by John Maniatty

Much has been written about the potential for societal chaos because of the computer malfunctions that may happen on January 1, 2000. Most of the information has been relegated to obscure news blurbs, yet many Christians have become more and more aware of this coming event. Survivalists are expecting the worst and preparing for it. The United States government has begun to talk about this potential problem.

A similar phenomenon occurred in the 70’s. I personally know Christians who have 25 year old food stockpiled in their basements. I remember being at a conference in New Hampshire, USA where leaders were told and taught how to store food. Much of the motivation seemed to be fear and/or self-preservation. Even in my youthfulness I knew some things were not right about all this talk. Time has borne out the distraction of such actions.

Jesus had a few words to say about the Last Days of history, “And you will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs” (Matthew 24:6-8). There will certainly be societal breakdowns that will effect the whole world. For the followers of Jesus, we will be provided with incredible opportunities for the Good News. If a believer is in bondage to fear or self-preservation they will not be able to fulfill His purpose in them and through them. We cannot settle for that.

Fear is a terrible taskmaster and our trust needs to be in the Lamb of God. Whatever happens on January 1, 2000 should have absolutely no bearing on His followers. Why? Because we know that in the midst of chaos the ‘birth pangs’ of His Return will have begun! Whatever happens in Y2K it is just one of many signs that will usher in His return. We are seeing these birth pangs even now if we are looking with “eyes of our hearts.”

The Lord has always been calling His people away from the world, “Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15-17). He said this in part so that we could be effectual laborers on His behalf in the Last Days. If you have been allowing the Lord to remove the world from your heart and you from the world, you have been preparing for the Last Days in history.

Should believers be physically preparing for societal breakdown? Y2K? The prophesied destruction of Southern California, New York City, Florida, etc?

I am personally approaching Y2K as I have everything else—seeking the Lord’s will in this matter. In the bible, the book of the Revelation makes it clear that chaos will one day come upon the face of the earth. Christians will not be able to buy or sell without taking the “mark.” Yet long before a mark will be demanded in order to buy or sell, we will have a choice whether to take the “mark” in our hearts and continue to live for ourselves loving “the world” and “the things of the world.” True repentance, repentance from the heart, brings freedom from this bondage. In whatever spiritual state you find yourself redemption is only one heart cry away. We can all be changed. Obedience is always the Way of the Lamb.

In a recent article, Y2K and the Church by Rick Joyner, he wrote, “…there is a biblical place for setting up reserves, and many are feeling called to help prepare ‘Joseph’s storehouses.’ However, there are great dangers with this as well. Some are simply hoarding while using the facade of setting up reserves for the body of Christ during the coming times of need. While I do believe in the calling for some to establish “storehouses”for the future, I have taken note that many of those who feel so called are doing very little to help people in need now, and may do even less when the really pressing needs come. They are driven more by fear rather than love.” Whatever we do our motivation should be to follow Jesus and fulfill His com- mand, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age”
(Matthew 28:19-20).

We will all need His supernatural provision in the future in the same manner that we do now. This does not necessarily mean that we do not need the “Joseph’s storehouses” that are springing up now. Many of them are actually part of His supernatural provision. If the Lord has told you to prepare in a physical manner—obey His voice—not out of fear, but from a heart of love, letting “... the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15).

If He has not directed you to prepare in a physical manner, don’t worry—“… do not be anxious for your life, as to what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body, as to what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body than clothing?… Do not be anxious then, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘With what shall we clothe ourselves?’ For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:25; 31-33).

Don’t worry, He loves us more than we can ever imagine!