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God's Great Rescue Plan
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By Dan Freedman

 
People from all over the world rejoiced last week as 33 men who were trapped in a Chilean mine were rescued after being underground for 69 days. It was a happy occasion for the miners who had faced certain death to be reunited with their family and friends. They were grateful for all the support and thanked all who never gave up on them. 

As I thought of their rescue and how people all over the world celebrated, I could not help but think of a greater rescue which will one day take place — a rescue of people who are alive and for those who have been underground even longer than 69 days.

The Apostle Paul writes with certainty about God’s great rescue plan. In Hebrews 9:28 he writes, “Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” Just as those miners awaited their rescue, we are waiting our rescue from this planet. Consider the words of Jesus on this matter; “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:1-3).        

The Bible carefully describes how this rescue will take place; “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” (1Thessalonians 4:16-17). 

Just as there was joy and celebration as all 33 men came out of the mine so there will be at the second coming. Family and friends whom we love and have passed away we will be reunited with, never to be separated again. In 1Corithians 15:51-53 we read, “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed — in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.”

Our rescue from this planet gives us hope and changes our lives for the better. In Titus 2: 11-13 we read, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope — the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.”

The story is told of a missionary who visited a school to tell the students about his adventures. All the students loved hearing his stories and wanted the missionary to come again to tell them more. He agreed and said, “When I come back I will bring a gift to a student who has the cleanest desk.” One student thought very carefully to herself — to win this gift I must clean my desk every morning. But what if the missionary were to come at noon? I must clean my desk every morning and at lunch time every day. But what if he were to come in the afternoon? So she determined she would keep her desk clean all day long. Since Jesus is coming back to this earth once again, I want to keep my life clean all day long and I pray you will, too.

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