Earthquakes, Wars: Black Church Leaders Answer Whether We're in the End of Times

Photo: Negin Minaei (Shutterstock)
Photo: Negin Minaei (Shutterstock)
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The latest headlines have thrown some Christ followers into a panic, worrying the end times is coming sooner rather than later. However, a few church leaders weighed in on the frenzy to set the record straight, and hopefully, calm everyone down.

The “Prophecies” and Oddities

Over the past decades, any sequence of abnormal events typically led to a new deadline for the Doomsday clock. The COVID-19 pandemic had churches shook, believing it was a plague sent by God, similar to plagues He set upon the Egyptians in the Book of Exodus—which is what Sunny Hostin of “The View” was getting at.

One church even encouraged their congregation to “seal their doorposts” with an image of Jesus, like the Israelites did with the blood of a lamb during Passover, to avoid the angel of death.

The wave of national civil unrest in response to the sensationalized coverage of police brutality cases has also been connected to the end of days—with Pastor J.D. Farag claiming that the Black Lives Matter movement was ultimately going to cause destruction. Apocalyptic significance was also used to explain the wars overseas between Russia and Ukraine, as well as the Israel-Gaza war.

More oddly, in the midst of unrest, CBS News reported the relocation of five purebred red heifers from Texas to the Holy Land which are connected to an Old Testament law of purification that required them for sacrifice. Jews believe these cows are a requirement for the building of a Third Jewish Temple. American evangelicals believe it’s a sign of the coming of the Messiah, the report says.

Then, there’s everything that happened in 2024 so far. Two broods of cicadas are predicted to smother the nation when they hatch this year, after 200 years, in the billions. Earthquakes shook Taiwan and the east of the U.S. Boats crashed into bridges. And an eclipse, eclipsed (or to some, marked the beginning of the end).

In reaction to these events, some people went off the deep end. Just the other day, Florida Highway Patrol said a woman claimed she was ordered by God to go on a shooting spree because of the eclipse. Another woman was accused of throwing her young daughters of the moving vehicle before fatally crashing because she was paranoid about the apocalypse. Many others have simply let these events drive them into a panic.

However, for the body of Christ, our leaders say there’s not much to worry about.

“It’s Just Hype…”

To Rev. Joseph Darby, senior pastor of Morris Brown A.M.E. Church in Charleston, S.C., said all of the frantic reports about what’s happening in the world is just propaganda.

“I think the hype is simply hype. We go through this at least once every generation,” he said. “I think if there was something different about the earthquake - like if it quaked for 10 seconds, stopped for five more seconds and then quaked for 60 more seconds and the sky turned red - I would be a little concerned about that.”

Dr. Sean Souels of Kingdom Ministries Inc. out of New Jersey also said everyone needs to pipe down. He says the recent earthquake was simply an earthquake—anatural phenomenon and not something to fret over.

“We are frightened at anything that throws us out of our presumed norm. We let so many things disturb us because we don’t follow what the scripture says,” said Dr. Souels.

Is Judgement Day Coming?

In response to being asked if we’re currently living in the end times, Rev. Darby said calmly, “I think we’ve been in the end times since the resurrection of Christ.”

However, Dr. Souels slightly disagreed with this notion, pointing to the Book of Acts, the second chapter. There, the Apostle Peter quotes the prophet Joel saying the day of Pentecost marked the beginning of the “eschaton” which is Greek for “the last days.”

“We have been living in the last days. The ‘last days’ has been since over 2,000 years ago. There have been things that have happened 500 years ago, things that have happened 700 years ago,” he said. “Until Matthew [chapter] 24 comes to pass, we need to sit still and relax.”

The scripture he’s referring to is when Jesus predicted the destruction of the Temple and spoke to His disciples about the second coming.

“And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows,” Jesus says in Matthew 24: 6-8 (NKJV).

Minneapolis Pastor Joshua Giles of Kingdom Embassy Worship Center said in a recent message that in the above passage, Jesus was referring to the end of an age or period of time. These occurrences are merely an indication that the world system as we know it is getting ready to change.

So, What Do We Do?

The key is to remember we can’t put a time or a date on when the end comes (“But of that day and hour no one knows...” Matthew 24:36). Instead, leaders encourage us to follow Jesus’ example, and always be postured in faithful servitude whether He comes back tomorrow or in another seven centuries.

“It’s more of a matter of living in preparation. The very nature of the scripture doesn’t give you something you can put on a timer, or clock. The nature of scripture means that Christ could come back at any time,” said Darby.

So, what can the body of Christ can do in the meantime?

“We can repent. We can return to the heart of the Father. We can do what the great commission tells us to do and that’s to go into all the world and to reach those that are lost, preaching the message of the Gospel,” Giles said.

He added, “We can embrace the fact God is pouring out His spirit everywhere. We can be a part of the next move of God - and the next move of God is going to look like nothing we’ve ever seen.”

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