How can anyone prepare for the next three Signposts? This topic should be on our minds.
It will likely be years, if not a couple decades, between now and Jesus’ physical return to Earth. For complete material preparation one would have to store years of food and water in a mountain or desert hideaway. This is not practical, nor mentioned in the Bible.
Though I couldn’t think of a better mnemonic, just remember M-S-M, as in the Main Stream Media. The first two letters are essential for preparedness. The third can only be done in degrees.
M for Mental Preparation
Hosea 4:6 says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” (NASB) When Iran runs out over the Middle East, and the oil spigot is turned down or off, and the US petrodollar is no more, and oil and gasoline become very expensive, there will be many millions of people wanting to scream in terror as suggested by our Messiah (in Matt. 24:6) since He told us not to do that.
When you see the world and your city become chaotic because people will be hungry and downright desperate, you will know these things are not just random chaos, but are events called out in God’s word. This will be the next event on the way to Jesus’ real return.
This knowledge will make a real difference in your life when combined with the next letter.
S is for Spiritual Preparation
Everything Jesus taught us in the Gospels applies to everyday living but even more so in the end times. We are to dig down deep and build our house on the rock (Luke 6:46-49) so we can stand the storms. We are to pursue His righteousness and kingdom and He will take care of the food and clothes (Matt. 6:33).
In other words, we are to definitely obey James 1:22, which says we are to do what the Word says, not just foolishly listen only. In my own life and walk, God has shown up in countless powerful ways in teaching, provision, and giving me a deeper understanding of who God is and how He operates, by simply doing what His Word says. Do Philippians 4:6, for example. These things will increase your faith until they become knowledge.
Spend time with the King in your prayer closet each morning (and don’t forget Ecclesiastes 8:3). Talk to Him throughout the day. Ask Him to intervene in turns of situations, telling Him you have faith He will work things out, in any situation.
Your faith and relationship with Christ, combined with the knowledge of what is truly happening, is the foundation of your preparation.
M is for Material Preparation
Though not as important as the first two ways to prepare (as far as salvation and overcoming the world is concerned), if God is impressing on your heart to do material preparation, then you should obey.
Material preparation can also involve a fine line, lying somewhere between “a prudent man sees danger and takes refuge” (Prov. 22:3) and doing nothing when you have plenty of resources to prepare but instead test the Lord (Deut. 6:16, Matt. 4:7) when clearly the only testing of God we are allowed do is in tithing (Mal. 3:10).
With these thoughts in mind, what kind of preparation can be done, or should be done, materially? Again, seek counsel from our God.
If you are poor and cannot amass things ahead of time, you can still do the mental and spiritual preparation, and live purely per Matthew 6:33.
Here are some thoughts on material preparation:
1) The credit and banking system could be down for a while – days, weeks, or months. It will likely recover in some form or fashion in your area, even if it’s just barter. Therefore, a month’s worth of cash to pay for food, utilities and the rent/mortgage payment could bridge the gap. The US dollar (as well as the Euro and/or Yen) will likely fall in value but for a time at the start of hard times cash should still be accepted by people selling products and services.
2) For longer terms than a single month you might want to consider gold and silver. Gold can be used to shelter much wealth, while silver (like US junk silver coins before 1965) can be used for day-to-day purchases. Back when gold and silver was Americans’ money (before 1913), four silver quarters would buy a week’s worth of groceries. Today four silver quarters can be had from your coin shop for around $12. Gold and silver are long term stores. Gold also comes in handy for bribing your local border guard so you can pass into the next zone (like what happened to the Jews who fled Germany circa 1938 to 1942).
3) A month’s worth of food and water for each person in your household is prudent. You may not be able to buy food even if you could. Also, one never knows when or where the next hurricane or earthquake will strike, and there will be no federal aid. Matthew 25:31-46 also contains a warning here: even if you are down to your last couple meals, if a brother or sister shows up at your door hungry, you are to share the last of your food with them.
4) Cash, gold, food and water are the basics. Then there are all the other things: guns, gardens, farming, crafts, etc. All these things are between you and your God. In general, living in a less populated area seems prudent. On the other hand, I have met brothers who have been shown they must stay in the city to minister when the Second Signpost strikes.
Generally, anticipate that everything may be more expensive, and the money or cash needed may not be available, so be ready for that. Special purchases you are thinking of making should not be subject to procrastination on this side of the Second Signpost.
You may be fed by meals just appearing miraculously as with Elijah, or you may be fed by a “Joseph” who has obeyed our God and laid up much provision for many.
But remember the important aspects of preparation: start with your relationship with Christ.
Think preparation. Time is short.