Are you prepared for the greatest earthquake of all time — a planet-wide shaking event?
Japan's 9.0 earthquake on March 11, 2011, ranks tied for fourth among the world's strongest known quakes. (A 9.5 level quake in Chile in 1960 is No. 1.)
But Christian scripture has prophesied that the world's strongest earthquake is yet to come and its power will shake the entire planet, meaning Japan's quake is but a rumble, compared to it.
The Bible predicts such a tremendous cataclysm, as Revelation 16:18 states: "And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great."
Two verses later, Revelation 16:20, it reads: "And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found."
(This blog isn't to make light of Japan's massive quake, but put it in perspective that a planet-wide quake is still yet to come.)
We're probably talking greater than a 10.0 quake here to shake the entire planet.
The Richter scale increases by powers of 10. An increase of one point means the strength of an earthquake is 10 time greater than the level before it.
So, a 10.0 quake would be 10 times stronger than the Japanese quake.
I would think a 12.0 quake -- 30 times stronger than the Japanese quake, could rattle the entire planet at once. (The Japanese quake did move the earth on its axis by about 4 inches.)
You would not want to live anywhere near an ocean when the biggest of all quakes hits, because the possible tsunami action from such a quake could take out New York City, Boston, Sand Diego and anything and everything along a coastline.
Zechariah 14:4 also mentions changes in Jerusalem, probably because of quakes.
God has used earthquakes in the past to denote important events. Matthew 27:50-54 illustrates there were quakes during Christ's crucifixion. And a quake heralded Christ's resurrection (Matthew 28:2).
An earthquake also broke prison doors down for Paul and led to the conversion of the prison keeper (Acts 16:25-26).
For centuries, earthquakes have been hot topics, because outside perhaps a large meteor strike, they are among the worst possible disasters.
So how do you prepare yourself physically for such a quake? You really can't.
All you can do is be spiritually prepared.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) believes that "the earth shall tremble and reel to and fro as a drunken man" (Doctrine and Covenants 88:87) in the last days.
"There are voices, thunders, lightnings and the greatest earthquake in earth's history; cities of nations fall; islands flee, and mountains are leveled; a great plague of hail," as stated in the Mormon Ensign magazine, Oct. 1993, of the last days in a "Book of Revelation Overview" article.
Mormon Elder Bruce R. McConkie said in his Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, that he believed that the greatest ever earthquake is part of the earth's return to like it was before it was divided in the days of Peleg (Genesis 10:25). Meaning all the earth's land masses shall unite into one island.
In his Mormon Doctrine book, Elder McConkie explained that by earthquakes God "delivers his servants from perils, destroys the wicked, and leaves a sign that his hand has been in transcendent events."
Brigham Young, the second Mormon prophet, also stated that when the elders are called home, the Lord will teach his own sermons with fire and earthquakes (Journal of Discourses 8:123 and D&C 88:88-92).
"We need to make both temporal and spiritual preparation for the events prophesied at the time of the Second Coming," Elder Dallin H. Oaks, a Mormon Apostle, said in a May 2004 Liahona address.