July 28, 2014

Why Should Christians, Specifically, Be Preparing?

I have written previously “Is preparedness a sin?” and “Scripture related to preparedness” , explaining why preparedness is allowable and even seen as prudent by the Lord.  I have never explained why Christians should be preparing.  Of course, they should be preparing for the same reasons as everyone else, but they should also be preparing for at least one specific reason that is theirs alone.

Jesus tells us in Mathew 5:14 that You are the light of the world.  While true that this statement isn’t about preparedness, it is about being a light to the world.  Whether it is economic hardship, war, terrorist attacks, pandemic or any other man made or natural disaster, our world is fallen and we are to be a light to it.  Jesus didn’t prerequisite that with “unless food is limited or very high priced” or with “You can pause on being light to the world when events around you become uncertain or dangerous.”

To me, it is those times when we MUST be the light to the world.  After 9-11, many churches were filled to capacity.  Sadly, it often takes a large event to break people and have them turn to the Lord.  If there is another large scale disaster (Katrina or 9-11) and someone only has a few days of food for their family, they will be focused on taking care of and providing for their immediate family.  They may not be concentrating on spreading Gods love and being His hands and feet to another needy family.

My wife and I, as well as many from our church, have taken CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training, so that if there is an event in our local area, we can give aid. In the class, they made a point to say that you make sure your family is safe first and then go help if you’re able. Their reasoning is the same as mine. If things are not prepared for at home, if you have to worry about your family’s safety or whether there is food, you will be ineffective in the field.
Jesus told us in Mathew 24:6 – 8 (NIV) that:

“6. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.  7. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.  8. All these are the beginning of birth pains.

I can’t know if we’re living near the end times, but I do know all of those things are happening now, and Jesus said that they were just the beginning.  That means that more and probably worse will follow.

 

Many Christians have a misunderstanding of scripture, they will quote Matthew 6:25-34

“25. Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?  26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?…

They don’t understand that this verse is not about preparedness or the lack thereof, it is about worry. Let’s face it, believing that God will take care of our every need is comforting, but our God is not a genie from a bottle.  He gave us free will and logic and the ability of forethought.

 

As I mentioned above, Jesus said some pretty bad stuff would happen and Proverbs 27:12 says:

“A prudent person foresees the danger ahead and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.”

When you put these three verses together, we’re told that there will be some difficult and dangerous times ahead.  We’re told not to worry because Jesus is Lord our God, but to be wise and prepare for those dangers that lie ahead.

So, if you want to be prudent before the Lord, then being prepared to be the light He said we are, and ready to face what He said is coming seems like the only decision.  Some people will have a hard time with this.  As I mentioned in Survival Psychology: Cognitive Dissonance, holding two opposing views is called “cognitive dissonance” and will cause mental stress and discomfort.  But looking at all of the scripture where we’re shown that God told people to prepare, which I cover in “Scripture related to preparedness”, and as I listed above with Proverbs 27:12, anyone who wants to be prudent need just look for dangers and take action to mitigate them.  One can make the logical and prudent choice and move out of cognitive dissonance.

 

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Comments

  1. bruce smith says:

    great post again Chris!!!!

  2. Clayfarmer says:

    Great post. Answered some questions I’ve been thinking through recently. I hadn’t considered how being unprepared might affect my ability to be a light to others.

  3. thanks for this article, its the boost I needed. I’m glad to see your quotes from Mathew. It seems that I don’t hear many preachers refering to it very much. I think that, there are very good books in the bible,Mathew is the one I like the best. I also read it often. Thanks again

  4. As a preacher I admit to people I’m a prepper and I hear the Matthew 6 argument all the time. You’re right on the spot. That verse is talking about worry. I always come back with the fact that God has blessed me today so I don’t have to worry about tomorrow. If I prep now, I know me and my family is taken care of when things get bad. By the way, many preachers who argue with me about Matthew 6 have no problem quoting 1 Cor. 16:1-2 when talking about the weekly collection. I “lay by and store” not only money for the church but food for my family. That way I won’t be scrambling when the need comes. Great article, thank you!

  5. Chris,

    I’ve already forwarded on your article. Just what I needed to try to convince those good people I know that though God will take care of our needs – he does expect us to take actions when given the opportunity to do so.

    Like right now.

