The end is nigh?
I have noticed a disturbing tendency during these last few months: the advent of survivalist Christian sites, businesses and communities springing up, mainly in America, which is not surprising, especially if you watch the video at the end of this article.
I really suggest that you set some time to watch it, the 'author' is apparently a leading financial pundit in the USA, with a solid track record for outlining the financial future.
Perhaps the most relevant issue was when I became aware that one survivalist food provisioner, was also the main drive behind a major biblical prophesy site.
Now THAT was indeed scary.... I mean those guys are considered to be prophetic beacons, so you would imagine that they know what is going to happen.
They are not prophesying that we are in the last days, but actually in private discussions confirmed that they do concur with whats in the video.
Which is possibly even more relevant!
End time biblical scholarship (Eschatology ) will always fall into one of three categories:
- PreTrib Rapture doctrine
- PreWrath Rapture doctrine
- PostTrib Rapture doctrine
Make that four categories, to include everyone who is not in faiths opinion:
- No Rapture happens
As I write mainly for believers, I will skip the fourth one for now, but may cover it later if it seems relevant, which of course is only is we decide to include it as a possibility!
The Rapture is perhaps one of the most controversial aspects of Christianity as we know it, and if you start looking at what Churchianity has done with the doctrines, it becomes even more confusing.
Now if you hold to a PreTrib Rapture, then obviously stocking up for the bad days when the enemy is holding everyone hostage, would at best be a sign of hedging your bets, at worse an indicator that you did not truly believe in a PreTrib Rapture.
The validity of a PreTrib Rapture is mainly based upon one particular scripture:
Luke 21:35-37 (Amplified Bible)
For it will come upon all who live upon the face of the entire earth.
Keep awake then and watch at all times [be discreet, attentive, and ready], praying that you may have the full strength and ability and be accounted worthy to escape all these things[taken together] that will take place, and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man.
The key sentence is the bold one; escape all these things and literalistic believers will stand on the dictionary to state that ALL means.... ALL!
Therefore the Rapture MUST be PreTribulation, for otherwise believers will faceSOME of the Tribulation, and hence we will have some troubles to share with the rest of the world, before Christ returns to pull believers out of the mess.
So if you store your nuts and berrys for the antichrist winter, I would say that you fitted more aptly into the next category....
Which assumes that believers will be persecuted and killed by the Antichrists forces, but that those believers who stay faithful until the end (that is don't kop out and take the MARK, whatever that turns out to be) will be Raptured before God pours out His WRATH upon fallen mankind....
it's a cheery prospect and one that makes most armchair Christians put their hope in a PreTrib position, but nevertheless, if you go this way, then yes a squirrel store of non perishable provisions will be a boost for your confidence, assuming that you live well enough of the grid to escape notice.
Most PreWrath folk expect to be raptured at the mid point in the seven year tribulation period, so plan for approximately a three year siege when you will be unable to buy sell or trade.
For me this is a non starter, for it looks like the ONLY believers alive at the end of the tribulation will be the two prophets sent by God, and even they will have been killed and dismembered before they return to smite those responsible. So I personally can't be bothered to go here... (which tells you I have already voted!).
1 Corinthians 3 (Amplified Bible) verses 9-21
For we are fellow workmen (joint promoters, laborers together) with and for God; you are God's garden and vineyard and field under cultivation, [you are] God's building.
According to the grace (the special endowment for my task) of God bestowed on me, like a skillful architect and master builder I laid [the] foundation, and now another [man] is building upon it. But let each [man] be careful how he builds upon it,
For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is [already] laid, which is Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).
But if anyone builds upon the Foundation, whether it be with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,
The work of each [one] will become [plainly, openly] known (shown for what it is); for the day [of Christ] will disclose and declare it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test and critically appraise the character and worth of the work each person has done.
If the work which any person has built on this Foundation [any product of his efforts whatever] survives [this test], he will get his reward.
But if any person's work is burned up [under the test], he will suffer the loss [of it all, losing his reward], though he himself will be saved, but only as [one who has passed] through fire.
Do you not discern and understand that you [the whole church at Corinth] are God's temple (His sanctuary), and that God's Spirit has His permanent dwelling in you [to be at home in you, collectively as a church and also individually]?
If anyone does hurt to God's temple or corrupts it [with false doctrines] or destroys it, God will do hurt to him and bring him to the corruption of death and destroy him. For the temple of God is holy (sacred to Him) and that [temple] you the believing church and its individual believers] are.
Let no person deceive himself. If anyone among you supposes that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool [let him discard his worldly discernment and recognize himself as dull, stupid, and foolish, without true learning and scholarship], that he may become [really] wise.
For this world's wisdom is foolishness (absurdity and stupidity) with God, for it is written, He lays hold of the wise in their [own] craftiness; And again, The Lord knows the thoughts and reasonings of the [humanly] wise and recognizes how futile they are.
21So let no one exult proudly concerning men [boasting of having this or that man as a leader], for all things are yours,
Is there any point in storing food stuffs?
As a believer I reached the conclusion years ago that Christ will ensure that we are protected from the enemy provided that we have not given the enemy authority to harm us, and this has proven to be correct, many times.
