The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

The Fear of Economic Collapse: Guidance for Christians

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

The world is heading for a massive economic collapse. It’s not a matter of if, it’s just a matter of when. Look back at history and you’ll see that we’re in the midst of repeating a pattern that has been going on for thousands of years. Look at the present and notice how many countries are in debt up to their eyeballs. Do you know what stock markets really run on? Emotions, not facts. All it takes to collapse any economy is for enough people to panic at the same time and cease spending, shut down investments, and go crazy buying emergency goods. The analysts who are telling you that a worldwide economic crash is due any moment are right—it is due. Well, to be more precise, it’s long overdue. But do you know what else is long overdue? Nuclear warfare. The poisoning of our oceans. The extinction of the human race.

People haven’t changed their basic nature since the beginning of this world. Adam and Eve were rebellious little brats who had no use for honoring God (see Eden: Disturbing Revelations). The people of Noah’s time were all immoral little monsters. No one’s getting any nicer, so why hasn’t anyone pressed the button and launched those nukes? Don’t try to say that the same idiots who build weapons of mass destruction actually have the maturity not to use them. If mature people were in charge, we wouldn’t be spending billions constructing weapons that can’t be used without harming ourselves. The reality is that no matter how many people want to nuke America off the map (and we’ve been hearing those threats for many years), the sudden vaporization of the American people is only going to create massive problems for everyone else. We could say the same for the elimination of the Russians, the Chinese, or the folks in the Middle East. Mass extermination of any group with nuclear weapons is one of those really dumb ideas that is guaranteed to result in horrific consequences. You can’t fix what’s wrong with the human race by blowing up large amounts of people. But because there is so much wrong with the human race, the real mystery is how we’re all still here.

So why are we all still here? The answer is a gracious God. Forget about the rest of the globe for a moment and let’s just talk about your own life. By now you’ve done all kinds of nasty little sins, and God could have used any one of them as justification for wiping you out. How many times have you blown off God’s convictions not to sleep around? The first time you had sex with someone outside of marriage, BAM, God could have nailed you with some heinous STD and had you die some agonizing death. Why shouldn’t He? He’s God and you’re some little fleck of dust—how dare you defy His Authority? Ever have an abortion? In the laws that Yahweh gave to Moses, He said it was “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth.” So since you went and had your baby’s body hacked apart, you can’t possibly argue why God shouldn’t rip you apart limb from limb and let you die in a pool of your own blood. The same goes for all of you men who pressured your women into murdering the baby who you helped procreate: you’re just as guilty. And how about all those times you said cutting words to someone? How about all those promises you broke? What if God were to actually take you seriously when you quote the Lord’s Prayer at Him and only forgive you to the extent that you forgive those who have sinned against you? Do you know where that would land you? In Hell, because when it comes to forgiveness and grace, you’re quite the little miser. You want buckets of mercy to rain down on your own head while you withhold mercy from others. One time Peter asked Jesus how many times he had to forgive someone who had wronged him. Peter thought he was being oh so generous by offering to forgive seven times. Jesus came right back at him with a parable about Peter being thrown into Hell for refusing to pass on the mercy he had received from God (see The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant). In the famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said:

“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” (Luke 6:37-38)

This passage should terrify you, because Jesus is talking about God treating you exactly as you’ve treated other people in this world. You really don’t want God turning your own merciless system of judgment against you, because you are a vicious little thing at heart. You operate by a hypocritical set of standards in which it’s okay for you to stick it to others whenever it suits you, but it’s a flaming crisis whenever someone sticks it to you. You rip off office supplies from your employer because, hey, it’s only a pen. But should a thief come into your house and rip off some little trinket of yours that he considers to be no big deal, my what a fuss you’d make. You demand leniency from the cop who pulls you over for speeding because, hey, you were stressed and he shouldn’t be such a nitpicker. But when someone else runs a light and totals your brand new car, you have no sympathy for all the stress he was under. He’s just a self-centered jerk who thinks the laws don’t apply to him. See how it works?

Earlier we used abortion and promiscuity as examples of ways that we blow off God’s moral code, but these two things are hardly the worst crimes we come up with. The truth is that we’re all guilty of willful defiance. We’re all guilty of intentionally spitting in God’s face, blowing off His convictions, and then expecting Him to rush to our aid the moment our lives become inconvenient. So you see, panicking about the global economy is a ridiculous avoidance of a far more important issue. Yes, American leaders are making some really stupid choices. But you’re not going to answer in eternity for what any government officials did. You’re only going to answer for how you responded to God in the privacy of your own soul. So instead of losing sleep freaking out about how other people’s bad choices might come down on your head, you need to realize that people’s choices are not what is controlling the state of this world.

If our choices were really as powerful as we pretend they are, this planet would have been destroyed long ago, because it’s not like we’re taking care of it. Each generation uses and abuses the resources available to them, and it’s only by God’s gracious intervention that there’s anything left for the next round of humanity. God is the One who is in charge of this place, and He is making things go the way He wants them to go with no concern for statistics, logic, or historical patterns. So if you want to know how you should prepare for the future, who should you listen to? Irreverent prophets in the Church who are preaching nothing but doom and gloom? Foolish conspiracy theorists who completely discount God’s sovereignty and speak as if the world is being run by evil men from secret hideouts underground? Or how about all of these historians and economists and financial analysts who keep trying to warn us that financial collapse is imminent yet they can never explain to us why it’s taking so long to get here.

