Evidence: Famines & Diseases abound
Jesus predicted that prior to his return famines and disease would emerge to threaten our world.
His disciples came to him privately and said, “Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?“ (Matthew 24:3) “… there will be famines and plagues in many lands, and there will be terrifying things and great miraculous signs from heaven.“ (Luke 21:10; see also Matt 24:7, Mark 13:8)
Famine is not something we are accustomed to in America but has become a growing problem in the 20th century. The outlook for the 21th century poses a grave outlook as population growth estimates show the world nearing 10 billion people with no increase to the worldwide food supply.
- Over 70 million died of starvation in the 20th century. (Source: Famine in the 20th Century, Stephen Devereux)
- 925 Million people worldwide go hungry every day and 5 Million children will die of hunger worldwide annually according to the World Food Programme.
- Several regions in Africa have struggled with food shortages for years.
- North Korea has witnessed 1.5 million people starve to death under the reign of communist leaders. There are currently 6 million people threatened by famine with UN food aid as the only means avoiding a catastrophe. (Source: Reuters)
Additional contributing factors towards the increase of famine in the future
The UN food price index (www.fao.org) shows sharp increases to the price of food.
Natural Disasters are also on the rise. Recent large earthquakes & tsunamis have contribute to potential famines as the populaces struggle to obtain food. After the 2011 “Great Earthquake of Japan”, there are 20 million people in struggling to receive food aid due to the earthquake/tsunami.
Population projections estimate a total of 9.2 billion people worldwide by 2050 while the food supply and land to produce those resources are not increasing. (Source: US Census World Population Projections)
From 1950 to 2050, the worldwide population is projected to grow by over 6 billion people.
Most of the population growth is being realized in underdeveloped areas of the world more prone to famine.
The increased cost of food coupled with exponential population growth in undeveloped parts of the world poses an increasing famine crisis in the 21st century.
Further population projections can be found here.
Jesus spoke about diseases breaking out near and far.
“There will be terrible earthquakes, famines, and dreadful diseases in various places” (Luke 21:11 GWT)
Who ever heard of HIV / AIDS prior to our lifetime?
- Over 5000 people worldwide die of AIDS every day. (Source: USAID)
- Over 25 million people in Africa have AIDS. The majority of African nations now see the AIDS problem as having reached an epidemic level.(Source: Avert)
Healthmap.org tracks ongoing disease breakouts worldwide. Click on the image to utilize their outbreak utility.
Since 1940, 335 new diseases have emerged. (Source: UPI)
The World Health Organization currently tracks several dangerous diseases with the ability to generate a rapid & deadly outbreak. (Source: WHO)
- Avian influenza
- Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF)
- Dengue/dengue haemorrhagic fever
- Ebola haemorrhagic fever
- Hendra Virus (HeV) Infection
- Lassa fever
- Marburg haemorrhagic fever
- Meningococcal disease
- Nipah Virus (NiV) Infection
- Pandemic (H1N1) 2009
- Rift Valley fever
- Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
- Yellow fever
Even a flu shot provided in the fall of any given year may not protect against mutated strands the following Spring.
Our world is unfortunately experiencing an increase of famine and disease. Population projections clearly paint a grim picture as an additional 3 billion people will be born to developing nations over the next 40 years. With food prices rising, the affects of this trend will dwarf the current famine tragedies taking place today. Also in our lifetime, we have seen the emergence of deadly diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Ebola, Avian flu, H1N1. Over 335 new diseases have emerged since the 1940s with the greatest emergency of new diseases taking place in the 1980s (Source: UPI). Jesus stated that a major characteristic of the period of time prior to his return would be “famines & diseases”. While we certainly hope that the current problems do not get any worse, the facts dictate that our generation is experiencing the fulfillment of his prediction.