How to Prepare for the End Times: Should a Christian Store Food and Own a Gun? – Once

How to Prepare for the End Times: Should a Christian Store Food and Own a Gun?

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This video is about preparing for the End Times and, specifically, should a Christian be a prepper, storing food, water and owning a gun? What about depending on God? Turning the other cheek? Loving your enemies? Walking by faith? Does God have anything to say about prepping for the end times? You bet He does. Let’s look into it.

Turn on any newscast and it looks like the headlines are taken right out of the Bible. God’s Word predicts what the fall of our civilization will be like right before it happens, right before He pours out His judgment on this earth during a 7-year tribulation that will culminate with the return of Christ. Nightly in our cities, we see rampant evil, murder, violence, destruction, lawlessness, brutal hatred, immorality, ALL ESCALATING, getting worse by the day, along with many other signs showing that this tribulation is about to start. Folks, Christ is right at the door and God’s judgment is coming upon this world. Read the book of Revelation. If you think it’s bad now, hold on. It’s going to get a lot worse, not better. We’re not in the tribulation yet, but it’s getting ready to start.

So, until that day when Christ calls us to be with Him, what should we do to prepare ourselves?

Before I get into that, let me just say that, as Christians, we look forward to the blessed hope, when Christ will return for His bride and rapture the church to be with Him forever. So we are not to be afraid. Our hope is that we won’t be here for the terrible things that are coming. But that doesn’t mean we won’t experience some of what’s coming on this world. We’ve already experienced some of it. 

So whether you believe in a pre-trib, mid-trib or post-trib rapture, or no rapture at all, one thing Scripture makes clear: We are called to faithfully endure and persevere while we’re here, waiting on our Lord and serving Him, taking enemy territory wherever we can. But how should we wait as things get worse and worse?

If Christ should tarry, should we be preparing for increasingly difficult times by storing food, water and guns? Or should we not prepare and simply trust God? What would God have us do?

First, before I get into the question of storing food and guns, and no matter what you think about prepping, there IS one type of prepping every single person on the planet is called on to do, without exception, which is this:

#1 PREP: Prepare Yourself To Stand Before God

So many people are prepping food, water, guns and everything they think they’ll need for a collapse of our society, but ignoring this most important prep. The whole reason our society is collapsing is that God’s judgment is unfolding and He will call every single person to account. Are you ready to stand before God? As you think about prepping, above all, don’t miss this #1 prep. I’ll go through this #1 prep quickly because I want to get to the topic of this video. But if you are not confident you are ready to stand before God, do these two things:

Make Sure You Are Saved

Repent of Sin

Making sure you are saved is as easy as ABC.

Admit to God that you have sinned.

Believe that Jesus, God’s Son, died to pay for
your sins 100% and rose from the dead.

Call upon the Name of Jesus and ask Him
to save you.

“All who call upon the Name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13

At the end of this video, I’ll have a prayer of salvation you can pray if you are not 100% sure you are saved.

The second part is just as important: Repent of sins. 

“And now, little children, abide in Him; that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.” (1 John 2:28 KJV)

So many Christians are going to be ashamed when they stand before Him because they’ve been indulging in sin. Trust me, you do not want to be engaging in sinful behavior when He arrives. That will not be pleasant. Time is almost up. As a Christian, I’ve made a lot of mistakes, sins if you will, but my determination is to end well. Here’s how you end well:

  • Repent of sins
  • Seek God’s forgiveness which He will freely give 
  • Then forget what lies behind
  • Move forward in obedience, seeking His presence and strength daily

God is ready to help you and strengthen you so that you end well. No matter what you’ve done, no matter how many sins you’ve committed, it’s still possible for you to be saved and to end well. Make it your goal. Make God your Heavenly Father, not your enemy.

So your standing before God is the #1 prep. Everyone is called to do this.

Now, let’s look at whether Christians should store food, water, guns and anything else to prepare for bad times ahead. Should we be doing that or not?

If you look into Scripture for an answer to this, you’ll find that both positions are supported at different times. For example, in Luke 9, Jesus specifically told His disciples that they were NOT to prepare:

“Then (Jesus) called His twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And He sent them to preach the Kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. And He said unto them, Take nothing for [your] journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece. And whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and thence depart.” (Luke 9:1-4 KJV)

So His disciples were sent out and specifically told not to make any preparations for their journey, but they were to rely on God for 100% of everything they needed.

