Are you a prepper?
Dating myself once again, I am reminded of the Dr Pepper commercial that included a catchy jingle with the following lyrics:
Some of you are singing it in your head. Some out loud! Others are thinking, “I have no idea what you’re talking about. Can we just get to the question? And by the way, your question title has a typo in it. It says, “Prepper” instead of “Pepper.”
Guess what this article is not about. Dr Pepper. Obviously. It’s also not about what you probably think it is.
The Bible is very clear about the world we live in having a distinct beginning. It has not always existed. Conversely, the Bible is also very clear there will be a distinct end of this world as well. How and when will it end? The Bible gives us a fair amount of information but leaves out enough detail, prohibiting us from knowing the exact timing. Jesus’ own disciples were very interested in knowing more, as evidenced when they said, “Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matthew 24:3)
It is not possible to offer any deep commentary regarding these signs, but it is my personal view that many are occurring in our day, indicating that this apocalyptic time cannot be too far off. I am not alone in this view. Many other Christians believe the same thing. Even many non-Christians sense “something big” is coming, perhaps “the end,” whatever that might look like in their eyes. Yes, it is also true there have always been earthquakes and famines, and each generation had their reasons as to why they were living in the “end times.” It is not my intent to go down that path, as interesting as it may be. My focus is in another direction.
Even independent of the biblical narrative, many economic indicators are telling of potentially perilous times ahead, more extreme than our generation has ever faced. So, what do we do in response?
A number of people have chosen to take serious steps towards preparing for a “dooms-day” scenario. Some have gone to extreme lengths and have been derogatorily referred to as “preppers.” It is not my intention to give advice as to how much preparation you should make or what kind. Some things are certainly wise and easily justifiable. A back-up generator would be a good example of something reasonable. That could come in handy even if things don’t fall apart around us. All it takes is one powerful storm to make you wish you had one! In keeping with full disclosure, I had a generator for years, maybe 20, and just sold it last year because I never used it even once. Was that a wise decision? I don’t know. Probably not. I was too focused on clearing out our garage and simplifying!
My wife and I have some close friends who have taken some reasonable steps ensuring food, water, some power, and heat for their home, should things get really bad. It’s causing me to think things through a bit further than I have in the past.
Some people, however, have gone to the extreme, purchasing dried foods and water to last for 10 years, plus purchasing enough guns and ammo to outfit the entire army of a small country! And then there’s the building of underground bunkers and fully removing yourself from the electrical grid altogether, etc.
Finally, I am getting to the point of this article. When I ask, “Are you a Prepper?” what I am really asking is whether or not you are preparing appropriately to share your faith with those around you, as we head towards potentially perilous times? Taking reasonable steps to help ensure our own personal safety, as best we can, is not a bad idea, but what are we doing to help those who don’t know Christ? Those who have no real, reliable hope. That’s ultimately much more important than protecting ourselves. When we die, I don’t think God is going to say, “Congratulations! You did an awesome job of hunkering down and surviving through all the mayhem!” I’d much rather hear, “Yeah, you didn’t last too long when everything started falling apart, but you helped brings as many people with you to heaven as you could!”
Are we there yet?
How many times have parents heard their children ask that question when traveling somewhere? So, are we there yet? Are we living in the “last days” spoken of by Jesus and His disciples? I think a VERY strong case can be made that we are. We can easily use our current circumstances to lead others to Christ.
Here’s just one of many examples of how you could get into a pretty interesting conversation about your faith and the Divine inspiration and authority of Scripture.
The Bible talks about a time (in the last days) when you won’t be able to buy or sell unless you have a special mark:
He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:16-17 NKJV)
Skeptics have scoffed at this type of scenario for years. Not too many years ago, this scenario would not even have been possible because of our limited level of technology. That’s obviously all changed now!
Check out this excerpt from an OpenMind online article entitled, Technology Under Your Skin: 3 Challenges of Microchip Implants (April 2021).
In Sweden, thousands have had microchips inserted into their hands. The chips are designed to speed up users’ daily routines and make their lives more convenient — accessing their homes, offices and gyms is as easy as swiping their hands against digital readers. Chips also can be used to store emergency contact details, social media profiles or e-tickets for events and rail journeys.
A Swedish tech firm, Dsruptive Subdermals, created a microchip allowing its users to carry their COVID vaccine passport under their skin. Their article stated:
"This means it is always accessible for me or for anyone else, really, who wants to read me. For example, if I go to the movies or go to a shopping center, then people will be able to check my status even if I don't have my phone."
The technology is very interesting and not immoral in and of itself. It actually makes a lot of sense. So, is this the biblical “mark of the beast?” No. Is it a precursor? Definitely! The world is slowly warming up to this becoming “normal.”
You can tell someone that the Bible predicted this type of scenario almost 2000 years ago! They will most likely want more information about that, along with finding out what else the Bible says about the “end times.” That’s your invitation to share the Gospel and let the Holy Spirit go to work!
So, are you a “prepper?” I hope so! If not, you have your work cut out for you.