In Acts 11:27-30, we read of a prophet called Agabus who predicted a global famine. From historical records, the global famine did happen in AD 45/46 and lasted till AD 65. As a result of the prophecy, the believers in Antioch began to collect money to send relief to the Jerusalem church. And Paul participated in this first collection by bringing the relief funds together with Barnabas.
From several of Paul’s letters, we learned that Paul further appealed for relief funds from other churches in Macedonia and Achaia (Rom 15:25-28) and the Corinthian church (1 Cor 16:1-4; 2 Cor 8:9). Since the famine lasted almost 2 decades, Paul also called for prudent spending in order to have resources to help one another to mitigate this famine crisis. (1 Cor 7:26). Even though the Macedonian church was also in need, Paul commended her giving in displaying their genuine love for the brethren.
The appeals of Paul, mentioned fairly frequent in Scripture, presented us with a principle that we ought to encourage and instruct the church to give in times of crisis. And all the more to prepare when it is looming and prophesized in Scripture, for example in Rev 18.
Furthermore, our Lord had mentioned the various tests of our genuine faith and faithfulness to care for His people in such times in the 4 parables mentioned in Matt 24 and 25. The sheer number of 4 parables should tell us how emphatic is our Lord’s warning on this same test of faithfulness.
We are seeing the following unprecedented adverse economic conditions right now in congregating to form the perfect storm of global economic collapse. Can this be the judgment of all wealth as predicted in Rev 18 ?
- Supply chain disruption and distortion.
- Soaring global inflation.
- Rising interest rates.
- Catastrophic food shortages.
- Sovereign debt crisis of more than half of the world’s poorer nations.
Regardless if it is the said judgment, it is prudent to prepare. For brethren in some countries such as Sri Lanka, Laos and Pakistan, their nations are staring at bankruptcy right now. If we prepare and the crisis never comes, we are none the poorer, but if we do not prepare and the crisis comes, we will be helpless.