And yet, later in Luke 22, Jesus told them the exact opposite:

“And (Jesus) said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing. Then said He unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take [it], and likewise [his] scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in Me, And He was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning Me have an end.” (Luke 22:35-37 KJV)

Here, Jesus warned them and told them they were to prepare for what was going to happen. He wanted them to be preppers. And He specifically mentioned three things they were to prepare:

A purse: What’s that for? Money. They were told to make sure they were prepared with money and have it ready and available. So safeguarding money is a prep. Make sure you have some ready and available.

A script: This is an old English word in the King James version. It simply means a knapsack, a bag. It was typically a leather sack, in which travelers and shepherds carried their provisions. What provisions would they carry? Food and clothing, two more things the disciples were told to prep.

A sword: Jesus specifically told His disciples to be armed with a deadly weapon. He even said that if they didn’t have one, they were to sell their cloak so they could buy one. The Greek word for “sword” here is the word “machaira”  (mä’-khi-rä), which means ” a small sword, as distinguished from a large sword.” It was like a dagger. In that day, such a small sword was more of a defensive weapon, as opposed to a large sword used for offense, such as attacking people in warfare. Jesus wasn’t telling them to go on the offensive but to be prepared to defend themselves and others from violence. In today’s word, this small sword would be equivalent to a handgun used to protect yourself. Now, some may object to me saying that Jesus is telling us to go buy handguns. Yet, here’s Jesus telling His disciples to sell their clothing if they have to so that they can buy a lethal weapon to defend themselves. Something to think about.

Why did Jesus say this? Let’s look at the verse again. He ended by saying, ” that this that is written must yet be accomplished in Me, And He was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning Me have an end.” 

When Jesus mentioned the end, I believe He wasn’t just talking about the coming crucifixion, but the fulfillment of all things concerning Him that must take place before we get to the end. This includes the coming tribulation. He was warning His disciples and us that bad times are coming and that we are to prepare.

So does that mean all of us should be stocking up on food, money, clothing and guns? Not necessarily. Because again, you can find support for both positions in Scripture. Sometimes God told people to prep, while other times God told people not to prep.

So how do we determine which of these is the right thing to do as we are about to enter the tribulation period? To answer that, let’s look at Romans 14, because I think the lesson applies here. The point I want to make to you is this:

Whether you prep or don’t prep,
what really matters is operating in faith toward God.

In Romans 14, Paul was dealing with several issues that were bothering the Christians back in the first century:

  • Whether it’s ok to eat meat sacrificed to idols versus eating only vegetables
  • Whether it’s right to observe some days as more sacred than others or treat every day the same

What was Paul’s answer? Paul told them that there is not one single right or wrong answer to this. But he did say, whatever you do, what really matters is maintaining your faith in God.

“Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind (in other words, be clear in your mind what God would have you do.). He that regardeth the day, regardeth [it] unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard [it]. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.” (Romans 14:5-6 KJV)

Paul said whether eat or not eat, or how you regard one day verses another, is not the issue. The issue is whether what you are doing is for the Lord and a demonstration of your faith. In other words, is faith driving your actions as opposed to fear or some other motive?

Paul then sums up this principle in a general way, which I think allows us to apply this same teaching to the topic of prepping. Paul said, no matter what the situation:

“For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.” (Romans 14:8 KJV)

Let’s apply that to prepping, if I could be so bold.

“For whether we (PREP), we (PREP) unto the Lord; and whether we (DON’T PREP), we (DON’T PREP) unto the Lord: whether we (PREP) therefore, or (DON’T PREP), we are the Lord’s.” (Romans 14:8 KJV)

It sounds kind of silly to say it that way, but the point is, whether we are prepping or not prepping, are we operating by faith?

Paul further sums it up with this:

“I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that [there is] nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him [it is] unclean.” (Romans 14:14 KJV)

Paul makes a similar comment in 1 Corinthians 10:

“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.” (1 Corinthians 10:23 KJV)

For a Christian, if there is nothing unclean of itself and all things are lawful, then there is nothing sinful about prepping. Prepping, in and of itself, is not sinning. However, if you believe in your heart that storing up food or buying guns, or any other kind of prepping, would be a betrayal of your faith and reliance on God, then you should not do it. The important thing is not whether you prep or don’t prep. The important thing is whether you are operating by faith. God will honor both actions that are done in faith.

For example:

In the Old Testament, when Ezra traveled from Babylon to Jerusalem, he decided to not prep with physical protection because of the poor witness of God’s sovereignty that it would leave with those around him:

“For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of our God [is] upon all them for good that seek Him; but His power and His wrath [is] against all them that forsake Him.” (Ezra 8:22 KJV)

So Ezra did not prep by defending himself because of his faith. On the other hand, Nehemiah made the same journey and did prep, coming fully protected with soldiers:

“Then I came to the governors beyond the river, and gave them the king’s letters. Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me.” (Nehemiah 2:9 KJV)

Ezra and Nehemiah did the exact opposite as far as prepping is concerned, yet both were operating by faith. Both were commended by God.

