lived in my state, they would have long ago sold their property, dropped out of society, and run to the hills to await the appearance of our Lord in the clouds of heaven. Why do I say this?
Let’s start with last week. On Tuesday, April 8, around 2:30 a.m., I was awakened from a very sound sleep by a 4.2 magnitude earthquake whose epicenter was only a few miles from my home in Edmond (a suburb on the north side of Oklahoma City). If you think it strange that Oklahoma would experience an earthquake, think again. In Monday’s edition of USA Today (April 14, 2014) there was an article titled, “Oklahoma rattled by an upsurge in earthquakes.” According to Paul Caruso, a geophysicist with the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS), “in the week ending Saturday, 48 quakes larger than the magnitude of 2.5 had struck” the state. Again, “in the past month, there have been 157 quakes larger than magnitude 2.5 in Oklahoma.” The article also indicates that “since 2009, the earthquake activity in Oklahoma has been approximately 40 times higher than in the previous 30 years.” Just 2 ½ years ago we had two earthquakes that registered 4.7 and 5.6!
On Saturday, but a few days following the earthquake that rattled my home, I was sitting with friends at Memorial Stadium in Norman watching the Red-White spring football game of my beloved Oklahoma Sooners. It was 85 degrees with wind gusts upwards of 40 m.p.h. The next day, Sunday, we had massive thunderstorms that dropped much-needed rain on our state. This was accompanied with howling winds, quarter-sized hail, and a report of a couple of tornadoes, one of which touched down just south of Oklahoma City (no reports of damage yet, for which we are thankful).
Then, if that were not enough, I drive into the church parking lot on Monday morning amidst a snowstorm! That’s right. Big fat snowflakes were blowing in sideways as the temperature plummeted to a brisk 34 degrees! By Wednesday of this week it will be an incredibly pleasant 70 degrees with sunny skies.
Let’s see now. Earthquakes, heat, high winds, thunderstorms, hail, tornadoes, near freezing temperatures and snow, all within the span of one week. No, it’s not the end of the age (as much as I might wish it were). No, I don’t think the natural phenomena here or anywhere else in the world for that matter are an indication that Jesus is coming soon (as much as I wish he were). It’s just Oklahoma. Now what’s not to love about this state?