World News and Trends: The "Ring of Fire" and the end of the age

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The "Ring of Fire" and the end of the age

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No one knows the precise date of the end of the age, but Jesus Christ said there would be general indicators. Among the major events prophesied to precede Christ's second coming is an increase in the frequency and intensity of earthquakes (Matthew 24:3-8), which would likely mean an increase for the related phenomenon of volcanic eruptions. Seismologists have charted a "Ring of Fire" on both sides of the Pacific Ocean.

The Pacific Ring of Fire is an enormous arc stretching from New Zealand, across the eastern edge of Asia, along Alaska's Aleutian Islands, then south along the western coastline of North and South America. The vast majority of the world's volcanoes—including many that are underwater—are located along this Ring of Fire, giving it its name.

This gigantic ring of volcanoes and earthquake activity was noticed and described before scientists accepted plate tectonics—wherein the planet's outer rock layer resembles a cracked egg shell floating atop a sticky semifluid layer beneath. Geologists now know that the Ring of Fire is located along the edges of some of the earth's major surface segments, or tectonic plates. Three recent devastating earthquakes occurred along the ring—in Chile in February 2010, in New Zealand in February 2011 and in Japan in March 2011. (It's worth noting that these represent three quadrants of the ring—only the northeast quadrant, the west coast of North America, being left out of recent major activity thus far.)

Jesus revealed that not just earthquakes but "great earthquakes in various places" would herald His soon coming (Luke 21:11). And immediately before the time of His return there will be a mighty earthquake unlike anything experienced in all of human history (Revelation 16:18). The only safety at that time will be close proximity to God and Jesus Christ.