Likewise, if you think storing food and defending yourself would set a poor example for your unsaved neighbors or family, then don’t do it, as long as you believe that’s what God would have you do, or not do. Then, you are operating by faith. Be at peace with it.

On the other hand, if you believe God has warned you that bad times are coming and you want to heed God’s warning by preparing, then be at peace with that decision and prepare. You are also operating by faith. For you, faith is demonstrated by believing God’s warning and acting. God is then protecting and providing for you by giving you time to prepare. His provision will come through the preps.

Another example: Noah heard God’s warning and built an ark. He didn’t just sit back and expect God to keep him afloat when the rains came. He prepared in faith.

Joseph heard God’s warning of a coming famine and stored up 7 years worth of food for an entire country. He was highly commended for this.

King Jehoshaphat was a prepper, who prepared his homeland by building fences and weapons, and equipping soldiers. He didn’t just sit back and expect God to rescue him. But even by prepping this way, we see that he was operating by faith. And the Lord blessed him. 

“And Jehoshaphat (King Asa’s) son reigned in his stead, and strengthened himself against Israel. And he placed forces in all the fenced cities of Judah, and set garrisons in the land of Judah, and in the cities of Ephraim, which Asa his father had taken. And the LORD was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father David, and sought not unto Baalim;” (2 Chronicles 17:1-3 KJV)

King David, demonstrated faith when he went against Goliath. But he also came prepared:

“Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the Name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.” (1 Samuel 17:45 KJV)

David was operating by faith and reliance on God, but he was also carrying a lethal weapon and he used it to kill Goliath. Then he took another lethal weapon, Goliath’s sword, and cut off Goliath’s head. David didn’t just stand there in front of Goliath expecting God to protect him while he did nothing. He came prepared. Yet, from his words, “I come to thee in the Name of the Lord of hosts,” we can tell that his confidence, his reliance, was on God, not on the weapon he carried. He was confident that God would give him victory though the use of the weapon. David’s trust never shifted from God to his preps, in this case, his weapon.

Here’s the conclusion: We have this principle that whether you prep or don’t prep, the single thing that is critical is that you operate by faith. So whatever you decide to do, bring it back to this question:

Am I operating by faith?

This means, it’s ok to store food and buy a gun. Jesus told His disciples to buy a sword. As long as that is something you feel God would have you do to prepare, it’s ok. And for those who say you should never have guns but always love your enemies and turn the other cheek and walk by faith, Scripture clearly supports that position as well. For example, on loving your enemies:

“Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:20-21 KJV)

But there’s the other side as well:

“If the thief is caught while breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there will be no bloodguiltiness on his account.” (Exodus 22:2 NASB)

God’s Word allows us to defend ourselves, our families and our homes.

Scripture supports both prepping and not prepping. So be at peace with your decision on this, as long as you are operating by faith. And don’t judge others who have a different view, for their faith may be leading them in a different direction. That doesn’t make one side right and the other wrong.

But this does bring up the question: When does prepping or not prepping become wrong? When does one or the other become a sin?

The answer is, whenever you stop operating by faith in God.

Imaging a line. On the left you have Not Prepping and on the right you have Prepping. Where do you fall on that line? We’ve said that what matters is that you are operating by faith. So imagine an area, or a box, in the middle of this line called, “Operating by Faith.” As long as your prepping or not prepping stays within that box, you’re doing well, so be at peace with your decision. 

It’s when we step outside of that box, called “Operating by Faith,” that our actions or inactions can become sin and can get us into real danger. For example, for the not prepping side, the danger is that you can get complacent to the point where, rather than operating by faith, you start operating with presumption, almost testing God whether He will protect you as you ignore His warnings.

At the opposite end of the line, for those who do prep, you can get into real danger when you stop operating by faith in God and instead start trusting in your preps to provide for you and to protect you. “Look at all this food I’ve stored. And look at all these guns.” We begin to feel safe, not because of our faith in God, but because of all our preps. At that point, we’re no longer operating by faith. Instead, our faith is in our preps.

“And (Jesus) spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.” (Luke 12:16-19 KJV)

This man became confident, not in God, but in his preps. His trust was in his possessions to shield him from hard times. And what was God’s response?