    Renard

  6. Romans 8:28

    King James Version (KJV)

    28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

    Chris,

    Thank you so much for focusing on preparedness from a Christian perspective. As your article reminds us, we should live our lives with the goal of being a “light to the world”. Another way I like to think of it is…we should actually serve as “mirrors” to reflect the light of God’s love to the world around us. The reason I like to use this analogy is that everything we do in our lives should reflect God’s love. By reflecting God’s love, it reminds me that it’s His power and for His glory…not of my own.

    With that in mind, I also thought of the verse above, Romans 8:28… I believe “good” in this verse refers to the ultimate “good” which is to bring glory and honor to God. Also in this verse I see that my life is for “His purpose”, not mine.

    In these “normal” times or after TEOTWAWKI, we need to keep the focus on living our lives to bring glory and honor to God.

    • It’s my pleasure Steve, I’m just following orders lol.

      “In these “normal” times or after TEOTWAWKI, we need to keep the focus on living our lives to bring glory and honor to God.”

      Well said, amen.

  7. This is so timely for me. I told you of my in-law problems (and will send them this). I had just decided to put a short bookcase by the front door with food I could spare (some fruit, beans, rice, etc. – I may break the rice up into glass jars) for just such a time as people may come to my door begging. My son is so much more in tune than me. We had a guy come to the door at lunch time once trying to get people to let him mow their lawns so he could earn money to help feed his daughter. I don’t know if it was a line or not, but we already help someone just that way, letting him mow our lawn for extra money. My son (who is Down syndrome and autistic) overheard and offered him a bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup that we were having. I put some into a butter dish (that is just for not wanting to come back) and handed it to him. He was overwhelmed.

  8. Chris, This was an inspired article. Thank you for all that you do and thank you for following GOD,Jesus and the Holy Spirts lead.

    • Chris Ray says:

      Thanks Suni, I’m glad you liked it. I’m just doing as I feel led, it’s nice to get feedback on that, it lets me know I am on track.

  9. Jim Moore says:

    Great Article Chris! I so agree. Some wonderful comments too!

    I spent some time today dwelling on the announcement that protestants are no longer a majority in America, the U.S. sending more troops into Jordan and of course the Syria/Turkey ordeal. Then I get word that the Pope spoke a line of Arabic today in his weekly address.
    Daniel 11:40-45 came to mind and I had to cross reference that with Jesus saying in Luke 21:20 “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near.” Have we forgotten Russia’s threat last December of nuclear war or possibly forgotten that God allows rulers to be set up as Judgement upon a people? History does repeat itself.
    Exciting times!
    I personally believe it would be irresponsible not to prepare. But personal responsibility (like common sense) isn’t so common any more.
    Back to Jesus in Luke 21; “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
    Fear Not!

    • Chris Ray says:

      Thanks Jim!

      Interesting times to be sure. With the way the Middle East is heating up, and the election year and the the rumors of the DHS getting ready for civil unrest, it could be a very interesting fall and winter.

      “Back to Jesus in Luke 21; “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

      Amen!

  10. Hi Chris

    I love when Matthew 6:25-34 is quoted to me about my canning and buying ‘extra’ to stock up for my family. I sit and smile and ask … IF you are not worried about tomorrow…why do you do a week or two weeks shopping at a time? Why do you store your winter/summer clothes in off season? Why do you have ‘junk’ drawers and boxes in the attic/basement with ‘things’ if you do not feel you will need them?

    If you substitute ‘stocking up’ for preparing many will happily talk to you about how they ‘stock up’ for the winter. Telling someone there is a sale on something they like and they will ‘stock uo’ on it.

    I find that stocking up is acceptable..however prepping is viewed either as if you have lost your mind OR that your house will be available when things go bad they will come and ‘shop’ for free at your home.

    As I have said before…this little ant is going to stock what her family needs (and a few wants like treats) and still be able to help others however the grasshoppers of the family/community will be hard pressed because of their wasteful ways.

