Should I Be a Prepper?

The first time I heard of Preppers was about 4 years ago. I was speaking with a friend about events that seemed to carry prophetic significance. My friend asked,”Are you a Prepper?” I had not heard this term before, so he explained that it was used to describe those who stockpile food and supplies for the event of a future calamity.

I remember at the time thinking that this was a fringe concept, until one day I received an advertisement circular from BJ’s Wholesale Club. There in full color print was a advertisement for survival food – enough to last a family of 4 for 24 months. I discoverd that prepping is not a fringe movement.

There is great interest in this concept. The #1 program on the National Geographic cable network is not about African Safaris. This network’s #1 show is “Doomsday Preppers.”

Discovery Channel Hosts “Doomsday Bunkers”

There are an estimated 3 million Preppers in the US. http://theconservativetreehouse.com/2013/03/23/u-s-preppers-3-million-and-counting-when-modern-society-collapses-unto-itself/

INCLUDING Ron Douglas from Fredrick Colorado. He is pictured with his supplies laid out on his front lawn, enough for one year for him and his family of 6. It took 15 people 6 hours to carry his supplies (mostly from his basement) to the front lawn.

GOALS for this sermon:

1. Is Prepping for earthly survival a Godly response to troubling times?

2. Give believers a God-focused perspective in troubling times.

3. Provide Biblical principles that make every believer more prepared for this life – and the next!

Why Preppers?

There is little argument that these are troubling times.

We are experiencing Moral decay, War, Terrorism, Financial chaos, Massive US and World debt. Some compare America to Ancient Rome and note that as Rome crumbled and fell from internal decay, so America is also poised to enter into ruin.

Preppers support their actions by claiming that they are just trying to be prepared. They use the example of Joseph stored goods during 7 years of plenty. Some like John Heagee, Mark Biltz and Jonathon Cahn find support in supposed warnings from God, such as the Blood Moon theory or the Shemitah cycle.

However, we must be warned that the prepper movement is based in Fear

Scripture instructs us, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV)

Proponents of prepping almost always prey on peoples fears for their own financial gain.

This is similar to the desire of SIMON the sorcerer. Acts 8:18-21

Christian leaders are warned not to intimidate the flock for financial gain: “shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly;” (1 Peter 5:2, ESV)

Prepper advocates like Ron Douglas from Fredrick Colorado almost always promote their survival books, videos packaged food.

Many have spent enormous amounts of money and energy making earthly preparations.

Christians should not put their focus on surviving the end times. Instead we should be focusing on being prepared to give an account to the Lord when He returns.

Prepping Draws us Away from the Sufficiency and Beauty of Christ Our Union with Christ liberates us from a focus on earthly things!

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:19–20, NKJV)

Jesus is NOT forbidding, Owning and possessing material things, savings, investments, or insurance. Scripture addresses some of these areas. He is not forbidding the ownership of nice things or a limited amount of enjoyment from things of this world. God allows us the enjoyment of things when our focus is placed on him.

HEAVEN is our escape plan!

Have you ever thought “How much will my STUFF be worth someday?” The answer is ZERO !

This weekend I put some of the things that I thought were TREASURES up for sale at a Garrage Sale. Although these items were once important to me, the entire pick-up truck load of stuff netted me only $73! This was both exciting and sad at the same time!

All of our stuff is gonna burn one day! (2 Peter 3:10) “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.”

Confidence in our wealth ALWAYS will disappoint.Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” (Psalm 20:7, ESV)

HEZEKIAH. “With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.”(2 Chronicles 32:8, ESV)

Foolish Land Owner….. “So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.” ’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’” (Luke 12:18–20, NKJV)

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (1 Timothy 6:10, NKJV)

IF the world is about to implode, a Heaven focused believer will seek to bring others to HEAVEN and not prolong survival on earth!

John the Baptist’s message: “FLEE from the wrath to come” “So the people asked him, saying, “What shall we do then?” He answered and said to them, “He who has two tunics, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise.” Then tax collectors also came to be baptized, and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Collect no more than what is appointed for you.” Likewise the soldiers asked him, saying, “And what shall we do?” So he said to them, “Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages.”” (Luke 3:10–14, NKJV)

Godly Living ALWAYS leaves us PREPARED without FEARFor you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”” (Romans 8:15, NKJV)

 

How should we respond to the uncertainties of our day? Following are Biblical principles that will help us to be prepared for the uncertainty of the future regardless of the economic circumstances.

Seek to Honor GOD above everything else! “….But now the Lord says: ‘Far be it from Me; for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.” (1 Samuel 2:30, NKJV)Guard your Heart! “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”” (1 Samuel 16:7, NKJV)

Be CONTENT with what God has provided.

Likewise the soldiers asked him, saying, “And what shall we do?” So he said to them, “Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages.”” (Luke 3:14, NKJV)

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”” (Hebrews 13:5, NKJV)

Avoid/ Escape Debt.“Excessive debt is either an indication of selfishness or carelessness” (Randy Alcorn, The Treasure Principle)

The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower is servant to the lender.” (Proverbs 22:7, NKJV)

Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.” (Romans 13:8, NKJV)

Save for the future so that you can support yourself and provide for others.Now for the third time I am ready to come to you. And I will not be burdensome to you; for I do not seek yours, but you. For the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.” (2 Corinthians 12:14, NKJV)

The ants are a people not strong, Yet they prepare their food in the summer;” (Proverbs 30:25, NKJV)

Keep God First in your financesEverything belongs to the Lord. “Fear not. For thus says the Lord of hosts: Yet once more, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land. And I will shake all nations, so that the treasures of all nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the Lord of hosts.” (Haggai 2:5–8, ESV)

Give to God FIRST. “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.” (Malachi 3:10, ESV)

Give Cheerfully. “The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:6–7, ESV)

Be Generous to those in need. “As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share,” (1 Timothy 6:17–18, ESV)There is an old gospel song that goes like this,

This World Is Not My HomeThis world is not my home I’m just passing through

my treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue

the angels beckon me from Heaven’s open door

and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore

Let’s focus on being prepared for heaven as our top priority.