What response do have when you read the words the second coming?
Or how about Armageddon?
The end of the world.
The zombie apocalypse.
Too Hollywood. I hear ya.
World financial crisis.
Famine. Drought. Insurrection.
Regardless of what you call it, if “it” was tomorrow, what’s your game plan? What’s your survival strategy?
Fortunately, I just happened to receive this lovely, well-designed email in my inbox the other day:
Clicking on it took me to a ten-minute video describing the end of civilization (which, I’ll have you know, is perpetually occurring in ten-months from whenever you read this).
Now, for the Christian, it’s right to think about death and the age to come. We’re taught to prepare for it, and instructed to tell as many people as possible that there is an inevitable appointment approaching from which no one can escape.
But if you were truthful when you started reading my opening salvo of questions (or when you got to minute three of any intense video forecasting the greatest crisis to ever hit the world in ten-months), you probably thought something much more basic:
Build a bunker.
Invest in gold bullion.
Learn how to knit mittens from the Amish family down the street.
Shoot off invaders with your .50-caliber. Unless they’re Amish. They’re pacifists and pose no immediate danger.
Listen, I’m not trying to upset those of you who are survivalists. I’m an Eagle Scout, and I love knowing that I’m equipped to take care of my family in a crisis. There’s no problem with being prepared and using your head. Train yourself and know what to do in emergencies.
But there is a problem with abandoning Jesus’ lifestyle if you’re a Christian.
I’m surprised at how often people who, at first, seem like kind, reasonable Christians suddenly transform into crazed extremists who are so irrational that they’d exchange their birthright for a bowl of soup. Or an extra MRE.
The truth is, the world has survived without guns; the Gospel is still alive and well in France. The world has even survived without three square meals a day; I’ll introduce you to personal friends who eat once a week in Africa and Latin America. And contrary to what the radio ads tell you, gold is not the best hedge against economic collapse; knowing a trade skill is.
Guns are useful, food is important, and being fiscally responsible is key. No one ever said they weren’t. But they’re all secondary to the Christ-like model Jesus demonstrated for us.
I want you to keep this little piece of trivia in mind:
Jesus left the safest, most secure location in all the universe to enter the most dangerous, putrid cesspool of humanity with no intention of survival.
Jesus’ end game was resurrection, so dying was mandatory.
If your emergency plan doesn’t include laying your life down as one of your primary action items, you might need to rethink a few things. I don’t mean the “I’m going to stand up and die for what I believe in” kind of laying your life down, I mean the “I’m going to give everything away that I own and love the worst people I can possibly find until I have nothing left to give” kind.
Jesus said that people who worry about what they’re going to eat, what they’re going to drink and what they’re going to wear are pagans, and that Christians who gravitated in that direction are of “little faith.” If you’re thinking more about surviving than giving, you might want to take an accurate faith assessment and read this.
People of great faith don’t build bunkers, they wade into the cesspool of humanity looking for someone to die for because resurrection is the only sure bet.
UPDATE: 2014.02.06 2:50 AM
I smiled as I read this morning’s YouVersion (iOS) verse of the day, which sums up my link to Jesus’ quote above nicely. I love when things come together:
And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.
• Luke 12:29-31 NLT
Seek the kingdom first; everything else worth having will come afterward.