It is very compelling for many people, particularly in America, to see the collapsing freedoms and growing persecutions across the world and want to do something to protect ourselves. This makes many choose to store certain items for times that are coming (or potentially upon us already) when chaos rules. My family disagrees with this viewpoint.
Before the attacks start coming in, there are two important things to consider. First, we have a good amount of food and survival gear as well as plenty of protection within our house. It’s not a coincidence that my children’s favorite pastime is weekends at the shooting range. Second, we have nothing against those who choose to live the “prepper” lifestyle. It’s a natural reaction from certain points of view.
There was a time not too long ago when we were what some would call “amateur preppers”. We bought long-term food stores. We maintained an independent water supply. We have family members who have enough guns and ammunition to hole up in solitude indefinitely without fear.
The reason we shifted our views away from deep preparations can be broken down into three categories.
1. Tribulation is an opportunity
The prophets were persecuted. The apostles were persecuted. Reading the Bible cover to cover reveals that very few people who lived by the Word of God were able to avoid the trials of this life.
This isn’t a call for people to go looking for trouble. We aren’t suggesting that everyone needs to go give away Bibles in China or preach the Word in Iran in hopes of getting arrested and persecuted. Some are clearly called to do such things, not for the sake of the persecution they’ll receive but to make disciples of the nations. Bold actions like these aren’t for everyone.
What we are saying is that the Bible makes it very clear that those who overcome their fears and face the tribulations, trials, and persecutions that are becoming increasingly robust around the world are blessed for their diligence and faith.
Matthew 5:10 (KJV)
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Romans 5:3-5 (KJV)
3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
James 1:2-3 (KJV)
2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
Our first goal is to accept the gift of salvation. Our second goal is to spread the Gospel to those we can touch. Once those two things are ongoing, we should continue to keep our security and health, but not at the detriment of either of the first two goals. In fact, Yeshua spoke of the importance of keeping the faith now for the grace to come instead of trying to focus on saving our bodies in this life.
Luke 9:23-25 (KJV)
23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
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24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?
Total faith means knowing that whatever God has in store for you, whether it’s what we consider to be positive or negative, we must see beyond the effects on this life and believe that how we handle everything can be a merit at the time of judgment.
2. The Principalities and Powers are watching
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
A look at the news on any given day will reveal two disturbing trends: the various governments and other entities of the world are tightening around us while the people are becoming more confused and looking towards sinful solutions.
The concept of having guns pried from our cold, dead hands is seeming to be more and more likely of a scenario.
Between technological advancements, emboldened governments, and desperate leads in and out of governments, it’s very unlikely that anyone can be truly safe. The only choices may end up being to die defending the farm or to face persecution. It’s definitely possible to do both, to be a prepper while still maintaining the right connection to faith, but it’s part of human nature to rely on our own works when we focus on solutions like those.
As I’ve discussed before, Christians shouldn’t prepare at an extreme level for an economic collapse. Again, we’re not suggesting that people should abandon their gold or silver. It simply can’t be a priority as it takes away from the proper focus of this life – unending love and faith in Yeshua as our Lord and Savior.
At no point would we ever recommend sitting back and watching our liberties fade into history. There are times to fight. There are times to hide. There are times to adjust. Of course, the one universal is that there is time for prayer, repentance, and service to our Lord.
3. Faith through the Armor of God is sufficient
As I’ve made abundantly clear on my other site, I do not believe in the doctrine of the pre-tribulation rapture. Those who are alive when the end times come will face tribulation whether they have guns or not.
There is a false security that is created when the works of our hands are used to solve problems as big as the tribulation from the Bible. That’s not to say that we shouldn’t act, but the real action comes from preparing our souls and putting on the whole Armor of God.
Those who prepare for catastrophe are distracted. We all are to some degree with everything that is in front of us in this world. One of our goals should be to remove or properly handle these distractions.
Being a prepper doesn’t make anyone any less of a Christian. It just makes being a good Christian harder. Of course, that could be said about pretty much everything in this world that’s not centered squarely on the Bible’s teachings.