  11. I have friends who are prepping, but I am having trouble with a few things. One is that I feel like instead of spending my extra money on preparing for my own family now, why not give it to the people who are hungry now? We don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, we might end up not even needing the stuff we’ve stocked. But what if I died tomorrow and the Lord asked me why I didn’t feed his hungry because I was concerned about myself? Also, if life as we knew it crashed, there would be chaos. I think that people would become violent, and I don’t think it would take these people long to figure out that you have food. So if they ransack your house, once again, things didn’t go as you had planned and your family is actually in danger of being killed for your food. I think more important than preparing physically, is to prepare spiritually. That’s the only thing that will never backfire on you.

    • Chris Ray says:

      A couple thoughts on what you had to say. First Jesus said there would always be poor people, should we try and help them now? Yes of course, and I do. 1 Timothy 5:8 says “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” That doesn’t say only when times are good and plentiful.

      You said “But what if I died tomorrow and the Lord asked me why I didn’t feed his hungry because I was concerned about myself?” How do you know that the Lord doesn’t have a plan for your life, that you’ll need to be setting aside extra food and supplies now for, for use in the future? There are some that visit this site that see themselves as preparing to be a blessing to others in dark times.

      You comment on people might come and take what you have; well if things are that bad, the very act of drawing breath will make you a target. There are five basic human needs, one of them that protects all the others is security. If someone comes to take what I have by force, they will be met with force. If they come asking for help, I will do so as I am able and feel led. I get the feeling that you might be of the belief that Christians should not use violence, I ask you to read an article I wrote called “Should Christians Practice Self-Defense” that I will link below.
      I’m guessing this might be your first visit to this site, I invite you to read a bit more from the Christian Worldview area that I will link below as well.
      http://preparedchristian.net/should-christians-practice-self-defense/
      http://preparedchristian.net/category/christian-world-view/

      • I agree with you on that, and I think that, therefore, we all need to pray and discern where God is calling us, and what his plan is for us…because right now, I’m really not sure what He wants me to do in these regards. Thank you for your website and insights.

  12. Chris,
    I am very appreciative of this article. I have only recently (as in the past 2 months) been led to begin prepping and I will admit that it was initially a little bit overwhelming. I felt like I was so far behind and had so much to learn. However, then I thought about the tasks that God gave to Noah Nehemiah, and Joseph and decided He never charges us to do anything without providing the knowledge, resources and guidance so that our steps are well ordered by Him.

    However, it seemed like so many of the forums and sites were either politically or hardcore survivalist based and driven so even though I was able to still obtain good information it was a little disconcerting to wade through some of the rants, threats of dire consequences, etc. Therefore, I’m obviously very thankful that the Lord led me to this site that provides excellent prepping information from a Christian perspective; it’s like balm and encouragement to my soul.

    Having said that, I do have a question. How do we, as believers, balance the need for prepping and providing for our families vs. being charitable to those without. If times are unstable now, to be sure they will be much worse in the future. As it has already been foretold a one-world government (which will no doubt affect and manipulate how people think about what’s right or wrong) is on the horizon and it’s no longer revelational but is now apparent. I know that I will trust in the Lord and His Holy Spirit will guide me through individual situations, I guess I’m just thinking that there are already so many in need now that when TEOTWAWKI occurs the numbers will be astronomical because it will not only include those who were already impoverished (whether in the natural and/or spiritual sense) but a large majority of comfortably established people (including believing Christians) who are caught off guard just like I would have been if the Lord had not “pricked” me. So, even if we set aside and prepare stores to giveaway charitably, how do we keep others, who may feel that they are entitled, from trying to take whatever we have for our own families?

    I read all of the comments above; some helpful but all interesting. Romans 8:28 (And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose) is one of my favorite scriptures so I totally agree with Steve’s perspective in that whatever circumstances we experience the appropriate response should be used to reflect the Christ in us to others. However, I then thought about how I would respond in a situation like Loriann where someone comes to the door asking for work or food and I just don’t know that I would respond the way she did—not because I don’t want to help but because there are so many instances of people using a situation like that as a ruse to gain access to your home and try to cause harm. I’ve written a rather lengthy email but I’d really like to get your perspective on this.

    Again, so thankful that this site is available; it’s truly a Godsend!! Keep up the excellen work for an excellent cause.

    28

    • Hi Pamela,

      I’m so glad that you listened to the still small voice and began preparing, I am also glad you found this blog. It is easy to become overwhelmed and feel like time is running out, but as you have discovered, that is our flesh working in us.