“But God said unto him, [Thou] fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So [is] he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:20-21 KJV)

Notice that God didn’t fault him for storing up food or building barns. God faulted him for not being rich toward God. He took his eyes off of God and trusted in things instead of God. His prepping wasn’t the sin. His attitude of self-reliance was the sin.

Jesus then concluded with this:

“And He said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body [is more] than raiment.” (Luke 12:22-23 KJV)

Jesus was NOT saying that we should all be non-preppers. He was not saying it’s wrong to prep. He was saying, “take no thought for your life.” Don’t let your thoughts be consumed with earthly matters to the point where you take your eyes off of God, where you stop operating by faith. Jesus then went on to talk about how God provides for the ravens and the lilies of the field. And He said, if God does this, He will be faithful to provide for you. Prepping itself isn’t wrong, unless you reach a point where you are no longer focused on God, where you are no longer operating by faith.

Jesus concluded by saying,

“And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Luke 12:29-31 KJV)

So what can we conclude from all this, because I’ve given you examples from Scripture that support both prepping and not prepping. Both have been commended by God. I think it comes down to this:

  • We are not to be afraid as we see the tribulation approaching, knowing that God, our Father, is faithful and cares for us. He provides for the ravens and the lilies and He will provide for us.  
  • We are free to either prep or not prep as we hear God’s warnings of coming danger. We have not sinned by prepping or not prepping, as long as we are operating by faith and a clear conscience toward God. Whoever preps is heeding the warnings of God and acting faithfully to prepare. Whoever does not prep out of conscience toward God is also acting faithfully. 
  • We are not to judge others who hold a different viewpoint, as God’s Word supports both prepping and not prepping, as long as the person is operating by faith in God.
  • Within the boundaries of operating by faith, there is great latitude concerning how much to prep or not prep. At no point is it sinful, as long as it’s done in faith.
  • Avoid extremes of not prepping to the point of presumption or over-prepping to the point of self-reliance. Both extremes take us out of operating by faith and will lead to sin. 
  • Take whatever we do back to God in prayer and seek first His Kingdom and His wisdom. Throughout the Bible, people got in trouble where they just went off and did something without seeking God first. Let faith in God be the measuring stick by which you do everything. God may tell you not to prep. Or, He may give you warnings of coming danger and provide for you through your prepping. Either is ok, if you know you are operating by faith. So be at peace.

Finally, just a word on what I do personally. I believe we are in the last days and God is giving warnings repeatedly all throughout the Body of Christ to prepare. That’s just what I feel He’s saying to me. His message to you may be different for His purposes.

I also recently had a crazy person bang on my door at 2am one night. For about twenty minutes, he kept banging on the door and ringing the doorbell. I didn’t know if he was on drugs or whether he was about to break the door in. So I called the police. They came and the incident ended without violence. But that made me think about getting an alarm system and prepping still more. I took the matter to God and this video is the result. 

For me, I believe it’s ok to prep, as long as my faith remains in God. We ended up getting a home security system. And the day it was installed, my wife and I laid hands on it and prayed, declaring to God that our faith remained on Him to protect us, not on this system. It’s no different than King David carrying a weapon. He didn’t have a lack of faith by carrying a weapon, but he believed that he needed to heed the warnings and that it would be God, not his weapon, that would deliver him to victory. Similarly, prepping is not a demonstration of a lack of faith in God, but rather heading God’s warnings and trusting in God to provide and protect through whatever He leads you to prepare.

So there is no right or wrong on this, as long as you operate by faith.

I’ll conclude by taking it back to this, the #1 thing you should do before anything else:

Make Sure Your #1 Prep is Ready: Yourself

Make sure you are ready to stand before God. Make sure you are saved and repent of sin.

If you are not 100% sure that you are saved, that if you died today, God would welcome you into heaven, I urge you to make your commitment to Jesus secure right now. Here’s a prayer for salvation that you can pray. But keep in mind that a prayer does not save you. You are saved only when you place your trust in Jesus alone, believing in your heart that He died to pay your debt of sin to God and that He rose from the dead to show you the eternal life that He offers. This prayer, then, is just a way of formalizing that decision, putting a stake in the ground, saying that you are trusting in Him and never going back. If that’s what you would like to do, please pray with me:

“Lord, I have sinned and I need you to save me. I believe that Your Son Jesus died on the cross to pay for my sins and that He rose from the dead to show us the new eternal life You have for us. I believe solely in Jesus to save me, that He paid my debt of sin 100%. Please forgive my sins and save me now, Lord, according to your promises. In Jesus Name.”

If you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, know right now that you are eternally saved.

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