"Like missing chapter titles from Left Behind, these headlines sound like fiction, but most of them could be true before the pope leaves Jerusalem," says Dr. Richard Ruhling, retired author and Bible prophecy researcher. Does the Bible support such a horrific picture? Let's look at them one-by-one.
1. A peace accord is the missing ingredient in the Middle East and it may constitute what is needed to fulfill 1 Thessalonians 5:2,3: "the day of the Lord comes as a thief in the night, when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destructioni comes upon them." "The day of the Lord" is not about the 2nd coming, but the apocalyptic period leading to it, which most scholars say will be seven years.
2. Earthquake is linked to several "day of the Lord" passages in Hebrew Scripture and could cause the "sudden destruction" in the text above, Joel 2:10,11; Zephaniah 1:7,10; Zechariah 14:1,5.
3. The previous text says, "the day of the LORD comes, and your spoil shall be divided in the midst of you. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and...you shall flee, like you fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah," ibid. "Day of the Lord" is in all the above texts with destruction; "earthquake" is found in all but the first.
4. Sudden destruction is a time when authorities and resources are overwhelmed and looting is seen. This may be the basis of the previous passage that mentions "earthquake and spoil."
5. It could also solve the pope's problem of a Muslim temple where he would like to move! Speaking of the end of the world, Christ said to read and understand Daniel's book, Mark 13:14, where a "king" from the north, "shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain." Daniel 11:45. Why would the pope want to move there?
6. His own "house" may also be broken by the earthquake. Didn't Christ say, "if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up," Matthew 24:43. To understand why the pope is "the goodman," and why his visit now fits a prophetic time, visit www.popesvisit.net
7. While the pope might not move to Jerusalem until the middle of the last seven years, we may expect his statement to support "Dies Domini," (John Paul's letter suggesting Sunday work cessation for worship, family). John Paul's encyclical went so far as to say that violators should be punished as heretics.
8. "Millions dead or homeless"? Christ suggested events "as in the days of Noah," when there was widespread destruction and loss of life, Matthew 24:38. This suggests an unprecedented earth-quake. But the way things are going, doesn't everything in the news seem unprecedented?
9. In the face of bad news, God offers help and protection for those who want Him as Lord in their lives. He asks us to "watch and pray," but we miss the meaning. "Watch" means to stay awake as Christ used it in Matthew 26:38-41. More than that, Passover was the only night it was required (Exodus 12:10,42) which is when Christ made His request. But the law provided that if we missed staying awake and praying at Passover, we may do so a month later as Numbers 9:10 provides, which is Sunday night, May 10/11. "If you don't watch, I will come on you as a thief," Revelation 3:3. But blessing is promised for watching when the Lord "knocks," Luke 12:36,37. We have so much to gain and so little to lose by doing so. Let us pray that God will pass over us in any judgments that fall for Christ's sake, who took our beating for us on the eve of Passover.