Then it came to mean insurance. "Do you have insurance?" The boutique kinds of insurance were created and the people buying them felt prepared. Pet illness insurance, flood insurance where floods had not occurred before, hurricane insurance, term life insurance because we are living longer, long term care insurance to tide us over in the nursing home until the end. Life was getting more complicated so we had to be prepared for more things.
Now prepper means prepared for Armageddon. The secular world does not mean literal Armageddon. They do not think that is going to happen, of course. The prophesied battle of the last days where the world's armies assemble for one last cataclysmic battle against the Holy Savior is what Armageddon really means. (Rev 16:16, Revelation 19:19-21).
What the world means when they say they are prepping for Armageddon is they are getting themselves ready to live through any number of earth-shattering, wide-scale cataclysmic events. We certainly have seen enough of them in the last few years. There was the Christmas Tsunami at Indonesia in 2004, and the March 2011 quake and tsunami at Japan. The series of quakes that occurred at Haiti and Chile and New Zealand at the beginning of last year. Tornadoes wiping out whole towns, one after another. Volcanoes exploding, spewing ash to halt half the world's air travel. Floods covering a quarter of Australia. The world has seen death and destruction on a wide scale. We have seen that it can and it does happen. Now they are getting ready. Preppers have constructed a safety net for any and all contingencies.
Even Chevy got into the apocalypse game and presented (a winning) ad during the Superbowl. In this still clip, a man in a Chevy survived meteors, UFO invasion, earthquakes, volcanoes, a plague of frogs, fires, and civilizations' collapse.
Here is the ad:
I like to read futuristic fiction. Last summer I read the classic Alas, Babylon, a 1950s era novel depicting the effects of a nuclear attack on the US. Despite being over fifty years old it consistently ranks in Amazon.com's Top 20 Science Fiction Short Stories list. The novel deals with the effects of a nuclear war on the small town of Fort Repose, Florida, which is based upon the actual city of Mount Dora, Florida. Despite being a bit scientifically inaccurate it does a good job of showing the collapse of society and the reformation attempts in the nuclear aftermath.
I also read One Second After, a 2009 novel by American writer William R. Forstchen. The novel deals with an unexpected electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack on the United States as it affects the people living in and around the town of Black Mountain, North Carolina. It was extremely realistic. The end of the book talked about the likelihood of a given population's survival after an EMP with all the attendant collapses. The Wiki on this book states, "Refugees from the cities show up looking for food and shelter and the fight over scarce resources leads to confrontation, home invasion, and more violence-related die-offs. The community becomes an inviting target for free prisoners and organized gangs and more violence-related die-off. Ration cards are issued to conserve the little remaining food; regardless, the community slowly starves with the elderly the first to die off. Next parents starve themselves to save their children. Throughout this period suicides are common. After a year, approximately 20% of the initial population has "survived". It was stated in the epilogue section from actual sociologists and scientists that such a die-off rate (80%) in the aftermath of an EMP is very likely. I recommend the book.
A few months ago I watched a very compelling, recent documentary called "After Armageddon" on the History Channel. It is a theoretical account of a worst case scenario for global disaster, this time, a pandemic thanks to a superflu. The live scenes of how this affects a family in Los Angeles were interspersed with interviews with real scientists discussing what to do and how to act at the various points of the flu's run. The docu-drama shows in graphic detail just how fast normal society can break down. I thought it was very realistic. The video can be seen here, part 1/9.
There is a new television show now on the National Geographic channel, called "Doomsday Preppers." The tagline goes like this: "Doomsday Preppers explores the lives of otherwise ordinary Americans who are preparing for the end of the world as we know it. Unique in their beliefs, motivations, and strategies, preppers will go to whatever lengths they can to make sure they are prepared for any of life’s uncertainties. And with our expert’s assessment, they will find out their chances of survival if their worst fears become a reality."
