One of the most difficult things about prepping is the occasional run-ins with family, friends, and others who openly mock or criticize your preparations for a future collapse. Many of these people even use Bible verses, or their own spin on the Scriptures, to defend themselves and go on the offensive against you. As soon as some of these people hear about your views or plans, many of them inevitably sniff at you and sneer, saying things like, “Don’t you think you’re being a bit fanatical about this?” or “Don’t you know things are going to get better?” or “The Bible speaks against greediness.” or “If you want to go through the tribulation, go ahead, but I’m going to get raptured up before any of this stuff happens!” and finally, “You have to have faith that God will take care of you, instead of all this mindless materialism!”
First of all, I’ve come to the conclusion that in most cases you’re better off, for OPSEC purposes, to not broadcast to the four winds or others about your prepping plans. If you run into a kindred spirit, reveal what you feel you need to, but be careful. We need to balance encouraging others to prepare with maintaining security. However, despite such precautions, especially with the upcoming holidays and family gatherings, some detail about your prepping may slip out, and some brother or sister or acquaintance is sure to make some snide remark about your survival practices. Or, it may even come out innocently enough in a discussion at work or at church when you make some mild comment about “being prepared,” which is instantly pounced upon and ridiculed by some self-appointed truth policeman.
I’ll never forget a discussion that took place a few years ago in my own church Sunday School class. The teacher, who had just concluded a study on the book of Revelation, and knowing my interest in “last days” events, asked me to teach a special class on what we can do to prepare for the future. I began by discussing Revelation, chapter 6, with the descriptions of the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,” (the conqueror on the white horse, the red horse of war and uprisings, the black horse of famine, and the pale horse of war, famine, disease, and wild animals). I made the point that the world is in for some difficult times in the future, regardless of whether we call it a collapse or the great tribulation. I said that we should be prepared, both spiritually (having a right relationship with God) and also physically (by stocking up on food and water).
Suddenly, this classroom of previously mild-mannered adults exploded into a heated discussion about prepping. It was as if a match had ignited a pent-up powder keg of emotion. I would divide the class roughly into thirds. About one-third of the class mostly agreed with me, another third was quietly on the fence, but a very vocal third of the class yelled at me (and others) with a ferocity that I personally found to be disturbing. Among the comments were those found in the first paragraph of this article. A large basis of the anger was the belief on the part of most of the critics that God will supernaturally remove Christians from Earth before all these terrible events in Revelation (and Matthew 24) actually happen. This is a theoretical event, known as the pre-tribulation rapture.
I responded by politely reminding these hotheads that we just don’t know for sure when the rapture will happen, whether pre-, mid- or post-tribulation, so we might as well be ready for all of the above. Since the majority of the people in the class are “pre-tribbers”, my suggestions for preparation were met, in some cases, with outright hostility. It was as if someone had shaken the very foundations of their faith. To a degree, there could well be some truth to this. If these same people who doggedly refuse to store provisions for the future realize they actually will go through part or all of the tribulation, some of them may think they missed the rapture, and in their mind will think they are damned to hell for all eternity. They may end up losing all hope, resulting in a deep depression and abandoning their faith. (“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; ” [1 Timothy 4:1]) They may blame God for deserting them, though they were repeatedly warned, by people and in the Scriptures, to get ready. So, your attitude on prepping could actually become extremely important to your emotional and spiritual well-being in the future.
What about the claims that prepping is a form of materialism or greediness? Is there any Biblical proof of this? Personally, I feel a lot depends on where your heart is. If you are only prepping to hunker down and do nothing to help others for several years, then I would say you need to rethink your priorities. Obviously, you can’t help everyone, and to maintain OPSEC, you shouldn’t broadcast your intentions to someone who is potentially violent, but we are called to help our fellow man also. Even Jim Rawles, who has wisely and repeatedly preached about the importance of maintaining OPSEC in the future, included a scene in one of his novels about a bugout group who lets a small family of refugees join them. So, each refugee who shows up at your doorstep needs to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Some people will reveal their violent intentions immediately, and will need to be kept at arm’s length. Others may prove themselves over time. You may allow still others to join you, after prayer and discussion, in a short amount of time.
