Recently, I rediscovered the National Geographic series called Doomsday Preppers. I don’t have cable, so I watched reruns from around 2010 and 2011 through my antenna TV.
Each episode featured a different family that were absolutely certain the world was going end soon, probably within a couple of years. All of them had their own version of how it was going to go down. One thought the Earth’s poles would shift by 2012. Another was expecting a nuclear weapon set off at high altitude to create an EMP event. One family thought tornadoes would become a daily occurrence due to climate change. And yet another person was preparing for an invasion from the Chinese.
While all of those scenarios seem plausible to me, watching their stories ten years later, I felt a bit embarrassed for them and for myself. I have the same tendency to think that “doomsday” is just around the corner, especially having lived through the past year and a half with Covid. It’s hard to watch events of today and not think the end is near. The problem is that kind of thinking can be harmful if allowed to get out of hand.
To move mankind in an ascensional way requires a painful effort to which a great part—indeed the greater part—of humanity is more or less adverse.https://nobility.org/an-appeal-to-todays-elites/
As Christians, we must constantly work against this natural impulse towards self preservation. It is not in this world that we should seek a safe place. It is in the next. Jesus told us, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Though I know this scripture, I still find myself wanting to buy land in some remote location, stock up on food, guns, and ammo and then hunker down and wait for whatever enemy du jour feels like attacking me. But that kind of thinking, while it may make me feel safer, guarantees a loss:
A loss of companionship with others who are feeling hopeless here in the thick of things; a loss to my community that no longer hears the message that “this too will pass” and some day we’ll be in heaven; a loss to the next generation, who might interpret my prepping as meaning there is no God to trust in, only brute force and cunning; and those losses could add up to be the loss of my own soul.
Now, let me just say that I have no problem with preparing ourselves physically by storing up extra food and weapons. I believe in our right to defend ourselves, and there is definitely a thing called a “just war.” But it is only “just” if we are just. If we are no different from the enemy and have contributed to the devolution of the distinction between right and wrong ourselves to the point that there is no distinction, then the war we fight is not just. On the spiritual level, self preservation alone does not justify war. Fighting for the preservation of God-given truths does. And that fight cannot be done by those who seek only to prolong their own lives.
As we try to prepare for what evils lurk in our future, let’s not put our whole hope in the number and amount of created things we can store up. Let us still be out there and involved in our community. Let us become more and more willing to put our lives, reputations, and welfare on the line for the sake of posterity. Rather than retreating to our bunkers feeling like the battle is lost before we’ve even started to fight back, let us hold the front lines where we are.
We must not long for some decentralized utopia. We must long for the true recentralized utopia where Jesus is the center: Heaven. Center our lives around Jesus, and prepare for battle. Be the Church Militant we are meant to be here on Earth.
“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” Let’s remember the real way to prep for disaster is to let go of our desire to stay on this earth any longer than we have to. The real prepping is done in the spirit. We need to be prepared to be martyrs. In the end the only thing that ever changes hearts is the suffering of innocents.