An article about it opens, "A lot of people are terrified that, unlike Harold Camping, the ancient Mayans got it right and that the apocalypse (zombie or otherwise) will unfold in 2012. ... Hence, the arrival of new show "Doomsday Preppers" (Tues., 9 p.m. EST on Nat Geo). Ordinary Americans who are readying themselves for disaster get to have their apocalypse survival plans evaluated by survival experts. On the series premiere, Kellene Bishop taught self-defense techniques to a group of women so that they could overcome their worst-case scenario, whether it be doomsday or attempted rape."
The end of the world is equated to attempted rape. Uh, okayyyy.
The end of the world is touted as survivable. Uh...okayyyyy.
In another article about the new show they write, "The channel commissioned an online survey of 1,007 adults in the USA, and found that 61% of Americans believe the country will experience a major catastrophic event within the next 20 years, but only 15% feel they are fully prepared for it."
I can guarantee that less than 15% are actually prepared for it. The article continues,
"In the series premiere, viewers meet a retired couple who have 50,000 pounds of food stored in their doomsday-proof home built of steel shipping containers, an an urban survivalist in Los Angeles prepping for a severe earthquake."
Here is what is coming: "Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since mankind has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake. The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. ... Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found." (Revelation 16:18-20)
No amount of "prepping" will survive that.
Here is what will happen to that doomsday-proofed home: "Ezekiel 38:20 The fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the beasts of the field, every creature that moves along the ground, and all the people on the face of the earth will tremble at my presence. The mountains will be overturned, the cliffs will crumble and every wall will fall to the ground."
Every. Wall. Will. Fall.
It is part of man's hubris to think he can outsmart, out-wait, out buy, and make an end run around what every heart knows is coming: their judgment. The air is ripe with expectancy. Chevy commercials, movies, books, television are focused on last days. They like to use the Mayan 2012 doomsday date as an excuse, but it is really because they know something is coming.
The 2012 Mayan doomers certainly are not helping this focus on doomsday, apocalypse, Armageddon, whatever they are calling it now. The Harold Camping 'rapture May 21, 2011' got them going. The endless stream of catastrophes have gotten everyone thinking about how best to prepare for the next one. But they are thinking along the wrong lines. I am prepped for doomsday. I am ready! Getting prepped doesn't take a container house full of food. Nor does it take a grab bag and a bug out plan. It doesn't take stockpiles or guns or puffed-up prep jargon and a Berky water filter in my Jeep.
It takes a second to prepare for doomsday. It takes a second to get prepped for eternity. One second. And one second after, you will enter a light and a joy that will last forever. All it takes is repentance.
If you repent of your sins and plead with Jesus to accept your apology (and turn away from the bad ways you act,- and we all act bad against Jesus, no one is sinless except Him), He will forgive you! You will be set forever. He will cherish you, provide for you, teach you, wipe the very tears from your eyes. "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." (Revelation 21:4)
Repent literally means change. It means to change your mind that you are a good person and can stand before Holy God on your own merits. It is a change from old ways hateful to God to new ways pleasing to God with the aid of the indwelling Holy Spirit. It means change your heart from thinking you don't need a Savior to a heart that cries in shame for its lack of humility toward Him and an acknowledgement of our need for Him.
The final 7 years is a judgment time upon the earth. It culminates at Armageddon with assembled armies literally thinking they can defeat Jesus (Rev 16:16). They don't. But in between the opening salvo at the Tribulation's start and the final Word at Armageddon (Rev 19:21), preppers who see their carefully constructed homes collapse in a moment (Isaiah 24:1,3) will sincerely wish they had done their one second of prepping: repent, and be saved. Christian preppers were ready for His return. They repented and were in Him, were in His gracious gift of salvation, sanctification, regeneration, and justification. They will be taken in the rapture to a glorious marriage supper (Revelation 19:7-10), and installed in their place He has been preparing (John 14:2), and given crowns and awards (1 Thessalonians 2:19-20, Rev. 22:12). You have the option to choose which kind of prepping you want to do. You can go here to learn about what salvation is and what you are being saved from, or you can go here to watch NatGeo's part 1 of Doomsday Preppers.
You can rely on your Chevy which man created, or you can rely on God, who created the world.