For some time now I have seen an increase in conservative sites (Christian frequented/portrayed) about stocking up on foods, essentials and finances in preparation for shortages that may be near, possibly, for the end of the world. Is this something Christians need to worry about to be so zealous over? Even if we knew it was eminent, is there anything in Scripture that says we should stockpile?
Do me a favor for your own sake, forget it, you can’t. “End of the world”?, Yeah right. Let me ask the reader something. Even if you had the resources to lay aside as you wished, 6-months, a year, five years, how do you think you would feel after sitting on that for a couple of weeks? I think you would begin fighting off what Jesus, our hope said; the warning of provisions over faith:
(Luke 12:16-20) “The land [America] of a rich man was very productive. And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. ‘And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?"
Yes, there will be times (“seasons”) leading up to and just before. How much do you need for that and for what kind of emergency? Natural disasters can go on for months. Economic disasters could be a few weeks to an endless downward spiral of squalor as we have seen. “But this is America”, right, but in case you haven’t noticed lately, these times aren’t particularly favorable for Christians.
Although there is scriptural support for and against this, there has to be a way to sort it out. This I believe is a start of doing so. God will supply seeing ahead with enough *“grain”.
Excess vs Comfort and Communal ownership
When speaking of the amount of things a Christian should acquire and store for the perilous times we live in, it isn’t so much a mystery concerning what God says of bloating one’s riches in the world, but there is a permissible fringe of building godly wealth also described in the Bible.
(I John 3:16, 17) "We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?"
(I Timothy 5:8) ", , if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."
(Acts 4:32) "And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them."
Having the above in context, I can now see the Father’s will here:
(Matthew 6:19, 20) “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
(I Timothy 6:17-19) "Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed."
As for the minimum handling of wealth:
(Matthew 25:27) "Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest."
(1 Corinthians 11:22) "What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in?"
After this, a reference of "heading for the hills" nears, then what happens to that pile?
(James 5:1-5) "Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten. Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure! Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you; and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter."
As for should Christians worry about the end, that is another topic though answered above here in part.
*Genesis 41: 35, 36 "They should collect all the food of these good years that are coming and store up the grain under the authority of Pharaoh, to be kept in the cities for food. 36 This food should be held in reserve for the country, to be used during the seven years of famine that will come upon Egypt, so that the country may not be ruined by the famine.”