This article will have little effect on the scoffer, whether a survivalist or not, but is directed toward the Christian who is also conscious of the value of preparation and the duty to provide for family in survival circumstances. It may also be effective for the mind a person who knows little of God but is open to investigate His existence. It is what God has laid on my heart as I read through the great articles and letters here in this forum. Keep up the good work. What I sense though, myself included, is that we, as humans, sometimes get too excited about details at the expense of the greater ideals. We tend to worry and live in fear which is sin.
First of all, what is a Christian?
There are a lot people who profess to be a Christian, but there are a lot of different beliefs that people have.
A Christian trust in Jesus: that His blood sacrifice forgives our sins, covers our iniquity, justifies our coming into the presence of God, and secures for us eternal life.
"This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” John 17:3
Eternal life is to know God. To truly know someone means that you must live in an interactive relationship with them. How true this is. You truly don’t know someone until you live with them. To truly know God is to live interacting with Him.
We are adopted as children of God, we are co-heirs with Christ. We are to interact with God as our Father and as full members of His family. Being a co-heir carries with it responsibility and thankfulness.
Now, to be a Christian you must believe that the Bible is inerrant, infallible, and inspired by God (Holy Spirit) in its original form. This is a key factor; yet, many who claim to be Christian do not hold this view which leaves them to arrange their idea of reality and truth as they see fit, not as God has revealed. Without a proper belief in Scripture, people, essentially, create a new belief system, a new religion. The Bible is not merely a set of Laws and fantastic stories; but, as I said above, it is a revelation from God. The Bible reveals Laws that reveal what God cares about and what His character is like. The Bible is a whole work, and bits and pieces cannot be disregarded while others are accepted without changing the whole revelation; this is removing from authority God-breathed Scripture to usurp authority for your own. There are interpretive difficulties in Scripture and disagreements regarding meaning (which we must make every attempt to get right through reason, study, debate, and prayer), but for the most part what God is revealing to us in Scripture is plain and effective. The basic truth of God’s character and what He cares about is clear. What God, the only true and Living God – Creator of all things – expects from us is clear. The Father blesses us as He reveals to us what we can and need to know. Our Lord Jesus Christ tells us to love Him by being obedient. The Holy Spirit lives in us and guides us in our relationship.
The Christian is called to rectitude, repentance, and revival. Conformity with your heart in it.
As Christians we are called to:
People will let us down, we should not expect otherwise. God is the only truly reliable promise keeper. This being true does not mean that we as Christians shouldn’t make every effort to be like God. Even though people let us down we must not become cynical and hopeless. In Christ people can be transformed. What we should do is allow God to transform us into disciples.
-Peace and contentment
Christians should be at peace and joyful in all circumstances. It is a sin to worry. It is a sin to be greedy. It is a sin to be selfish.
-At one with Creation
Christians are reinstated as stewards of God’s garden, all creation. We were made for that duty which is to our pleasure.
-Mark of a Christian – LOVE
If you can get a copy of “The Mark of a Christian” by Francis Schaeffer please do read it through carefully. Love is the mark that proclaims the truth of the Gospel to the world, the fruit of righteousness. When Christians love one another as Christ tells us to, with agape love, then the world knows that He truly is Christ. What a huge responsibility; what a great privilege.
As Christians we trust God through all circumstances. We do all things for the glory of God because we know through faith and experience that God is faithful. There is a Hebrew word that I love; hesed, which is translated in different ways with difficulty because there is no English word to do it justice. The NRSV translates it lovingkindness. This word has as part of its rich meaning the idea that the strong party in a relationship does whatever is needed to help the weaker party make the relationship successful. We can trust that God works in our life with unlimited power and perfect love regardless of how it may seem.
“Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.” - Hebrews 12:28-29
-3 Ideals the Christian survivalist should live by:
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
This does not mean that we are not to prepare and store things up that we need. Jesus is saying that we should be more concerned about spiritual treasure than earthly treasure. In the Eastern culture who was the audience fine linens (moth) and coins (rust) were the treasures, the wealth of the day. People put their trust in these perishable things instead of God. The things were not the problem but what their hearts treasured. I really like my SCAR 17, but I treasure my relationship with God.
As we prepare for survival scenarios we must not forget that God is in control; God is sovereign! We must not forget that we have eternal life; we will live with God’s family forever. We must not forget to love God above all and love our neighbors as we do ourselves (God values every life).
[Jesus] said, " 'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.'
"This is the great and foremost commandment.
"The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.'
"On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets." Matthew 22:37-40
To clarify, (we must always seek clarity of terms, people use words that we think we understand, but of which they have totally different meaning, i.e.: “Christian”), what does Jesus mean by love? We turn to Scripture. A good rule of Biblical interpretation is that “Scripture interprets Scripture”.
“…earnestly desire the greater gifts. And I show you a still more excellent way.
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1Corinthians 12:31-13:7)
Love is about humbly serving others, self-sacrifice; without love as a motive, what we do is nothing. Yet, if I do love God in the Biblical sense I have great rewards and benefits. I am transformed into a joyful, complete, mature, secure, and strong person. This happens when I experience eternal life (interactive relationship with God), know God. Then I am able to truly love others as myself (because I do love myself in the Biblical sense). There is a proper order here for success in the Christian life; love God, love others.
“But Jesus called them to him and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.’"
As we prepare we do it with the intention of being community leaders. Christian leaders are servants who love. Our whole life is to worship God. “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:1-2). We prepare to represent and worship God through any disaster or “crunch” situation. Circumstances never change our responsibilities as co-heirs with Christ. We should include in our prepping: insight, investment, and labor in order to help meet community needs. We should be prepared to help victims and those less capable to prepare.
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
As Christians all are days are filled with the intention to share with others the Gospel. We are to always be prepared to teach those who seek answers (make disciples). As we prepare our cache of supplies, let us include resources for evangelism and discipleship. Let us include resources for our own personal study and growth. Along with my cases of ammo I should have cases of Bibles and Christian books. We should maintain resources that will help us to maintain solid doctrine and good theology. Keep sets of sermons by your favorite preachers; get all the G. Campbell Morgan you can get!
Survival is important. As Christians we are guaranteed survival. Still, God expects His faithful followers to be His remnant when society crumbles. We are to remain in Him through all circumstances. God makes His appeal to the lost through His people by showing them their great need of Him, there needs to be freed from the slavery of sin, by the lure of love; it is God alone who can save them, redeem them, but He uses us to bring them to see their need and turn to Him. It is the Christian who preaches and serves as we abide in Christ love.
There is so much more that could be said, but I think this is enough to ponder for now. I would love to hear how you personally apply these ideals as Christian “preppers” and survivalist.
For the Christian living in faith is survival at its best, the best we can do toward survival is to live in faith. Let us plan accordingly. Let us plan according to God’s Word, the Bible. Let us plan in accordance with Biblical love as a Church and as evangelist.
I'll close with a new acronym for SurvivalBloggers to ponder: Forsaking All I Trust Him (FAITH)