Americans like to be prepared and in control. We prepare for vacations, prepare our kids for college, prepare for our meals, and prepare for retirement.
But what if we are neglecting the most important preparation of all—our spiritual lives?
A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of witnessing several baptisms at my church. It’s something I enjoy immensely. However, lately, I find myself in earnest prayer for those getting dunked. “Lord, help them understand it’s not all roses. Help them be prepared for trials that are going to come their way. Help them to grow in your Word, get involved in a study with accountability. Help them not fall away from the truth.”
I pray like this because I know it is hard to be a Christian who truly attempts to practice and grow in their faith. My intention is not to be all gloom and doom, here. I’m being realistic.
Whether you are a Christian or not, life is hard. We all face trials.
The Bible teaches that Christians should expect trials and persecution. If we are to expect trials and persecution, shouldn’t we prepare for them?
Somewhere along the line, we got the idea that when you become a Christian, life will be easier. I’m here to tell you, that’s a lie. And it’s not Biblical. Jesus warns us that there is a cost to pay for following Him.
“If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.” John 15:18-19
There have been many recent studies on the condition of the church in America. One of the most disturbing came from author David Sanford’s 2008 book “If God Disappears”. The book addresses what Stanford saw as an epidemic. His research showed that there was at that time 35 million professed Christians who had once attended church but no longer did. By 2014, he shared, the number had risen to 42 million.
According to a survey done by Pew Research in May 2015, The Christian share of the U.S. population is declining, while more than one-third of millennials now say they are unaffiliated with any faith.
While disturbing, these statistics should not come as a surprise to Bible-believing Christians considering prophecies and scriptures such as 2 Timothy 3:1:1-5
“You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!”
My friends, we need to be prepared to handle what the world, the devil, and our sinful nature are going to throw at us. Otherwise, as weak human beings, we will fall away and let our spiritual lives dissolve. It’s happening all the time. I bet you’ve experienced a friend or family member who used to practice Christianity but has since walked away from the faith. Is someone coming to mind?
What we need is a Spiritual Prepper Course.
Without a doubt, the Bible is our ultimate guide, but I just finished reading a book that I feel every Christian should read:
SPIRITUAL PREPPER: Tapping into Overlooked Prophecies to Prepare You for Doomsday by Jake Mc Candless
An excerpt from the back cover is below.
The world appears to be spiraling out of control. Christians are being persecuted. American religious liberty is under attack. The church is struggling. Immorality is intensifying. Many believers have quit practicing their faith. Christian leaders are searching for answers.
Spiritual Prepper explains the prophetic passages in the Bible that will provide answers to challenges of the faith and help us cope with what might possibly be our own spiritual doomsday or turning away in the face of spiritual disaster—persecution, moral decline, devastation of the family, departure from biblical truth, the faltering of the church.
*FOR PERSECUTION *FOR A WEAKENED CHURCH *FOR TRIALS IN LIFE *FOR FALSE TEACHING *TO OVERCOME
I spoke with author, Jake McCandless to find out about his inspiration for writing this helpful book.
“We’re just weak! We’re not even thinking we could face struggles. And that puts us in a dangerous spot.
“And because of the lack of strength within churches, I think a lot of those who have a heart to live for the Lord are just discouraged. That’s a struggle we face. We just need to know from the get-go we’re not being trained up as fast as Christians from the past and in other parts of the world, which makes us susceptible to the challenges we may face,” said Jake.
In Spiritual Prepper, Jake exposes the weakening church with sobering and challenging real-life stories. Each chapter tackles common issues we face daily that could lead to our spiritual doomsday. Just as doomsday preppers make checklists for survival, this book offers a checklist at the end of each chapter for spiritual survival.
Here are a few examples:
- Prepping for Persecution
- Prepping for Difficult Trials
- Prepping for Temptation
The concluding chapter offers a helpful Master Spiritual Checklist. This book can be read alone or done as a group study where members discuss their takeaways and hold each other accountable. I would recommend the later.
“Through the book, I feel as if I am running through the halls of churches in America waving my arms and saying there is an epidemic of turning away that was prophesied and is happening – but the church and many leaders are oblivious to it.
These overlooked prophecies need to be looked at and proclaimed to all of our believing friends. This burning concern led me to write Spiritual Prepper,” said Jake
Fellow Believers, we need to be prepared spiritually. We prepare for most everything else.
But are we neglecting to protect our most important treasure—our immortal souls?
For more about Jake go to https://www.facebook.com/prophecysimplified/?pnref=lhc
Click to order Spiritual Prepper
Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
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Love this Beckie — really liked how you introduced Jake’s book. You put down the pavement well and prepared the reader. Well done.
Del, thanks! I hope readers will check out this important book. It’s really THAT good. And Jake has such a servant’s heart too.
Thank you Beckie!
I am right there with you and just as we prepare ourselves I feel so called to prepare the next generation. College Students who feel well versed in Biblical study do not know what to do in a spiritual battle. This is an opportunity I think for us to rise up and speak to those who do not understand. God could be awakening the hearts of the wheat just as He is separating the chaff.
