My guess is that you did not know that every year on June 30th there is an event called, “Asteroid Day.” Most consider the thought that a situation like the one portrayed in the movie, “Armageddon” is highly unlikely. Although a strike the size of the one depicted in that movie is very unlikely, one that is devastating in its effect is not. The very date of Asteroid Day reminds us of this fact.
Asteroid Day is celebrated on June 30th because on that date Tunguska, Siberia had an asteroid strike from an object less than 100 feet in diameter (imagine about an 7 to 8 story building as wide as it is high). This happened in 1908. One would think a strike like that would create damage - but when one looks at the extent of the damage, it is astounding what happened on that day.
The Tunguska asteroid exploded before it actually hit the earth - at an altitude equal to that of commercial airliner (about 15,000 to 20,000 feet). The explosion severely damaged an area around 800 square miles and flattened tens of millions of trees across the region. The explosion was equal to that of a medium-sized hydrogen bomb - or several hundred times more powerful than the atomic explosion that hit Hiroshima. The reports from this event listed no human casualties that we know - but several hundred reindeer were burned to little more than charred carcasses. A more recent asteroid strike (much smaller than the Tunguska asteroid) hit the city of Chelyabinsk in Russia in 2013. This event shattered windows for miles around the area and injured a thousand people or more.
The reason all this information becomes important is because the Bible prophesies about two events that happen during the great tribulation. In Revelation chapter 8 we read the following prophesy:
Revelation 8:8-11 (NASB)
8 The second angel sounded, and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea; and a third of the sea became blood, 9 and a third of the creatures which were in the sea and had life, died; and a third of the ships were destroyed. 10 The third angel sounded, and a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of waters. 11 The name of the star is called Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter.
These two events eerily sound like - and look like possible asteroid events. Because of their close proximity to one another - some think that they could be two asteroid strikes that happen close to each other. Both speak of astounding devastation brought to the earth - one involving the sea - and the other involving rivers and springs on the land. Both involve descriptions of either a mountain or a star falling from the heavens - and are said to be burning with fire or like a torch. These both follow the pattern that we know about what asteroids look like as they enter earth’s atmosphere. For those of us who believe the Bible to be God’s inerrant revelation of Himself with a perfect record of prophetic fulfillment - these are not idle predictions. They are eventual facts concerning what WILL happen. What is fascinating right now, though, is the current things being done to avoid such a scenario.
Recently both NASA and FEMA had what they called a Planetary Protection Exercise that sought to simulate the earth being hit by a 330 foot asteroid hitting earth. The exercise sought to simulate what would be needed if an asteroid strike happened in the Los Angeles area in the year 2020. The exercise involved a simulation of a mass evacuation of the Los Angeles areas as well as dealing with casualties in the tens of thousands. After the exercise Paul Chodas, the manager of NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., made it clear in an email that there was no significant chance of an asteroid of this size hitting earth in the next century. The center does however, list 659 asteroids that have some probability of striking the planet. “Nevertheless,” Chodas added, “we must continue searching for asteroids in case there is one that is heading our way.”.
Although those in the Asteroid searching role state that there is little chance of a large asteroid hiding earth, some other interesting plans seem to be in motion now. “Sentinel,” a proposed new space based B612 telescope, has been proposed. It is intended to find asteroids about 450 feet wide, although it will also find many that are smaller. The mission would cost $450 million — $250 million to build the spacecraft and $200 million to operate it for a decade. In another development NASA engineers and scientists detailed plans for a rocket that would seek to intercept harmful asteroids. The rocket would be tipped with a B83 warhead that is about 75 times as powerful as the one that hit Hiroshima. Other scientific studies suggest that a large rocket could be build to deflect off a smaller asteroid with the intended effect of causing the asteroid to veer into a different course that misses earth.
All these things were merely fanciful science fiction thoughts until recently. It seems the scientific and engineering communities are becoming more concerned with stopping such a situation. One can only surmise what kind of scenarios and what kind of remedies will be added to those already suggested to protect our planet. But if the Scriptures are true - which those of us who study the Bible believe they are - then there is a certainty that such days ARE coming in the future. The only major difference between the scientists and engineers and Bible believing Christians is this. Those who hold to the Bible know that there is nothing that can or will be done that will prevent Revelation 8:8-11 from happening just as God prophesies it will. All we can do is be ready because WHEN that day comes - no one - not even Bruce Willis and all of Hollywood will be able to stop it.