First, Mr. Wesley, I want you to know that I’m deeply thankful for the work that you do. Sound theology is what drove me to preparedness in the first place, and your commitment to the application of sound theology to the subject of preparing for the times ahead has been a tremendous blessing and personal inspiration to me. I love you for your dedication to Christ, your love for His law, and your faithful witness. I’m sending this message in the hope that it will encourage you and provide you with some profitable reflection.
The Scriptures are clear that Christ rules in the heavens; God has exalted Him to the highest place, and given Him the name above every other name, that every knee should bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord. Jesus is prince of the kings of the earth now (Revelation 1:5), and in light of this, the lords of the nations are warned:
“Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him. (Psalm 2:10-12)
Proverbs 2:21-22 says, “For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it. But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.” The only rapture happening here is to the wicked, as God pours out his judgment again and again in time and history on those who lift themselves up in pride against him. God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. (James 4:6, I Peter 5:5) It would be foolish to think this is true only of individuals; history tells of whole civilizations that have come to nothing because of their pride. This is one of the defining sequences of human history. God will be exalted in the earth (Psalm 46:10); He will be glorified, and He will not endure those who seek their own glory at His expense. Ours is a nation lifted up in pride against the Lord God Almighty. Knowing this, we can be certain that it is only a matter of time before He humbles it. Calamities are not random; they are covenantal. (Isaiah 45:7, Amos 3:6)
All of this knowledge is what has fueled my interest in preparedness. It is faith in and the fear of the Lord. I know that He rules, and that He will do as He has promised. I am not an expert in economics or industrial infrastructure or any of that sort of thing. While I know enough to know that our current situation in all of those respects is quite tenuous, any study of those matters is only confirmation of what I already know from Scripture. Our God is a consuming fire. Judgment is coming, and it will shake the nations of the West so that only the things that cannot be shaken will remain. This is an important part of the process by which God’s kingdom has been built until now, and will continue to be built until the day when the earth will be full of His glory as the waters cover the sea. This is how the sanctification of the world is accomplished, and we are on the brink of a big shaking.
I should say that at this point I’m relatively new to preparedness, due to some personal circumstances which I won’t get into for time’s sake. As a result of this, I’m in a situation where I am by no means materially prepared for outcomes that I believe are quickly approaching our nation and perhaps the western world at large. Not being in a position of relative material security, I have been forced to consider the relationship of faith and preparation so as to know what my priorities must be. I have found many promises in Scripture that have given great comfort to my soul. Matthew 6, which is quoted on the SurvivalBlog “prayer page” is one of them. Another is this, from the Proverbs:
“Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.” (Proverbs 3:25-26)
I am confident that, if the end of the world as we know it were to come tomorrow, I would be okay, in spite of the fact that I sit here in my suburban home, not very well armed, and completely dependent on the grocery store. This is not a position that I want to be in, but by God’s good providence, this is where I am. I know that He will carry me through any storm that may come, because I trust in Him. It may not be pretty, but I am certain that I will be okay. I am not less in God’s eyes than the birds of the air and the lilies of the field. He wants me to be single-minded in the pursuit of His kingdom, to be concerned with nothing except seeing His will done on earth as in heaven, and working out His will for all things (Matt. 6:33). God is not a derelict father. He is not worse than an infidel (I Tim. 5:8). He will provide for His own. “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” (Psalm 37:25) I don’t think that Christ’s concern is just about our worries; we always work in terms of our concerns. His concern is what concerns we are working in terms of, whom we fear, whom we are serving. “Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” (Matthew 6:24) If preparedness is an attempt to ensure that we are able to perpetuate our own existence, it’s misguided. “Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?” Christ says. If survivalism is an effort to accrue enough practical wealth so that we can prevent whatever storm the Lord is sending from doing anything to us, we’re guilty of idolatry. “He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch.” (Proverbs 11:28) Our hope must be in righteousness, not in things. We must seek security by single-mindedly dedicating our lives to the progress of Christ’s kingdom and the pursuit of His righteousness on Earth.
So why prepare? Is there value to preparedness? Absolutely, because preparedness is of great value towards those ends! When God pours out His judgment, the righteous will survive; but how much influence we have afterward will be determined by how well prepared we were in advance. The body of Christ is not here on earth to survive but to minister. There will be so many opportunities to practice true religion in the times to come, defending the defenseless, meeting the needs of widows and orphans, establishing regions of stability and justice through the rule of God’s law, feeding the starving, and healing the sick. The Great Commission potential is simply astounding.
Right now we live in a nation that has no fear of God. This is largely the reason why evangelism and discipleship is progressing so slowly here (if at all). But in the wake of catastrophe, people learn to fear God (as witness the short-lived revivals that followed 9/11). As they come to us bewildered, sick, starving, and desperate for help, we can lead them to faith and repentance even as we demonstrate the mercy of Christ by meeting their physical needs. The fear of God and faith in God are two sides of the same coin. Both involve an awareness of His power and holiness. The fear of God is a knowledge of the certainty of His warnings. Faith in God is a confidence in the certainty of His promises. It is usually only after people have come to realize the certainty of God’s judgment that they will learn to trust His promises as well. This is why I want to be prepared. This is why I want to dedicate my life in part to establishing sustainable communities. The times to come will be hard, but they will be full of opportunity for the saving of souls, for the discipling of men and nations, for the progress of God’s kingdom on earth.
“For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” (Psalm 37:10)
May the God of peace prosper you in your labors.
Yours in the love and fellow-service of Christ, – A.R.