Thank you for sharing this book! Will definitely check it out.
Eve, I so appreciate your dedication and ministry to young adults. I would recommend doing this book as a study with your students.
Thanks for your words of encouragement, dear sister.
Blessings to you as you continue to shine for Jesus!
Thank you for shedding a much needed light in a very real catastrophe the body of Christ is in. Sounds like a great read…will look it up!
Stacey, thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Yes, check out the book. You won’t be disappointed.
Grace and peace to you and yours!
Oh, there’s much I’d like to comment… “Church” just ain’t what it used to be. I’m not loosing my passion for Christ, but I am for attending church…I think I need this book.
Lauren, Yes, I agree with you about the Church today. But God’s Word warns us about this. We must remember Christ called us to the body of Christ. We live in frustrating and difficult times, but with God’s help, we can help others—believers and non-believers to see the TRUTH. We must stay connected to the body and relevant while being loving and uncompromising to the world.
Thanks for commenting. I think you will love the book.
Sounds like a must-read for all Christians, Beckie. Thanks for sharing with us!
Martha, I believe it is indeed a must read, especially in light of what we see happening in our nation and the world today. I hope you’ll check it out and spread the word.
Thanks and blessings to you too!
As always, “Spotlight” is spot on! Thank you, Beckie, for exhorting the body of Christ to be prepared. I need to read posts like this more often. 😊 Very helpful! I need to check out the book recommendation also. God bless you, sister!
Jamie, I’m so glad this was helpful. Your comment made me smile. Thanks! And yes, check out the book. It will not disappoint.
Sounds like an interesting read. While I don’t want to be an alarmist, I do believe our culture is changing and we need to prepare ourselves for the future. It’s time to dig deep and build a strong foundation on God’s word.
Very good job starting the problem, then introducing the book. Yes we will face trials and storms and must do what we can to prepare for them.
Thanks for your words of encouragement.
I agree 100 percent in Jake’s opinion of the church/christians in America. The believer that lives in a remote tribe will be more ready than we are. We are soft because of abundance, ease, too many choices in EVERYTHING, including churches to attend. It’s the hardest thing most missionaries deal with when they return to the states or any developed country, the burden of ease. You are in shock from it at first, then finally you adjust somewhat to it then by the time you head back overseas you are so ready to get out of it. It’s more of a challenge to live in the state than in a third world country. Faith is water down to just attending church, entertainment has creeped into the church especially in the music. But there are a few churches that practice solid biblical truth. I am ready, Radical by David Platt…his book will stir ones heart. My husband I served in two third world countries, return home due to health and took up a stateside ministry with our mission called Member Care. we cover six southwest states and we visit missionaries from those states when they come home on furlough. The state of the church is the first thing they notice after they adjust for a few months and get over the shock of all the choices one has to make. Honestly, the less choices one has to make the easier it is to live life and have time for others. When you are caring for a garage full of adult toys it leaves little time for others. Sorry, I am venting now…but I get his book, he has nailed it. Thanks for bringing his book to my attention, will have to read it.
by adult toys, I mean boats, rv, bikes, motocycles, etc…
Thank you for giving us the perspective of missionaries. Like you, I see what’s happened to the Church and am saddened.
However, as Christians grounded in the truth of God’s word, we have a responsibility to DO something. As Paul said to Timothy, “I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when he comes to set up his Kingdom: Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.” (2 Tim 4:1-2)
This is exactly why I chose to promote Jakes’ book. I think you’d enjoy it.
Thanks again for taking the time to vent. No apology necessary. This is a serious issue.
Blessings to you and yours as you continue to shine for Jesus!
Excellent post, Beckie! I do believe many are ill-equipped for the spiritual battle. We’ve got to do more to arm ourselves everyday!
I’m usually a pretty upbeat encourager, but I read this post while taking a break from some sermon prep on Luke 14:25-35. Having been working in this passage for the last couple weeks, it’s hard to imagine that any of us in America are truly ready.
Beckie, great post! And yes, we need to be ready for what’s ahead. Thanks for sharing about this book, too. I had not heard of it but look forward to checking it out. Thanks!
Crickett, Jake’s book is great. I hope you will read it if you get the chance.
Thanks for commenting.
Three things are especially encouraging about this post, Beckie. The first is your admonition that we 2017 followers of Jesus would do well to get our collective heads out of the sand and pay attention to the kinds of things that the Lord assured us that we would face when we honestly attempt to emulate Him and practice His teachings. The second is your gracious promotion of Jake’s book, a timely and relevant message for Christian America. I met Jake a couple of years ago and was glad to connect with him at BRMCWC this spring and hear how God is blessing him and his work. Finally, it’s encouraging to see the positive comments that preceded this one. As always, great job– a real joy to follow your work.
Ron, I enjoyed the conversations this post inspired here as well as on Facebook. I truly hope it was an eye-opener of our need to be prepared as Christians.
Thanks for taking the time to comment. I appreciate it more than you know.