Is it true that an earthquake is an “act of God”?

Only if you are a lawyer or an insurance agent. Why? Because it is specifically in those venues that one hears of such tragic events being attributed to God. No doubt someone is trying to figure out how to sue Him also. When that terminology was adopted, and who first decided to use it, I do not know, but it is terribly erroneous, because God is love, and love does no harm to people or to their possessions.

According to the Bible, wherein God speaks for Himself, earthquakes are acts of the Devil, God’s archenemy, and a fallen world. Ditto for hurricanes, tornadoes, cyclones, floods (For an explanation of the Flood in Noah’s time, click here.), famines (from not enough rain), and all other destructive “natural” events. This is in keeping with Jesus’ statement in John 10:10 that Satan’s goals relative to mankind are to “steal, kill, and destroy.” Is that what earthquakes do? Yes—just ask the residents of Haiti and other counties that have been hit hard by an earthquake.

Are there any biblical records of destructive “natural” disasters happening to good people or innocent bystanders? Good question, and it is answered by incidents in the Gospels such as Luke 8:22 and following, where Jesus and his disciples were on a boat crossing the Sea of Galilee. He fell asleep en route, and a huge storm arose that threatened to sink them.

Now, if that storm was an “act of God,” Jesus was not a very good Son, because instead of going along with the program and drowning, he rebuked the wind and the waves and stilled them, thus messing up what His Father was trying to do. But why would his own Father try to kill him on the lake, when his death on the Cross was the only hope for mankind?

And what about the record in Acts 27, when a terrible storm raged for days and days and threatened to kill the Apostle Paul, one of the key figures in the early Church and the man who at that time was still to pen those magnificent Church Epistles that he later wrote in a Roman prison? What happened in that situation? God sent an angel to tell Paul that he and all those on board would safely make it to land. If God sent the storm, why would He then save the people from it?

God is all good. He is light (1 John 1:5), He is love (1 John 4:8), and He wants only blessings for all people. Not only is He not the cause of earthquakes, etc., He is always doing His best to stop them from hurting people. For further study, please listen to our free online audio teaching, Is God in Control of Everything that Happens?

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  1. satan may be the god of this world, but the earth is the Lords and everything in it..God is Sovereign over all ..God is love but He is also a God of judgement

    1. While that ownership of the Earth belongs ultimately to God, God gave the stewardship of it to Adam, who in turn broke his covenant with God and transferred it over to Satan> This is why Satan could legitimately offer the rulership of it to Jesus as one of the temptations.

  2. Yes.

  3. One of the main things that people who study the word should remember is that in the old testement the Devil is only mentioned in two books…. Genesis (when he coerced Eve into partaking of the forbidden fruit) and Job where the devil told God he (the devil) could get Job to curse him God) because Job feared he would lose everything he had. After that he isn’t mentioned until the Gospels when Jesus came to make him known.

    The reason God allowed people to think He was the author of the destructions that occurred during that time was simply because He knew that if He exposed the devil for what he was, then the people would build idols to the devil hoping to stave off destruction/famine/illness etc by worshiping him.

    This is the message which we have heard from him and announce to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in the darkness, we lie, and don’t tell the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.
    I John 1:5-7 Therefore if God is Light/Love, then He cannot be the author of Darkness/Evil

  4. Mike F
    My WORLD was shattered I thought, everything I loved was taken away. Until I read this. I now have peace, patience and more love than you will ever know. Thanks

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