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Warning to preppers: Don't neglect your faith

Millions of Americans are dedicated “preppers.” Food, ammunition, clean water, medical supplies and and even radiation protection are carefully considered as they prepare to protect their homes and loved ones.

But what if they are neglecting the most important thing of all – their chance for immortality?

Jake McCandless, senior pastor and founder of Prophecy Simplified, is warning about this glaring weakness in his new book “Spiritual Prepper.” He argues spiritual preparation is just as important as physical preparation when it comes to surviving what is coming. And he warns the Bible promises believers a coming time of testing when many will fall away from the faith.

McCandless explained the importance of spiritual preparation in a recent interview on “Revealing The Truth” with Rabbi Eric Walker. He said Christians need to understand Scripture promises a great apostasy, and a great spiritual trial is on the way.

“Really what’s driving me is Matthew 24:10, that Jesus prophesized that many would turn away,” he told Walker. “And then in Second Thessalonians, we read about a great deception. That really just began to capture me. Had I prepared my congregation enough? And that’s really what’s pushed me to do this on a full-time basis. We need to make sure there’s a base of knowledge on what is going to occur within the Body [of Christ], so we can stand this deception that is coming. It’s so easy to be wrapped up in false things when you don’t know the truth.”

McCandless observed the surging interest in eschatology and the end times often does not extend to the Messiah’s warnings about what will happen to believers. He emphasized to Walker how many of the less sensational prophecies contained in the Bible are often neglected despite their critical spiritual importance.

“There are passages that are well known, but I think a lot of times we overlook that they are actually prophecies,” he said. “For instance, one of them being Matthew 24:10, that many will turn away. I think a lot of time when we think ‘prophecy,’ we’re thinking of those about Armageddon, Jesus’ return, the bigger things, the political things, and missing out that we have a picture in Scripture for what it’s going to look like for humanity and especially Christians, spiritually, ethically, in regards to our faith there before us.

“It really goes back to the authority of Scripture. What is printed, what we have in our hands prophesized what is in the end and what is in the time in between, and tells us accurately what is going to happen. And therefore, these passages, they’re not just abstract. They are defining and describing the definite place we will be in terms of spirituality.”

Many believe the prophecies contained in the Old and New Testament already have occurred, especially with the destruction of the Jewish Temple in A.D. 70. McCandless argued such a reading makes it difficult to actually believe Scripture.

“You face the Preters [those who believe prophecy has already been fulfilled] and you face those who just view everything as symbolic there in Revelation and throughout Scripture,” said McCandless of those who discount prophecy. “There’s some hurdles I ask them to jump over. In my own journey of coming to accept the Millennial reign and the pre-Millennial return of Christ, if you take Revelation 20 and begin to work through that, you have to do some work to make that symbolic. You have to do some work to make that connect to the first century. Until you can do that throughout, using Scripture, I think you have to take that straightforward view.”

You may call yourself a “prepper.” But are you neglecting to guard your most important treasure – your immortal soul? Don’t miss this critical warning about the time which is coming, when believers’ faith will be tested. “Spiritual Prepper” by Jake McCandless. Preorder now in the WND Superstore!

Therefore, he said, “I think the safe bet and accurately using Scripture is to take it literally.”

Rabbi Walker concurred, arguing God does not change and His Word is clear when something is meant to be symbolic or an allegory.

However, that does not mean prophecy isn’t sometimes fulfilled in multiple ways. Sometimes, McCandless explained, a prophecy operates on multiple levels.

“Throughout scriptural prophecies, there’s the immediate fulfillment and then there’s the ultimate fulfillment so many times,” he said. “It deals with the moment then and then it deals with what’s going to happen in the future. With Matthew 24, which we deal with throughout the book, Jesus answers two questions. What will it be like when the Temple is destroyed there in 70 A.D., and what is it going to be like when He ultimately returns?”

Therefore, something like a great “falling away” from the Christian faith can occur periodically throughout history, but the final prophecy still refers to one great phenomenon that will occur during the end times.

“These things that are listed in Matthew 24 were occurring right then as the disciples lived and they’ve happened throughout history,” McCandless said. “But they’re going to reach their time of ultimate intensity and universality as you near Jesus’s return. So we should not be surprised that there are these moments that are almost like what we read in Revelation, but not quite. And until the restrainer is lifted, it’s going to be kept at bay, and be almost, but still not that ultimate fulfillment.”

There are some indications the final “falling away” could be upon the Christian world. McCandless cited work from other authors who said 42 million professed American Christians no long actively participated in church life. He also quoted research from Barna that indicates only 41 percent of ‘Christians’ in America actually practice their faith, with even the study’s definition of ‘practice’ being rather loose. McCandless called the pattern of Christians walking away from their faith “epidemic.”

The pastor argued the best way for Christians to rededicate themselves to their faith and avoid the fate of those who fall away is to constantly remember the possibility of persecution and testing. This, he explained, is the essence of spiritual “prepping.”

“One of the things I stress in the book is the Christian walk is not a bed of roses,” he said. “Yes, it’s a huge blessing, but trials are going to hit us every day. Every day, we’re going to be attacked and our precious faith is being swung at and trying to be pulled from us. We just need to realize that’s going on and we need realize that it could be us. The book is aimed at Christians at the height of their spiritual walk and it says to them, ‘This could be you.'”

McCandless pointed out Christians around the world face threats, violence and martyrdom, a fate American Christians often avoid. Because of that, he explained, American Christians may not approach accepting faith with the full seriousness the decision demands. But McCandless warned the relatively comfortable existence of American Christians is likely coming to an end.

“Right now we face scoffing, discrimination and the loss of religious liberty, these trials upon the Christian,” he said. “But if you don’t come to the faith with the mindset of ‘I’m going to be faithful no matter what,’ there’s a danger. And a lot of practices in our church are just leaving us open for attack and open for danger.”

The best way for a Christian to remain faithful is to spiritually prepare for the trials to come.

“You’re going to fail if you are waiting till it occurs to make your decision about how you’re going to stand,” McCandless said.

And Christians should fully expect the most challenging days lie ahead.

After all, he said, “it was prophesied this was going to happen.”

You may call yourself a “prepper.” But are you neglecting to guard your most important treasure – your immortal soul? Don’t miss this critical warning about the time which is coming, when believers’ faith will be tested. “Spiritual Prepper” by Jake McCandless. Preorder now in the WND Superstore!