So often, we hear about how to prepare for the future collapse. We hear, and correctly so, that we should store up food and other essentials to survive in the future. However, what will life really be like after the collapse has taken place? What will we do besides just survive? What should we do?
Let’s assume that there is no longer any electrical power, either due to an EMP, general societal collapse, terrorist attack, natural disaster, or some other reason. This means there is no more Internet, cable or satellite service, television, Facebook, video gaming, and texting, and it means there are no more cell phones with service at all. Now, if you happen to have purchased a solar kit with inverter and deep cell battery (or if you have a gas or diesel-powered generator), you should be able to power up some of these devices, for a limited period of time. However, it’s only a matter of time before the fuel runs out.
In our so-called modern world, so many of us derive our feelings of happiness and self-worth from material things. It doesn’t matter that the I-phone 5 we have is working fine. We now convince ourselves we have to have the new I-phone 6. I don’t know about you, but I feel our society has become absolutely addicted to electronic devices. Just yesterday, we went out to eat at a restaurant, and I noticed a family with several children ranging from about six to teenagers. At least four of the kids each had their cell phone out, either texting friends, checking Facebook, cruising the Internet, or playing a video game. It used to be that when a family sat down to eat, it was a great time for social interaction– the family members communicated problems they were having at school, work, and home and collectively offered solutions. It used to be a great time to laugh, tell stories, learn new vocabulary, and learn how Dad and Mom and kids overcame obstacles to succeed in life. Remember, this restaurant meal may have been the only time this family actually sat down to eat together this week. People nowadays are always so busy, popping in and out of the house, and wolfing down a quick snack before running off to soccer practice, the health club, or to attend a meeting.
Now, in a post-collapse situation, we, as families, will need to re-acquire, or in some cases, to learn for the first time, how to really communicate without hiding behind such artificial and isolationist barriers as cell phones, video games, and other busy activities. This, I believe, will be one of the biggest challenges facing the collapse survivors of the future. Suppose you have been a prudent prepper and have stored up plenty of canned goods, both self-canned and store-bought; several 5-gallon containers of rice, beans, and other essentials; and you have a reliable water source. Suppose there is also plenty to do around your bug out location, including tending the garden, feeding the chickens, and collecting and splitting firewood. All of these are essential tasks that will most probably need to be done in a post-collapse world. However, when the work is completed, what do you say to your child who whines, “There’s nothing to do!” Suppose you have also stocked up on many different genres of books and board games. These are all excellent activities, which I think will help immensely to give us something to do to educate, alleviate boredom, and to bring the family closer together.
However, sooner or later, many of us will begin reacting to the drudgery of life, which will now resemble 1874 instead of 2014. Some people, especially those who previously lived for shopping at the mall, taking the boat up to the lake, spending endless hours texting or on Facebook, or playing video games, will probably exhibit symptoms of withdrawal. These unfortunate souls will react much like a drug addict who cowers in a corner, shaking with stress, as the physical and emotional reality slowly sets in that life as he or she knew it before, has changed abruptly and permanently. Others, however, will meet the new challenges with a positive outlook, and successfully adapt to this simpler, back to nature lifestyle.
The collapse will bring out the best and worst in all of us. Many of us will question why the collapse has happened. Many of us will wonder if God is punishing us for our personal or collective national sins, including abortion, promiscuity, pornography, drug addiction, and allowing other types of idols to creep into our lives. Now that the deceptive shackles of toys, gadgets, and other distractions have been stripped away, many of us will be sincerely looking for answers to some difficult questions: Why did my best friend die, but I survived? Why are there so many people who are dying of hunger? Why doesn’t the government do something about it? Is it really true that some people purposely caused this to happen? How could they be so evil? How could a loving God allow all this suffering and death to occur? Am I going to be the next one to die?
I really believe that it is in such a situation that more people than ever before in human history will be open to hearing about the gospel message. As long as so many of us were comfortable in our pre-collapse cocoon, there was very little urgency for many of us to ponder spiritual matters, unless some major trial came along. However, now, when faced with a true life and death situation, many of us will really dig deep down inside of our innermost beings and ask the truly important questions in life: Is this all there is to life? Why am I here? Now what?
So, if someone told you ahead of time that there will be a very large number of people in the future looking for answers to these spiritual questions, what should you do? Besides preparing physically for the collapse, how can we be prepared for it, spiritually? Obviously, first and foremost is to draw closer to God, in prayer and holiness. However, what else can we do right now to help those multitudes in the future who will be sincerely seeking spiritual meaning and peace? What resources are available now that will either be extremely scarce or no longer around after the collapse hits?
Personally, I have chosen to purchase a lot of New Testaments. Why the New Testament? It’s cheaper than a Bible, and it’s a great way to get seekers and new believers into the Word. Save the full Bible for the people that really want to go deeper in their studies. New Testaments also contain the Book of Revelation, which explains many of the prophetic end times events that will be occurring during a collapse/tribulation scenario. If someone is truly looking for spiritual answers, imagine gathering a group of people, all with New Testaments, and reading about not only an explanation of tribulation events but that God wins in the end! In Revelation 3:10, Jesus instructs his church to “endure patiently,” and in verse 11, to “hold onto what you have, so that no one will take your crown.” I submit that those of us who are Christians have an obligation to help others in the future to “endure patiently” during all of the post collapse challenges ahead, to encourage them, to give them hope, and to never give up.
