Regardless of your eschatological views, you can be sure of one thing. When people unexpectedly fall on hard times, many an agnostic-in-practice suddenly become spiritual. It is known that the two places where prayers are most commonly offered are church pews and the back of a police cruiser. Humans return to their Creator in their time of need, as demonstrated time and time again in the Old Testament. Israel returned to obeying God after they encountered judgment for their disobedience and foolishness. Americans are no different. During the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, churches were flooded by individuals looking for answers, comfort, and reconciliation with their Maker. Disasters, terrorist attacks, and financial ruin often become a reality check for the masses of “Christmas & Easter Christians” that get distracted with the everyday monotony of life. It all comes down to perspective. So, here is my challenge relating to prepping with eternity in mind: Carpe Aeternitatem– seize eternity!
I am sure we can agree that physical and spiritual preparedness is taught, encouraged, and even commanded by scripture: Genesis 6 & 7, Proverbs 21:20, Psalms 28:19, Proverbs 20:13, Proverbs 6:6, Matthew 25:1-13, Proverbs 22:3.
The “why” you survive the coming collapse is just as important as the “how” you survive TEOTWAWKI. It would be grievous indeed to successfully survive the worst global disaster of this age, and yet fail to maintain your spiritual duty and calling to help a lot of people get right with God. What will be most important in eternity? How high my quality of life was after the SHTF, or how effective I was at reaching the hurting and the lost? Now, there is no excuse for not maintaining a standard of preparedness. You will not be much help to anyone if you yourself are not self-sufficient; and the more prepared you are, the greater your ability to help and counsel others. Let’s just make sure we have the necessary tools and skills to indeed shine our light before men during one of this country’s darkest hours. Here are some tips for prepping for the Kingdom.
- Consider taking crisis/trauma-counseling courses. Many counseling courses are relatively inexpensive and can be done online or by video. You can be sure your loved ones and refugees with need effective counseling, and a psychiatrist or counselor may not be readily available. Spouses, children, and neighbors will experience everything from violently defending homesteads to the tedious, mind-numbing drudgery of medieval chores. These traumatic experiences will need to be addressed and processed. In the aftermath of a global crisis, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) will run rampant, and someone needs to be ready to help. People will need sound Christian counseling in order to maintain some level of functionality. Don’t rely on your own “toughness” to make sure you can deal with the emotional upheaval affecting your family and neighbors; get some serious training today for how to deal with the non-tangibles of life.
- Stock up on PAPER Bibles, concordances, and devotionals. Understatement: Much of life will be different with the loss of electricity. The Millennial generation is more comfortable using search engines and e-bibles as a means to read and study the Bible. In the near future, many young people may not even have a paper Bible. Furthermore, this generation has swapped memorization for ease of access when it comes to information, and Scripture is no different. Why Memorize Psalm 23 when I have it at my fingertips 24/7 in 10 different translations? The result is that fewer Christians know their Bible and fewer homes will have multiple Bibles. The principle of “two is one, and one is none” applies to God’s Word as well. I doubt Bibles will be printed en masse after the collapse, so find a bulk supplier and get a case for posterity! Wouldn’t it be great if you could give each of your grandchildren their own Bible?
In addition to this, it would behoove each of us to have hard copies of important historical church documents, such as the various creeds and writings of the early church fathers. You may wish to also have on hand copious documents relating to your particular denomination. In a time of upheaval, we would be amiss to fail to preserve our heritage and the doctrinal thesis upon which the Church currently rests. With a breakdown in connectivity and communication, I foresee a great blending/shredding of Christian beliefs. If there is a lack of available theological leadership, Christians and new converts will need resources to steer clear of heresies and heretics.
- Prepare for “old- school” church. Many small home churches and a few larger gatherings may become the norm. You may not be called to preach, but providing means for the church service is just as vital. Will you need hymnals, new convert materials (see #2), sacraments, non-electric musical instruments? How about large portable tents and voice amplification for large outdoor gatherings?
- Have designated donation food items that will open doors for you to share the Gospel. In the age of social justice, nothing is trending as much as caring for physical needs before spiritual needs. Many will be looking for a handout, and many will go away empty-handed. Being the one that can help a hungry soul will undoubtedly give your testimony weight and influence in sharing the Gospel. Caution: This avenue of outreach must be carefully planned and executed as throngs of hungry refugees could easily overpower the most prepared survivor. However, hermitage and hoarding is not an option for the believer! “Whatever you do to the least of these, you do to me. ” (Matthew 25:40)
- Encourage your Church to develop a crisis plan. I believe that in the event of a governmental collapse, local churches may easily become the center of community decision-making and the center of community identity. Many modern Americans don’t know anyone on their block beyond the neighbor to their left, right, and across the street. This disjointed public community will only become more skeptical of each other in the event of an emergency. The people they know and trust are those that they fellowship with at their place of worship. Churches can provide a neutral location of safety and security where common good can be established. Churches are also one of the strongest indicators of a person’s personal identity. Churches are usually gifted at organizing individuals under a common vision, and they tend to be altruistic in their motives. Churches are where millions of people rally for a cause once a week, every week. That cannot be said about any other campaign, cause, or non-profit establishment. This being said, churches need to be prepared to fulfill the Great Commission in the event of TEOTWAWKI. Although some pastors could be resistant to making plans and decisions based upon a future societal collapse, many would agree that a “crisis plan” would be very appropriate for the church in preparing for local natural disasters and large-scale community tragedies (school shootings/bomb threats). These simple plans often create procedures and protocol for facilitating helpful order and support in the face of community-wide problems. These plans create a foundation that could easily and quickly apply to a TEOTWAWKI situation. A starting plan of action is better than no plan at all.
- Study to show yourself approved. (2 Timothy 2:15) There will definitely be a spiritual leadership vacuum. Will you be prepared to fill it? Your community, family, and anyone you come in contact with will need regular, quality biblical teaching. Whether you are an eloquent Billy Graham or a stuttering Moses, you will need to become a spiritual leader in your realm of influence. There are three prerequisites for this calling: Bible knowledge, a thriving personal relationship with God, and (you guessed it) leadership. Of these three, where are you deficient? Shore up that weak spot so you can be prepared for the most important need of the human: God.
In all of the above preparedness suggestions, there is a common theme. We cannot forget the Spiritual side of ourselves or our loved ones when attempting to be “practical” in our allotments. It can be easy to only think in terms of tangibles when we are paring down our necessities to the basics, but often the non-tangibles (faith, joy, peace, prayer, worship) add more to the quality of life than the greatest new survival gadget. Indeed, we should invest heavily in having the ability to maintain our family’s spiritual growth long after Christian book stores shutter their doors, and Bible “dot-coms” cease to exist.
In all of our preparation, we must take note of Psalm 127:1– “Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” Recognize that the Lord will bless and protect those that seek Him, and use Godly wisdom in preparing, However, others may have prepared far beyond any measure and have no surety for success in the coming storm.