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A friend posted this on facebook.

Have you noticed the recent increase in earthquakes? We know of Haiti, Chile, Baja, China (today) and a few others because of the magnitude and destruction/loss of human lives, but did you know that there have been 457 earthquakes around the world since 3/16/2010. That's less than a month. Something is going here... ch...eck it out yourself
Politics of fear - courtesy of your local news station.

Take it from someone who has live in an earthquake area all his life.
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Hey...tin foil hats are fashionable! But yeah, from what I've seen...the number and magnitude of earthquakes isn't very unusual right now. I think that because Haiti was such a big deal, the news is just making a big deal out of everything right now because Haiti was a big deal.

What has really shocked me me is how quickly the world has been desensitized. For example, the quake in Chile was 500 times as strong as Haiti and destroyed almost 2x as many buildings, but Haiti received 20x as much aide. To be fair, Chile has much better infrastructure, much less poverty, and a fraction of the death count. Still, though, it just seems like many just stopped caring after they felt good about their Haiti donations. :(
Really, I think it's important to look at what Jesus said on the subject:

Matthew 24 is the verse where all these things are usually sourced from. It's pretty scary and all, but I'm going to bold some things that Jesus says. This is NIV, if you're interested.

NIV said:
3As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. "Tell us," they said, "when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?"

4Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you. 5For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. 6You 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. 7Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8All these are the beginning of birth pains.

9"Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

15"So when you see standing in the holy place 'the abomination that causes desolation,' spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house. 18Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. 19How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. 22If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23At that time if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or, 'There he is!' do not believe it. 24For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible. 25See, I have told you ahead of time.

26"So if anyone tells you, 'There he is, out in the desert,' do not go out; or, 'Here he is, in the inner rooms,' do not believe it. 27For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.

29"Immediately after the distress of those days
" 'the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from the sky,
and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.'[c]

30"At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. 31And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

32"Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. 34I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.

Couple things to point out: "And then the end will come" does not mean that it happens immediately thereafter. It just means that the event must happen before then end can come.

So, if we never ever saw an earthquake or a war or a rumor of war, then we could posit that there has to be one or another before the end comes.

In short, Christ is saying that before the end comes, there will be wars, earthquakes, famines, persecutions, false prophets (which are different than false religions,) the death of love, worldwide preaching, the death of love, the abomination in the holy place, and the return of Christ to bring his children home, and then, sometime later, the end will come.

If all these things happen in the next year, I'll jump on the 2012 bandwagon.
One point of discussion to bring up: what does Jesus mean in the last verse I quoted "I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened"?

Do you take this literally (in which case, we're pretty well sunk)?
Politically, where "this generation" means "the Jewish nation" or "the Church" or something?
Microcosmically or metaphorically, where this "end of the age" actually refers to the end of the Roman Jewish state of oppression and Temple Judaism?

Or what? I generally don't think Jesus said things like that by mistake.
Neirai said:
If all these things happen in the next year, I'll jump on the 2012 bandwagon.

There are two things about this that I see as problematic. Firstly, the Biblical reasoning:

Matthew 24 said:
36"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[f] but only the Father. 37As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

42"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

45"Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. 47I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, 'My master is staying away a long time,' 49and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. 51He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Emphasis mine. These three paragraphs clearly state that nobody, save God, know when Jesus is coming back.

So what's that mean, in regards to 2012? Just this: Since there is a large following that predicts the end of the world as late in 2012, obviously, God isn't going to let that happen.

Further, the people that claim the end of the ancient calender shows the end of the world misunderstand what it really is. It is no different than if we were to panic because it's December 31, 2010. Oh noes! January 1 is tomorrow! Clearly we're all going to die today! Yeh, that's what they're saying. Because the Mayan calendar resets... they're panicking.

I generally don't think Jesus said things like that by mistake.

Nor do I. But I don't know how to interpret what He said. Clearly, the Apostles thought Jesus was talking about the end of their time - and many people thought that AD72 was going to be the end because many of the signs did come to pass (but not all).

Nearly every generation between then and now has believed that they could be "the one." As do I. There are certainly things that fit what Jesus said, but we're not seeing things the same way God sees them. The same held true with the disciples that didn't understand what Jesus was talking about with the resurrection because they just couldn't wrap their minds around it at the time. After Jesus returned and walked with them, prior to the Ascension, they caught on. I suspect the same holds true here.
Alright, alright. I was being sarcastic when I said I'd jump on the bandwagon :)

I agree with what Randy just said, for the most part.
I follow the Bible Answer Man line-of-thought (though I haven't read the entire book) that those sequence of events happened. As Jesus said, "This generation will not pass until all these things have happened." We're just waiting for Jesus to come back now. Sometimes I hope we meet aliens first.
The Mayan calendar had to end somewhere, it couldn't go on forever :)

Poor last guy working on the calendar "ok, its good for 3ooo years, i'm taking a break now"
It's a little silly, really. God releases a whole bunch of plot reveals through his prophets before he sends his Son, but he uses an ambiguous calendar system based on astrology and through a people that don't even know him to reveal the second coming?

I don't think so.

And, as Randy said, there are no releases on the second coming, other than one that says there will be no releases. Don't call him, he'll call you.*
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