Today March 11, 2011 Japan has been hit by one of the worst natural disasters in the century. It is sad to see so many people die, so many people stranded, but amongst the chaos, people are turning to God. On my Twitter account I noticed that one of the trending topics is “#PrayForJapan”. But why, I ask, does a disaster have to occur in order for us to turn to God? It is crucial that we always stay connected to Him regardless of the circumstances we are in.
Many are afraid in times such as this, but Jesus instructed us not to be. In the gospel of Matthew, chapter 24, Jesus talks about the end times. He speaks of the signs that will occur during these times (many which are occurring now). Christ said people will turn away and leave God, but everyone who stands firm in Him will be saved.
Matthew 24:4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you.
 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ’, and will deceive many.
 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.
 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famine and earthquakes in various places.*
[10a] At that time many will turn away from the faith
[13b] but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”
As you see in the Scriptures, Christ said these things will happen and must happen. He tells you that many will turn away from their faith, but don’t let that be you! Trust in God. Have faith. Be strong. Do not leave God because disasters and hardships are occurring in the world. Jesus said,
Matthew 24:25 See, I have told you ahead of time.
Christ was preparing us for these days. Think, if you are going on vacation what do you do? You prepare. You pack your clothes, toiletries, make sure you have money, and determine by what means of travel will you arrive at your destination. You would not wait until the day of your scheduled departure to prepare and get ready. Why? Because you knew ahead of time.
Jesus is telling us ahead of time what is going to happen, this way we can prepare. But unlike your vacation that is scheduled for a particular time, we do not know when these events will occur, nor do we know when God will cause the earth to pass away. So this means you must always be ready. Christ says,
Matthew 24:36 “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only my Father.
Jesus said that he does not even know when these things and the end will occur. So we must always be on guard. Christ told us he can only give us signs that the time of His second coming is near. My brothers and sisters in Christ and those who are unbelievers, please get yourself correct before God.
So when will all of this be over?
Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come
 I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these these things have happened.
My friends, be alert. Trust God with your entire life and with everything you do. If you have not already made things right with God, do it now! It is still not too late. But one day, if you do not, when you least expect it, Christ will come, the end will happen, and before God and man the last thought you want to have is, “I’m not ready”.
*Italics are mine.