Do you know what the problem is with all of these fear addicts who are insisting that you go spend a million dollars stockpiling canned goods? None of them are listening to God. They have no respect for His Authority and they are totally out of touch with His priorities, which is why all they do is preach fear and promote solutions which are truly idiotic. Stockpile a boatload of canned goods in your underground bunker and then load up on artillery so you can shoot anyone who tries to pilfer your stash—now there’s a great picture of godly character. Suppose there was economic collapse tomorrow—do you really think that God is going to toss up His hands and say, “Forget everything I ever said about righteous character and treating others as you’d want to be treated. Just wallow in carnality and act like a selfish little beast—now that the world’s in a crisis, I’m giving you a free pass to live for yourself and forget that I exist”? Not hardly.

Our accountability to God doesn’t stop when life gets difficult. And if you think you can hold off the hungry hordes with a shotgun and a bunch of attitude, you could use to read through the book of Judges and get a glimpse of how people behave when they fall on hard times. The bottom line is this: your bunker won’t be enough. Your supplies won’t be enough. There is no strategy you can cook up to try and shield yourself from bodily and economic harm because if God wants you to go down, you’re going down. As Yahweh so clearly demonstrated with His plagues on Egypt, His collapse of Jericho’s fortress walls, and His epic global flood, human beings are not in charge here.

There once was a time when people were very proud of themselves for building a grand structure which they called Babel. They were convinced that the thing would really advance them, and then suddenly everyone was speaking a different language. So much for building Babel. We humans are not in charge. We can plot and predict as much as we want but God is always going to have His way because God is in absolute control. As a Christian, you need to get this, because all of this stressing over corrupt leaders and this fretting over shaky economies and this greedy hoarding of material goods is a total waste of time. People can’t see into the future. They don’t know what’s coming. The best they can do is look at what’s already happened and try to find patterns, but even that is a joke because God breaks patterns as often as He makes them. For every shady thing our politicians do, there were a bunch more shady things that they were unable to do because God blocked them. Treating God with honor begins with you remembering that He is in charge of this place. Stop acting like human beings are running the planet. Stop fearing what human beings can do, because humans can’t even stand without their Creator keeping them upright.   As Yahweh once said to the prophet Isaiah when Isaiah was freaking out about what evil men would do to his nation:

“You are to regard only the Lord Almighty as holy. Only He should be feared; only He should be held in awe.” (Isa. 8:13)    

So then, who are you fearing? Who are you viewing as in charge of this world? As a Christian, you need to be spending all of your reverence on Yahweh, Jesus, and the magnificent Holy Spirit. Stop fearing these created specks all around you and spend more time contemplating the Divine perspective:

Who else has held the oceans in his hand? Who has measured off the heavens with his fingers? Who else knows the weight of the earth or has weighed the mountains and hills on a scale?

Who is able to advise the Spirit of Yahweh? Who knows enough to give Him advice or teach Him? Has Yahweh ever needed anyone’s advice? Does He need instruction about what is good? Did someone teach Him what is right or show Him the path of justice?

No, for all the nations of the world are but a drop in the bucket. They are nothing more than dust on the scales. He picks up the whole earth as though it were a grain of sand. (Isa. 40:12-15)

Only God knows the future, and as a general rule, He’s not going to share details about it with us. The most He ever does is give us a heads up when something is coming which He wants us to put effort into preparing for. For Christians today, that something is the end times. Now when we talk about the end times, we aren’t talking about the idiotic drama that the Church promotes in which we’re all supposed to be fearing the power of Satan more than we do the power of the One who sustains his existence. When it comes to preparing you for stressful times ahead, the Church is passing out the same useless advice as the world: hoard food, fear people, and arm yourself. What a bunch of guff. Don’t listen to the Church. Instead, listen to the Holy Spirit, because He is going to prepare you for the real end times, which is not going to play like some bad rerun of the Book of Revelation.

The real end times are going to throw the world into a far greater crisis than she’s ever seen before. So does that mean we should all panic? No, it means we should listen to the Holy Spirit and follow His convictions about how to prepare. His preparations have nothing to do with material hoarding and everything to do with improving our theology and cultivating God honoring soul attitudes. On our site, you’ll find a lot of material regarding the end times. If you read through it, you will discover that it isn’t one big fear fest. Yes, scary things are coming, and we discuss some specific examples to help you set more realistic expectations. But just because the world will be freaking out around you, you don’t have to personally melt into some faithless puddle of anxiety. God would much rather you stay calm and centered on Him during the end times. You get there by deciding today that you’re going to stop listening to folks who have no respect for God’s Authority or His priorities. When God speaks, He is always going to turn your focus onto Him. He is going to talk to you about essential truths and soul attitudes which will help you thrive in any kind of circumstance.

So then, is the world headed towards global economic collapse? According to historical patterns, financial realities, and human reasoning, such a collapse should have happened a very long time ago. But it hasn’t happened because God is preventing it. He’s preventing it because He has something else in mind—something that is quite unexpected. We need to stop listening to humans who tell us what should be happening, and instead listen to the One who is controlling what actually happens. As an individual Christian, you need to take this end times issue seriously because unless God is planning to kill you off very soon, you’re going to be here for the grand kickoff. No amount of dried goods and ammo will prepare you for what’s coming because, as we explain in our end time material, the end times aren’t about starving you out or gunning you down. The end times are about driving souls closer to God. When we stay in alignment with God’s priorities, we focus on the right things. When we start thinking all that matters is keeping food on the table and a roof over our heads, we degrade into miserly little beasts. Listen to God and you’ll thrive. Listen to humans who have no respect God, and the God who you are choosing to ignore will make your life a very miserable affair.

FURTHER READING:
End Times Preparation
Responding to Conspiracy Theories
God’s Absolute Sovereignty: Essential Theology
Soul Before Earthsuit: Understanding God’s Priorities

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