The prepper or preparedness movement has grown rapidly in recent years as people grow concerned about war and terrorism coming near where they live. Should Christians participate in this movement?
Is stockpiling something Christians should do? Should Christians stockpile food and other supplies in case of future disaster?
One's attitude in such preparations is key. To be clear, the best thing a person can do is to be prepared spiritually. It does little good to outlast others during an emergency only to die without knowing Christ. Our first goal must be salvation in Jesus Christ (John 3:16) and to live for Him fully.
In addition, Christians do not need to stockpile goods in order to be prepared for the tribulation period in the Bible. The rapture will take place at any moment and before the tribulation, meaning Christians will escape this period of judgment (1 Corinthians 15:51-58; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). In fact, 1 Thessalonians 4:18 says Christians are to encourage one another with these words, referring to the rapture.
However, some Christians may feel led to prepare their home or family for possible disaster scenarios and can take precautions to protect themselves and their loved ones. For example, a preparedness plan to respond in the case of a tornado or hurricane can help save lives and provide stability in the event of a worst-case scenario. Some experts suggest having up to 30 days' supply of goods in the case of a major natural disaster in which goods or fuel could not be transported for a period of time.
Some may feel led to prepare in more detail, but this is a matter of personal preference rather than a biblical command. In contrast, Jesus sometimes sent out His followers with no supplies in order to show how God provides for needs (Luke 9:3; 10:1-4). At other times, He commanded them to leave prepared (Luke 22:36).
One word of caution, however, should be noted. We are to ultimately trust in the Lord, not our human provisions or wisdom. A powerful example is found in Luke 12:16-21. The rich man had an abundance of crops and planned to build bigger barns to store them. While a bigger barn may not be evil, his dependence upon his own strength was. In the parable, the man died that night, with his provisions being left behind for others.
God ultimately controls our future, regardless of how much we prepare. As we seek His wisdom (James 1:5), we can make prudent plans regarding future scenarios while depending on His strength to meet our needs. This can include some level of preparedness, though our greatest preparedness must be found in our relationship with God and a focus on sharing Him with others.
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