I was especially honored to write the Foreword for Carl Gallups’ “Be Thou Prepared: Equipping the Church for Persecution and Times of Trouble.”
I’m fascinated by Pastor Carl and his congregation’s dynamic ministry of helping those in trouble. That can be any of us when we find ourselves in a spot for which we’re unprepared. Read this book. Read it right away. The knowledge it shares may one day—a day that could come much sooner than we know—save your life, or the lives of those you love.
“So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled.” (1 Thessalonians 5:6)
On July 25, 1993, I was sitting in a Sunday church service in Cape Town, South Africa. Suddenly the front door swung open. Terrorists strapped with automatic rifles burst in. Lobbing hand grenades into the congregation, they preceded to open fire.
Kneeling behind a pew, I drew my snub-nose revolver and returned fire, sending the cowardly attackers fleeing. The now-infamous Saint James Church massacre left eleven churchgoers dead and over fifty wounded. Without intervention, matters would have been worse. One of their leaders later admitted his desire was to kill every Christian present.
The reason I responded was because, by God’s Grace, I’d sat in the church before and pondered over my possible reactions should such an attack happen. I knew that I needed to be prepared.
This is what Carl’s book is all about: being prepared!
Carl didn’t write this book to grind a political axe or tread familiar turf that political pundits debate on talk shows. Carl is an experienced, decorated Florida law enforcement officer, as well as a seasoned church leader with a great big pastor’s heart. Not only has he confronted the criminal mind, but he has also consoled the flock. He has a heart for our Savior, loves people, and wants the best for them.
By contrast, a close missionary friend of mine flies into areas where tough men fear to tread. “Safety,” he often says, “is overrated.” Is he on a suicide mission? Not at all. He goes wherever he’s called to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is willing to take risks to help the helpless, struggling, and marginalized of this world so that they can avoid an eternal disaster—a fate far greater than anything we can ever imagine on this earth—an eternity outside the presence of Almighty God. But, be sure, his family back home in the United States is well taken care of.
Carl is likewise calling Christians to be prepared, not only for our own benefit, but for the Kingdom’s benefit. The call has gone out in Be Thou Prepared: prepare for disaster, to provide for your family: “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1Timothy 5:8). But also prepare for those you are going to have the opportunity to reach with the Gospel of Jesus Christ when the time comes.
I cannot overstate how vitally important and timely this book is. You cannot ignore these pages; in them are not only the answers to physical but also to your spiritual well-being.
The Bible describes a tense time in Israel when the kingdom of Saul was going to be turned over to David. There was a need for great wisdom and discernment during those times. Two-hundred leaders of the tribe of Issachar were singled out as men who understood the times and knew what to do.
“And the children of Issachar,” wrote the ancient prophet Ezra, “which were men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do” (1 Chronicles 12:32).
Carl is one of these men. We are living in a time of great need of intelligence and wisdom, and also skillful analysis. This I believe is what is made available in this insightful book.
Be Thou Prepared is not a book dealing with superficial ideas thrown together just for the lesson to be taught. Rather, it is full of real-life examples of tragedies that real people like you and I, have lived through and were determined to overcome. This book is meant for prayerful and practical application. Prayer must be used as a launching pad for action rather than an excuse for inactivity.
It’s of paramount importance and could save not only your life, but the lives of your families and also many others who have not understood the times and readied accordingly.
Your decision to read this book is a decision to act—the first essential step in a serious encounter. Waste no time to enjoy the read; get a copy in the hands of friends, family, neighbors, and other church groups, and build strong relationships as you network together, preparing for the future.
—Charl van Wyk, missionary and WND bestselling author of Shooting Back: The Right and Duty of Self-Defense