(Part 2) Fight for Survival vs. Faith in the Savior
The future looks unpromising – dangerous – fearful – deadly. But there is a chance to survive it. You need a reliable manual – a guide written by an expert – in order to do so. You have two available, and you can take your choice. Look below to take a peak inside each manual, and let your heart determine which set of instructions you must follow.
“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; surely I will help you; surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Is 41:10 NAS). “I have told you these things so that in Me you may have perfect peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer – take courage, be confident, certain, undaunted – for I have overcome the world. – I have deprived it of power to harm, have conquered it for you.” (John 16:33 Amp). “If you live in Me – abide vitally united to Me – and My words continue to live in your hearts – ask whatever you will and it shall be done for you.” (John 15:7 Amp.). “Peace I leave with you; My peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives, do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled; neither let it be afraid – stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.” (John 14:27 AMP).
“Get ready; serious trouble is coming: economic disaster, devastating famine, horrible fires and destruction, cataclysmic events in the elements of nature, foreign invaders waging war against United States citizens on our own soil! God is sending forth His judgment, and His people had better get ready: Now is the time to get really serious about your Bible reading and prayer life; mourn and weep and cry out to God. Rush to the banks and pull out all of your money and convert it to gold; rush out and buy months’ worth of all kinds of food and supplies and hoard it away; draw up a disaster survival plan and buy all the necessary equipment to be able to survive any kind of catastrophe. If you are not thoroughly prepared in this manner, you won’t make it; you will be taken down by all of these horrible events, just like the rest of the world that is without God.”
It’s Time To Make Your Final Decision
Now … My Dear Blog Reader … if you were given an opportunity to choose between these two manuals for survival – these two sets of instructions for yourself and your family – which would you choose? Be very careful as you contemplate this question, because you are, in fact, being given exactly that choice. In truth, you are not being given the choice as much as you are being required to choose. In fact, your back is against the proverbial wall even as you read these words, because this old world system is getting worse and worse, just as God said it would, thousands of years ago. And as we face the facts about this world system and its eventual demise, we are being called upon by a multitude of voices to respond — in one way or another. And respond we must. But to which set of instructions?
In ‘Part One’ of this series, I mentioned experiencing a recent phenomena, and I think it’s worth bringing up again as we move into ‘Part Two.’ As a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for about 40 years, I have been called upon to counsel and pray with hundreds of hurting, confused, and fearful people. Those events are nothing new.
But what is new to me – at least in the measure I am currently experiencing it – is the onslaught of mature Christians who, although they have studied the Word of God for years and are familiar with its promises, now find themselves in turmoil from hearing the fearful, even threatening words of self-proclaimed prophets in the land. A significant number of these “prophets” seem to have jumped onto some kind of bandwagon of doom in the face of our tipsy economy, and these Christians are suddenly finding themselves in a state of confusion, upheaval, and even fear as they try to sort out all of these predictions of destruction and doom, as well as instructions for survival of the same.
I have noticed repeatedly throughout my lifetime that whenever one or two serious or catastrophic events take place, spiritual leaders feel called upon to explain the situation to the people who look to them for guidance. To a great extent, that sense of responsibility in men and women of God is a good thing. But what I have often seen is that because a catastrophe takes place, there is so much emotional upheaval attached to it that even true prophets of God can let their own emotions and their personal doctrinal beliefs slip into the way and cloud their judgment and their ability to hear from God clearly.
One or two well-known prophets jump in and say this thing was an act of God – or this event is a precursor to all of the horrible things predicted in the end times – and suddenly scores of other spiritual leaders who know they are used in prophetic gifts believe they need to interject the way they see things as well. And since the prophecies that are getting all of the attention are bent in the doomsday direction, the rest tend to follow suit.
As a result, contrary to the instructions from God, which tell us, “Do not anxiously look about you. Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed … intimidated … and unsettled,” the Christians who listen to all these prophets are losing sleep, losing their appetite for food, worrying, fretting, and struggling to try to figure out just which ones of these “prophets” are right.
Well, wait just a minute! If God says that He is not the author of confusion, and He is not the one who gives us a spirit of fear, then I think it’s time we took a long, critical look at this tsunami of doomsday predictions – these so-called “words from the Lord.” And since Jesus said we could judge whether a tree is good or bad by the kind of fruit it bears, lets’ look at the fruit coming forth as well.
Some of these “experts in the end-times” are holding their own seminars, some are being invited into pulpits by pastors of large churches, and some are spouting their doomsday messages and selling their wares (of survival food) on Christian TV. Now, please don’t misunderstand: I am not against Christian TV. I have appeared on Christian television a number of times in the past and hope to do so again because it is a mighty tool for the Kingdom of God. But just like any other tool, it’s value and its effectiveness for God’s work depends on whose hands use that tool.
Television that preaches doom and destruction is not preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And the problems caused for viewers of those programs is multi-layered. The Christians listening to these “prophets” must first figure out which ones are right in each category, because then they have to try to figure out how to get the money and the means to be able to purchase all of the “survival” food and supplies they are warned that they need, and how to make a safe place to hoard all of it. Then they must also figure out whether to take all their money out of banks, stocks, bonds, IRA’s, etc. and convert it to gold – which will be much harder to store, carry around, and spend.
Believing the words of these “prophets,” they are almost sure that they will lose their homes and a number of other possessions, and they are fearful of spending any money on anything new. They are fearful for their children as well and feel the need to discourage them from moving ahead with plans for their own young families concerning homes, jobs, and investments.