      You ask a difficult question that many of have asked and each will need to seek Gods will in. I wrote a couple articles related to this that might help some, I’ll post them below. I don’t believe God calls us to help everyone, Jesus said there would always be poor people, He didn’t command the Disciples to feed everyone. Then there is when He told the disciples to shake the dust from their feet when ever a town didn’t welcome them. He could have said to keep spreading the word in the town until everyone had heard it.

      In a truly TEOTWAWKI situation, I will be treating everyone with caution until I know their motives. I try to be a Godly man, and will help when I can, but God has not called me to help everyone. I will share His love and feed those that I can, when I can. I apologize for a short answer, I am leaving for the weekend, if this and the two links don’t answer your questions, please let me know and I will try again when I get back.

      http://preparedchristian.net/what-would-you-do-im-coming-to-your-house/

      http://preparedchristian.net/what-can-we-do-when-people-wont-listen/

    • welcome

  13. Mark Solomon says:

    Didn’t Jesus say that in the end it will be as the days of Noah? Well… what was Noah doing? He was prepping for the end of humanity! Noah had faith for sure, but the ark was built with hard labor.

    I’d like to add that it seems to me that God has given us a biblical words and prophetic words to prep (i.e. those like John Paul Jackson). Just because your personal quiet time didn’t reveal the answer doesn’t mean God hasn’t already given you the answer–as plain as day. God does use other people to communicate with you–it’s called the body of Christ.

    I’d like to add that I know people who have been specifically told be the Lord not to prep and to live by faith–even when this person sees there parents prepping. I have great respect for that as well.

    However, I cringe at those around me who “seem” to pretending to have great faith that God will provide, but:

    –have not heard directly from God on this issue
    –are not truely seeking an answer on this issue
    –have people around them or prophetic words on the issue telling them to be prepared (and let’s not forget the bible)

    In summary, their seems to be a certain arrogance with some Christians that I talk to about a lack of prepping and, sadly, I believe they are calling that arrogance their faith. Oh God, please let me be wrong on this.

    • I agree with you. There are a great many Christians who simply believe that God will provide for them when hard times come. Jesus knew God would protect Him, but when Satan told Him to jump from the steeple, Jesus knew satan was right, and a fleet of angles would keep him from touching the ground.

      But Jesus said one should not tempt the Father. I will not put Him to the test, and will abide by the wisdom and common sense He has given me.

      • Mark Solomon says:

        Chris that’s a good word. I could feel that work soaked right in.

        I was telling my good friend of a large family of young kids about 14 nuclear reactors on the New Madrid fault line and that he might want to at least store some water for an earthquake disaster(we live in the Midwest)–as it’s number one on any preparation list.

        His response to me was like, “God will provide and the kingdom of God is near. Glory!”

        I grinned and said:

        We’ll if the kingdom is near I’d rather be praising God with my family than praying for water for my family.

        And your comment about wisdom and common sense reminds me of the parable of the 10 virgins and 5 with no oil–in a way I really hadn’t considered before.

        Five literally did not have “physical” oil in their lamps to attend a “spiritual” wedding ceremony. If the kingdom really is that near, I want to be ready, praising God, and looking up–not looking around for basic necessities…

  14. Great topic and website Chris, thank you for doing the body of Christ this needed service. I’ve been hoping to find such a website and forum for like minded believers. I’ve been a Christian for many years now and have been prepping for about 5 years.
    When I talk to many other believers, the usual response is why prepare, we are all going to be raptured anyway. My usual response is, we do not know for sure when the rapture will take place. And isn’t it a mistake to have more faith in the timing of the rapture, than in Jesus Christ himself?
    Preparing for me is more about having faith that God will see us through the difficult times that lie ahead, and doing our part, in faith to prepare for those times. Preparing is not about stockpiling items for you and your family alone, it is preparing for your family, your community, and most of all, your local body of believers. And by the way, I believe it was God who put in on my heart to be ready and prepare for the future. Thanks again Chris

    • Hi Frank,

      I’m glad you found the blog, I hope you enjoy it.

      My answer to people who say they’ll be raptured before things get bad is that when satan brought Jesus to the top of the building and told Him to jump because surly God would send a fleet of angles to keep Him from touching the ground, Jesus told him “Do not put the Lord they God to the test”.

      The same should apply to us.

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