Meanwhile, radiation from the compromised Fukushima nuclear plant has already seeped into the food supply as workers continue trying to cool the reactors.
The death toll from Japan’s earthquake now tops 9,000. And there is continued talk about the ripple effect on the economies of the world.
Few charismatic believers doubt we are living in the end times, but there are open questions searching for credible answers: Was the earthquake the judgment of God as some claim? What about the Mayan 2012 end-of-the-world prophecy? Previous generations expected the Lord to come in their lifetime—what’s different this time?
Charisma magazine caught up with Steve Wohlberg, director of White Horse Media and author of 25 books, including Surviving Toxic Terrorism and End Time Delusions, to discuss these issues from a biblical perspective.
Charisma: In our last segment, you mentioned God allowing the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Did God merely allow it, or was it the judgment of God?
Wohlberg: Using biblical terminology, we could say these kinds of events are judgments. But that doesn’t necessarily mean God has directly caused them. Many times, God allows things to happen. He certainly has His hand on the planet. Sometimes He just withdraws His protection.
Some judgments are direct from God such as Sodom and Gomorrah. God sent fire from heaven and destroyed those cities. There are other times when God’s judgments occur because He allows things to happen that He had previously held back. Humanity’s sin just keeps on going so He finally stops protecting people.
Charisma: What about the Mayan calendar and the 2012 end of the world predictions? What’s your take on that?
Wohlberg: I believe that Dec. 21, 2012 is a very important date. The reason for that is because my little daughter, her name is Abigail Rose, will turn five on that date. That is her birthday. To me, that is the only significance of that date. I don’t think the Mayans had it straight. Their culture was corrupt. There’s a whole lot of controversy about whether they even did predict that Dec. 21, 2012 would be the end. It was simply the end of their calendar.
Charisma: It seems like every generation, at least in the last few generations, felt like the Lord was about to return. What’s the difference this time?
Wohlberg: It’s bigger now, and to me that’s the difference. I’m sure in Noah’s day people said, “Noah has been preaching for 121 years about the flood. My dad wondered if the flood was going to come and it didn’t come. And his dad wondered if the flood was going to come and didn’t come. I don’t know if it’s ever going to come.” Finally, the flood did come. It really did come. So the Lord is going to come whether in this generation or another generation. At some point, the Bible says in Hebrews, “He that is coming will come and will not delay.”
The most important thing is for us is to be ready—to be in a right relationship with Jesus. I think we should be hoping Jesus comes back. Paul said in Titus 2:13 that we should be looking forward to the blessed hope, the glorious appearing of Jesus Christ. I think a Christian’s attitude should be, “I want Jesus to come.” That’s the way the Book of Revelation ends. Right there, it says, “Even so, come Lord Jesus.”
Read part one of this interview: Is Japan Disaster Another Apocalyptic Sign?
Photo courtesy Samaritan’s Purse.