Navigating the End-times (Pt. 3)
Updated: Mar 15
As discussed previously in this blog series, we know famines, wars, natural disasters, and persecution are all signs that the end is near. These things must come to pass. Yet, Jesus encourages us: Don't panic...the end is not yet.
I once watched a documentary showing how so-called Christians were preparing for the end of the world. One story-line followed a husband and wife who had purchased more than a year's supply of non-perishable items and storage containers. They had an underground shed stocked with canned goods, bottled water, and dehydrated meals. They were so engrossed in a lifestyle of hoarding that their adult children had long stopped communicating with them and their only friends were couples who indulged in the same end-time preparations.
Another story-line followed a family of five with a husband and wife who taught their young children (the oldest was a teenager) how to clean, load, and shoot firearms. They also taught their kids to hunt game and engage in hand-to-hand combat. As a family unit, they took “wilderness camping” trips, with limited supplies, to prepare themselves for survival once civilization was destroyed. There were no scenes of the children playing with friends or having fun in general since their father enforced a strict end-times training schedule.
These examples may seem extreme, but they aren’t far-fetched. Many people have an end-time theology based on bad doctrine and a misunderstanding of their purpose in the last days. While those families were filmed reading their Bibles at times, talking about the “rapture” and the rise of the antichrist, none of them accurately described the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. For all their preparations and forethought, they lived in fear, bondage, and carnality…and were probably members of a doomsday cult movement.
Planning for the end
Preserving a 30-90 day supply of anything can be practical, depending on family size and especially as we’re starting to see more inflation and empty shelves in America. Still, excessive bulk purchases and hoarding are wasteful, selfish practices. We should avoid shopping in panic mode. Anyway, these things are only for the sake of meeting physical needs and there’s no guarantee we’ll get the opportunity to consume all that we store up for the future.
“Don’t 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 destroy and where thieves do not break in nor steal, for where your treasure is, there will your heart will be also…Therefore, take no thought, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers. Your heavenly Father knows that you have need of these things” (Matt. 6).
These verses are in the context of dealing with our money and personal possessions, but the principle remains that temporal things offer no lasting comfort or salvation. Perhaps a better example would be the miracle of feeding the 5,000 (Mark 6) and the 4,000 (Mark 8). Since we know God has the power to sustain our physical needs, our end-time plans should revolve around preparing ourselves to see Him face-to-face. We should be most concerned with getting rid of hatred, unforgiveness, gossip, lying, cheating, fornication, rebellion, and sin of every kind. Pursuing purity in our own hearts, in our relationships, and in our walk with the Lord should be our highest priority.
What must I do to be saved?
Every person on earth - no matter their nationality, family history, religious preference, or economic status - will have to make a decision about the name and the Person of Jesus Christ. Was He just a good teacher and a prophet, or is He the way, the truth, and the life? (See Jn. 14:6.)
The body will die, but the spirit and soul of humankind was designed to live forever. Thus, there's no end-time activity more important than preparing for the "after life". The decisions we make on earth will determine where we spend eternity. We are always one breath, one car crash, one stray bullet, one diagnosis away from permanently entering the spiritual realm. Heaven and hell are the only two options we're given. "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it" (Matt. 7:13-14).
If you've previously made commitments to pray more, read your Bible more, go to church more, be kinder to your family - whatever you feel convicted to do - get up everyday and start doing those things. Don't delay. Ask God to show you where you may be falling short and He will help you navigate this life according to His will. If you've never accepted Christ, it's simple to start a conversation with Him in your own words. Confess your sins, put your faith in Him for salvation, and ask the Holy Spirit to come alive in you (See Jn. 3; Rom. 5:1-2, 8:1-39). More information can be found here.
I hope to see you on the other side!