Why should that change during the end days?
It's a bit like pension plans, I meet believers who studiously save for their retirement, when I cannot see that we retire from Christs service, nor reach a point where God tells us, "OK I've provided your every need for 65 years now, so from here on you are on your own".....
I'm not saying folk should ignore the fact that at some point they may be unable to support themselves, and we are always to try and be good stewards of the resources God provides to us, but we are in trouble if we have placed our trust in some pension plan, indeed, we are in trouble if we have placed our trust in anything other then Christ.
All of my problems with God have always stemmed from MY efforts to support or govern my life, rather than follow what God has shown me to do.
Don't get me wrong, I am not a bad manager or incompetent to control myself and others, indeed I have variously controlled many business's successfully.
But all of the messes I have trodden into or created have been where I took control, and all of the successes have been when I had known that I had no real idea how to do what I was commissioned to do, and had to rely upon divine guidance and intervention.
At the end of the day (and the tribulation will definitely be THE END of all days) the whole division between Gods people and those of the world, the factor governing who gets Raptured and who is left behind to face their fate, will be who have you placed your trust in?
One of the less featured lines is scripture is shown right >
Basically whatever we do, it's going to be clear WHY we did it, when our works are exposed and what we did for US will burn off, whereas what we did for God will stand and bring a reward to us.
So if we know that God already taken control over all things, knows our thoughts, and is willing to provide for all our needs PROVIDED WE TRUST HIM TO DO SO why would we worry about what will happen when God calls time on our world?
What can go wrong?
If we are caught up in the PreTrib Rapture, nothing whatsoever, after all we will be gathered about with Christ in the twinkling of an eye, and become observers from that point until we return to a new earth to rule with Christ..... no problems there.....
Now how do we fare if the Rapture is PreWrath, rather than PreTrib?
Well if we have made our own provisions (stored those nuts and berry's for the tribulation) then I guess believers will be OK until they are found out, or raided by those people who forgot or never bothered to store things for that time.
What do you do then? shoot those who ask you to give them food, or give it away?
Christ told us to give when we were asked, rather than shoot, so maybe storing those provisions will create a spiritual problem to be dealt with, when the hoards beat a path to your door, and I would guess that Mr Antichrists' Police force will not be too helpful if you complain to them.
So you choose to trust God in all things, what then....
Assuming we are in the PreWrath by this time, all those believers who declared that PreTrib was THE way to go, will be wrong footed and either quick to adapt, or very angry and totally unprepared for what is happening, but in any case it still comes down to whether they trust God.
Scripture tells us that during this time the Antichrist will be starting to demand that people swear allegiance to him, and probably MOST of the world will willingly do so in return for the promise of the protection, food and shelter he will offer those who will take the mark.
But we cannot take the mark.....
So we believers, if we are still here, have a problem.
Now to keep the comments box lighter, I will say now that even if the PreTrib believers are right, and the Rapture happens before the tribulation starts, there will still be believers on earth AFTER the event, we know this because the bible tells us that they will be slaughtered 'at the altar' and I guess that's the altar of the self proclaimed Antichrist ruler of the world.
These believers will be those who were too lukewarm to make the Rapture, basically card carrying members of Churchianity who thought saying a sinners prayer with your fingers crossed counted.
A reasonable assumption would be that many of these will dump their 'Christian veneer' and join the AC's team probably informing on any real believers they find out about, but some will see the error of their ways and decide that even then, getting right with God is the best course of action to take.
Actually at that point I would say it's the ONLY course of action to take.
So we will see some believers trying to stay alive but probably failing, and choosing to die as a witness to Christ, with hopefully some dignity.
But there will also be many former secularists who will now realize that despite their tardiness and rebellion to date, they can still qualify for Gods Kingdom, provided they reject the Antichrists' Kingdom.
That will be and always has been THE requirement.
By all means make provision for the tomorrow we may not expect to happen today, indeed, scripture tells us:
Matthew 24:36-38 (Amplified Bible)
But of that [exact] day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
For just as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, [men] marrying and [women] being given in marriage, until the [very] day when Noah went into the ark.
So expect the unexpected to happen, when everything looks normal.
But right now everything does NOT look very normal does it? (rhetorical)
For our daily news looks more like Matthew 24 each day, as ALL these things come to pass, and we grow used to massive earthquakes, tsunamis, global credit crunches all happening.
What is normal nowadays?
Thankfully the bible has never changed it's message... trust God, hold the things of this world lightly and stand firm when the enemy attacks you with lies about your situation.
If we do that, we will never need to rely on our set aside provisions, but by all means buy them, when you are gone from this place, some soul will benefit from them!
In the 2000 computer scare (the end of the world as we knew it) was in full flow, we stored dry goods and water and all the things we thought would be required for surviving when the power went off.
Fortunately we lived in the countryside then, so survival had it happened would have been easier, as the screaming hoards would have had to walk a long way to find us!
In the event, as we all now know, nothing happened, and our friends all had a laugh at our expense, and we enjoyed what we termed 'Millennium Soup' for a few months once a week to use up our dry goods!
That may be why I now put my trust in God, rather than make plans to survive something, which I would only survive in any case, IF God decided to spare me.