We will also need to be realistic. There will be many Christians who will die for their faith in the post collapse world (“…and they will put some of you to death.” [Luke 21:16]). Notice it doesn’t say, all, but some will die for their faith. This means that many will survive. Why will they survive? For what purpose? “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14). So, in all this talk about survival, it’s not all just about what are you going to eat and drink to how to make it to the next day. In the midst of all of the post-collapse ruins, when so many will be struck by an impending sense of doom, those of us who are believers are called to be a witness, to give testimony to others, to not only offer them hope, but to help them enter into the kingdom of heaven. This is what we are called by God to do.
The post-collapse world will cause a major paradigm-shift in our priorities. Such material things as electronic devices will suddenly diminish in importance. A person’s feelings of self-worth and happiness will, for the most part, no longer be tied to such temporary and false idols. For those of us who truly break the binds of such traps, it will actually be a liberating experience. Imagine the true joy experienced by the person who finally finds the true peace of God in their life, no longer distracted by materialism and mechanical gadgets, which only brought a false sense of happiness. Imagine the amazing joy of helping others to overcome years of accumulated sin in their lives, whether an addiction to materialism or other forms of filth, giving their lives to God instead of worthless idols. Now, that’s a calling in life with eternal rewards!
In the future, there will be many who will not only be experiencing withdrawal from their gadget world but will see the violent and collapsing world around them and feel they, too, are doomed to death. Some may no longer have the will to live. This will be a time for those of us who are strong to lift up the weak, and it will be a time for the true seekers to comfort them with the hope of a new heaven and a new earth, when “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.” No matter how bad things get, and believe me, they will get very ugly, we need to “endure patiently” and encourage others to do the same. In fact, I believe that in a post-collapse world, it will become an absolute necessity to have daily prayer and Bible/devotional study with your family, or with whatever group you end up with in your bug in or bug out location. In fact, we should be doing this now, but so many Christians are so busy or lazy. In the future, however, the consequences of not putting God first could very well be life-threatening. If a spirit of fear, gossip, laziness, or pride begins to spread among the members of your group, this could threaten your very security (OPSEC). It will become imperative that everyone be like-minded, or at least striving to grow spiritually to better understand spiritual matters, and to keep a positive attitude. If someone starts to backslide, it is up to those of us who are mature to encourage them to persevere. Your very survival is at stake.
Speaking of OPSEC, you may be wondering, to whom are we going to be sharing this gospel message in the midst of a collapse situation, with chaos and looting in the streets? Obviously, it is normally unwise and unsafe to thrust yourself into the midst of such a situation to preach, unless the doors absolutely open for this. Many have predicted that during the initial few months of disorder and unrest, there will probably be a massive die-off. The looters, gang members, criminals, along with many good people, except for a few large, well-supplied and well-armed groups, will mostly perish in the initial fighting over food, water, arms, and other supplies. Those who survive will mostly flee the city for the country, where there will be better access to water and food. There will most probably be many small groups of survivors from the cities, wandering the highways and byways in search of food and water. Some of these will be violent. Others will be hungry and despondent but not violent unless attacked. I cannot tell you what to do when you meet all of the above. I know James Rawles has on many occasions cautioned that food should not be handed out from your doorstep, because it could compromise your OPSEC, and make you a target. I think this is generally good advice. However, each situation in the future will need to be taken on a case by case basis. You may allow some of these refugees to join your group. As for others, you will probably need to politely but firmly say “no,” especially those who you sense could pose a future risk. This is where you will really need discernment. Even Jesus said, “you must be on your guard.” (Mark 13:9). It may be that you are called to donate food and Bibles/New Testaments/tracts to your local church, and that studies are given there. It may also be that you do all your preaching or teaching within the confines of your bug-out location, with occasional new arrivals. You may do both. However, whichever door opens to you, by all means, take action!
So, where should you go for resources? One great organization for New Testaments and Bibles is the American Bible Society (www.americanbible.org). They have paperback NT’s for as low as $1.39 for the New King James Version, and $4.59 for a Bible, also NKJV. If you buy a case, they’re even cheaper. Other versions, such as NIV, are also available. If you like the New American Standard Bible, you can get an even better deal at the Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org). If you purchase by the case, you can get a complete paperback Bible for only $1.49! A New Testament sells for only $0.87! Another tried and true resource is Chick Tracts (www.chick.com). Their all-time best seller is “This Was Your Life,” which contains a very simple, effective salvation message. Now this one really gets to the bare bones of the meaning of life! A package of 25 costs only $4.00. This one and other tracts are also available in many languages. Think of all the people you will be able to reach in the future, if you would only invest a very small amount of money now, before the Internet fizzles out into cyberspace, when the collapse hits and it’s too late!
There can be much more to life in the post-collapse world than scrounging for food, barely existing, and drowning in our sorrows. There is no question in my mind that if we all do our part, the future will offer a tremendous opportunity to give despondent people not only hope in this world but in the eternal, heavenly world to come.