AN AMAZING FACT: The word “volcano” comes from a small island called Vulcano in the Mediterranean off the northern coast of Sicily, which gets its name from the blacksmith of the Roman gods—the god of fire—Vulcan. Thousands of years ago, the people who lived in this area believed that Vulcano was actually the forge chimney of Vulcan.
But volcanoes are not just a colorful legend; they are one of the most powerful and potentially destructive forces on Earth. For example, the 1980 explosion of Mount St. Helens in Washington State was estimated at 500 times more powerful than the force of the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. There are over 500 known active volcanoes on Earth, with around 1,500 that are potentially active, and that’s not counting those that lie beneath the sea. Unfortunately, about 500 million people live within the “danger range” of these active volcanoes. The biggest volcano on Earth is Hawaii’s Mauna Loa. It rises more than 30,000 feet, nearly 5.7 miles above its base on the Pacific sea floor.
For years it was generally accepted and taught by geologists that volcanoes developed slowly over long eons. That was until 1963 when, off the coast of Iceland, the world witnessed a volcano virtually grow up out of the ocean in a matter of months. By 1967 the new volcanic island of Surtsey was transformed into a “mature” island with wide sandy beaches, pebbles, vegetation, birds, and many other features that would suggest great geological age. When the geologists wandered about the island they were mystified and found it hard to believe that this was a volcano whose
age was still measured in months and not millennia!
In like manner, many people believe it would take years for them to turn from their sinful habits and live a Christian life. But they may be underestimating the miraculous power of God to quickly give them a new birth. The Lord promises, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26). God’s Word says that the time for salvation is now. The same God who gives volcanoes their tremendous power can give you a new direction in an instant—the moment you accept Him into your heart.
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17