The pressure is such that some of these Christians are even fearful of planting “too much” in the Kingdom of God for fear they won’t have enough to purchase all that their family will need to survive these catastrophes coming upon the nation and the world. Or they are doing their “planting into God’s Kingdom” by sending their money to ministries who are selling the “survival food” packages, and they consider that supporting the Gospel. The problem with that attitude is that none of that money goes to preaching the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ to the millions who still don’t know and understand it and who are headed for hell while Christians store up food and medicine for the “coming holocaust.”
I’m not talking here about those Christians who have been exceedingly blessed financially by the Lord and who feel called to use some of those finances to buy and store various kinds of food and supplies with which to help people in need when there are catastrophes that take place. There is definitely a place and a need for such benevolence. There are terrible events that take place in a cursed world, and people often need help to survive and recover. Any Christian who honestly believes the Lord (not some man) has moved upon him to acquire extra supplies for the care of others during emergencies is totally within the will of God in doing so. But those actions – and the motives behind them – are something totally apart from what I’m discussing here.
Not every one of these so-called “prophets” is the same, but many are fast becoming clones of each other. I’d like to do a short reality check concerning just one of these doomsday “ministries.” I will not use names. The purpose of this article is not to beat up on any man or woman who is preaching these things because they truly believes them. I do not want to hurt any other Christian, no matter how misled he is. However, when I specify the facts in question here, many thousands of readers will instantly recognize the propagators of this doctrine.
One ministry in the midwestern U. S. has been forcefully pushing these “prophetic warnings” down people’s throat for at least the past four our five years. They have grown more foreceful with each passing year, and a couple years ago began to push the “survival” packages of food. That has grown to the point that they now have a huge display on their production stage of boxes and boxes of enough food to feed a family for a year. They claim to offer it to their followers at a “reduced” price, and encourage them to stock up because the food will literally last indefinitely. The past couple of years they have also begun to push all sorts of solar energy equipment, emphasizing that with the ever-eminent threat of the E-bomb, we will be stripped of all power and be thrown back into the dark ages for producing heat and light. So they are also offering that equipment to their followers at a “reduced price.” Of course, along with these offers, come the warnings that the quantity of the products is fast being depleted, and people must order now, or have to pay a much larger price later – or possibly have to do without it at all.
We are talking thousands of dollars here. Millions of viewers are being brainwashed into believing that they are being irresponsible if they do not send in their thousands to buy and hoard these products for their family. So they are sending in that money – purchasing these products that are in “critically short supply,” instead of sending money to a ministry that is laboring to preach the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ – and to bring healing, sustenance, and life to those who do not have any hope at all – because they do not have Jesus.
Now, the reality check: This same ministry produces its TV programs from its own huge complex in the midwest, and one of the mainstays of that complex is a restaurant the ministry owns and runs – and from which the daily broadcasts are aired. By their own admission, the leaders of this ministry (those who are doing the preaching and prophesying) are opening these “critical survival supplies,” preparing the food, and selling it as normal meals to patrons in their restaurant. What? One minute they are telling viewers that these supplies are the only thing that will make them able to survive the coming holocaust, and the next minute they are using up huge quantities of those same “critical supplies” in order to make money in their own business?
How many people could have survived with those boxes of supplies that they have sold in the restaurant? How many will now have to die of starvation because these ministers who claim to care so much about the needs of their viewers are actually selling the food they could have used to stay alive? There’s something wrong with this picture.
The point here, of course, is that if these ministers genuinely believed everything they are saying about the desperate, deadly future that awaits their viewers, they would be holding onto all of that food that they possibly could so that viewers could have it for themselves and their families. They wouldn’t be selling it daily for profit.
Now, this situation is just one example, and I have used it because it allowed me to get very specific. But this problem is much bigger than one ministry. We are facing a virtual epidemic of dire predictions and self-proclaimed experts’ advice that have Christians’ minds in a whirlwind of confusion.
So Does God Give Warnings?
It is true that God has, at various times throughout history, given His people warnings about some coming events so that they can be prepared for them. But warnings from God are very specific and carry with them very specific instructions about what to do – instructions that don’t require the hearers to sort through a variety of predictions and preventative measures, trying to figure out just which ones are accurate and which ones are not. Nor do God’s warnings leave His people feeling overwhelmed by such a massive list of responsibilities that they find themselves confused, tormented, and terrified – afraid to even do anything about continuing to actively build the Kingdom of God. Neither does God instruct His people to go out and do something to protect themselves when He knows they are not in a position to be able to follow those instructions. If these predictions which include instructions to go out and buy up large quantities of extra food, medicines, and supplies in order to store it up for future hardship are truly from God, then He is playing a cruel joke on the large number of His people without extra money with which to buy those supplies.
The Christians who are taking these “words of God” to heart are now consumed daily with striving to search out the latest news bulletins to see just how bad the economy is each day, how much the war in the Middle East has escalated in the past 24 hours, and what other anti-Christian bills the new president has signed into law. They’re convinced it’s important that they know these things so that they can stay constantly aware of how bad and how dangerous everything is – and so that they can spread the word to others daily. They have lost their Christ-centered focus completely, and for them being a Christian is now all about trying to do everything just right so that all of these catastrophes won’t destroy them and their families.
Well, we’ve looked long enough at some of the unscriptural characteristics of this latest array of negative prophecies – and their fruit. In ‘Part Three’ we will look at some ways to align ourselves with what God really says our response should be in the face of what’s happening in our nation and our world.