Still, the nagging question remains: Does the Bible support prepping or not? If so, how should we use our supplies? Actually, there are many verses that not only advocate prepping but severely scold those who don’t. For example, Proverbs 11:26 tells us, “people curse the man who hoards grain, but blessing crowns him who is willing to sell.” So, if you’re a prepper who stocks up on grain and other goods and get criticized for it, don’t feel so bad—human nature hasn’t changed in centuries! Notice the second part of the verse– that we should also be willing to sell, or possibly to barter. In some cases, we should even give some of our goods away. Verse 24 of that same chapter says, “one man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.” So, by either selling, bartering, or in some cases freely giving, there are blessings of increase that God gives us somehow, somewhere. In what forms will these blessings come? They could be physical, material, or spiritual. These blessings could come in the form of protection from attack, increase, and protection of your harvest, your livestock, or more.
One of the most famous Bible stories related to prepping is that of Joseph. In Genesis 41, God enabled Joseph to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams of seven years of plenty, followed by seven years of famine. As a result, Pharaoh put Joseph in charge of grain collection. Later on, when the famine hit, Joseph sold grain to both Egyptians and foreigners, including his father, Jacob, and his brothers. This enabled Joseph’s family to survive the difficult times. Therefore, we learn in this story that, in some cases, God actually warns us ahead of time about future famines and provides the solution to overcoming it, if we are wise enough to take action.
In fact, when it comes to prepping, the Bible specifically tells us to take action and not be lazy. Proverbs 6:6-8 tells us: “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.” So, even the lowly ant is commended for storing food. How much more should we, who are created in God’s image, do? In contrast to the wise ant, the “sluggard,” or non-prepper is severely scolded: “Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: so shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.” (Proverbs 6:10-11). So, not only are preppers praised in the Bible, but non-preppers are described as the modern equivalent of lazy bums.
Notice also the reference to the ant storing up provisions during the summer. Summer represents a time of plenty, when food is readily available for storing. In the same sense, summer symbolizes “normal” times, when food is both readily available and can still be purchased for relatively reasonable prices. Right now, even though food prices have gone up quite a bit in the past year or two, there is still an opportunity for most of us to purchase extra food to put away for a rainy day. However, there is no guarantee how long this window of opportunity will last. At any moment, supermarkets could be closed or looted due to any number of events, such as economic collapse, riots, terrorist attacks, or pandemics.
Jesus himself told us, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. ” (John 9:4). This verse symbolizes truths on several levels, from spiritual to physical. Spiritually speaking, night is coming, when you need to be right with God before you die or the second coming, whichever comes first. You also need to be emotionally prepared for “night,” which could come in the form of an economic collapse, wars, uprisings, famine, disease, and other tribulation events. When it comes to physical preparation, though, keep in mind that night is also coming, when you won’t be able to buy groceries and other supplies any more. You may be able to buy and/or barter with another wise person who lives down the road from you. In so doing, you will help forge a bond of friendship with others in your community to help ensure your mutual survival.
In the future, community will become extremely important, as we all share our talents, and in some cases, resources to help ride out the wave of collapse and lawlessness that will sweep through the land. So, prepping also gives the added benefit of enlisting allies to help defend you and others, by either bartering or helping the needy, while maintaining OPSEC at the same time. So, the next time some sharp-tongued cynic mocks you for your prepping, quietly move on to what you are called to do to prepare for future events. The next time someone twists a Bible verse out of context to belittle your preparations, continue your physical and spiritual preparation for the dark days ahead, confident that the Scriptures actually back you up, and powerfully so. If more of us would simply prepare now, while it is day, we will have the opportunity to shine as a light of hope for multitudes of destitute and hopeless people in the coming night of tribulation.