Prepping

Prepping

Since February 7, 2012, the National Geographic TV channel has hosted a reality show called “Doomsday Preppers”. It profiles folks who are survivalists, and not only details their preparations against occurrences like economic and/or societal collapse, pandemics, polar shifts, electromagnetic pulse, incidents of terrorism, nuclear accident, fuel and/or food shortages, communication and/or electrical grid breakdowns, etc. … but features a panel of experts to assess the efficiency of each survivalist’s preparations.

In watching this reality show from time to time, it is an eye-opener to behold how very serious so many of these survivalists are. I have a question for all of them: 

Do you realize that you are going to die anyway?

There is no force that they will be able to harness and control that will give them even so much as an extra breath beyond what has been determined for them:

Man’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed. (Job 14:5)

“And now my life ebbs away; days of suffering grip me. (Job 30:16)

I know you will bring me down to death, to the place appointed for all the living. (Job 30:23)

“Show me, O Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath. (Psalms 39:4-5)

This is the fate of those who trust in themselves, and of their followers, who approve their sayings. Like sheep they are destined for the grave, and death will feed on them. The upright will rule over them in the morning; their forms will decay in the grave, far from their princely mansions. (Psalms 49:13-14)

It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart. (Ecclesiastes 7:2)

Since no man knows the future, who can tell him what is to come? No man has power over the wind to contain it; so no one has power over the day of his death. (Ecclesiastes 8:7-8)

And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. (Matthew 10:30)

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. (James 4:14)

People who prepare for doomsday scenarios expecting to survive can be broad-brushed into two categories: born-again, blood-bought Christians and everyone else. The difference between the two is in the nature of their preparations. People who are not born-again, blood-bought Christians depend on the preparations they have put into place, but people who are born-again, blood-bought Christians depend on the preparations that God has put into place. Believe me, there is a world of difference between the two!

A person who makes his own preparations for surviving a doomsday scenario is exactly like a person who depends on his own good works to earn his way into heaven:

There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. (Proverbs 14:12)

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Preparations made to extend your life in this world will, under the best of circumstances, only extend your life for a few years… and then what? One could almost make a case for prepping, were the outcome of it peace, safety, stability and continued life, but that is not possible:

By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” (Genesis 3:19)

This will be the fate of every person:

Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, (Hebrews 9:27)

The Holy Scriptures tell us what is ahead:

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. (2 Peter 3:10)

The Apostle Peter goes on to make a common-sense conclusion:

Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. (2 Peter 3:11-13)

Please consider the last sentence of the preceding verse… God is going to create from the ashes of the old world a new heaven and a new earth! What a beautiful sight it will be… again, Holy Scripture describes what will be:  

However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” – but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:9-10)

We are given a vision of what God has prepared for those who love him:

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:1-4)

Who is it that has done this marvelous thing?

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Revelation 21:5)

This is Jesus Christ. This is His promise:

He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. (Revelation 21:6-7)

Prepping is a lot of work for not a lot of reward… a few more years, at best, in a broken and fallen world where you will constantly have to be looking over your shoulder to protect what is yours from those who would take it away from you, if not kill you into the bargain. Is this truly the existence that you would want? Be assured that this worrisome existence will be followed at some point by death… and if you do not know God, and do not trust in the free pardon of your sins by His Son Jesus Christ’s shed blood, then your death will be an eternal, living death in the lake of fire:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. (John 3:16-18)

Curiously, even though I have made the case that prepping for a continued life in the world that we live in is patently absurd and obviously useless, it is a fact blood-bought Christian believers are preppers. How is this possible? It is possible because it is the duty of every Christian, once reaching the age of accountability, to prepare to meet God:

Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.” Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” (John 6:27-29)

This is proper “prepping” for a Christian survivalist:

“The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile – the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:8-13)

As Christian survivalists, these are our tools:

Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:11-18)

What only God can give is promised to us:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:4-7)

Finally, we are considered blessed:

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. (Psalms 4:1-3)

Those who depend on their own goodness, strength and preparations because they know not nor trust the Living God and the gift of His Son Jesus Christ as His provision for the forgiveness of their sins are considered wicked:

Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. (Psalms 1:4-6)

What is your choice? Will you trust in your own goodness, strength and provision to put into place a perilous existence for only a few more years in a broken and fallen world, only then to be cast into everlasting hellfire because you have denied the Living God and the gift of His Son Jesus Christ? Or will you fall to your knees and ask God into your heart that He might show you compassion, mercy and forgiveness by covering you with the blood of His only Son Jesus Christ, who was brutally sacrificed for you? You can prepare for a few more years and then eternal hellfire, or you can prepare for an eternity of bliss in the presence of the Living God. The choice is an easy one… but you must choose whom it is that you will serve… God or the evil one (italic emphasis mine):

“Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:14-15) 

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It's About Jesus!!
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