The rescue of the Chilean copper miners after spending 69 days a mile and a half under the earth is nothing short of miraculous. It is an amazing story of strength, courage, endurance, and compassion. But did you know… Twenty-two of the thirty-three miners gave their life to Jesus while awaiting rescue? A near-by pastor shared some parallels with me between this particular RESCUE and how it relates to the GOSPEL [Special thanks to Bro. Will Sipes, Little Union Baptist Church]

Regarding the rescue efforts (the church)…

The miners were trapped, they had no way of saving themselves. If it had not been for the work of the rescuers these men would have been forever condemned to death. Their only hope, was the hope that someone would rescue them! If no one had, they had no way of saving themselves.
Now imagine what it would be like if things had not went so well. Imagine what would have been said if no one had tried to rescue these men! There would have been moral outrage!!! The government would have been condemned, the humanity of all people would have been called into question! No one in their right mind would leave these men to die in a mine, but the Devil has tricked us into letting billions die, buried in the death and decay of sin and unbelief.

What if those above would have said:
1. They are not our responsibility, they should not have been there in the first place.
2. They should have been better miners. If miners didn’t mine, then they would not get trapped in mine cave-ins.
3. It will be very expensive and costly to rescue just 33 men. I think we can spend that money in a more wise manner.
4. They’re smart, they’re very capable miners, they’ll work it out for themselves. They don’t really need our help. After all, we don’t want to impose “mining regulations:” on them.
5. If we rescue them from the mine, they’ll just find other mines to get trapped in!
6. They didn’t ask us to help! Who are we to rescue them when they haven’t asked.
7. They deserve it! Those who live by the mine, die in the mine!
(sounds too-much like a church committee meeting)

Regarding the attitude of the miners (sinners)…

The only way these men survived was to have faith that someone was going to save them. And save them they did.
But these men had a tiny part of that salvation to play. Once that rescue tunnel was dug, they had to get in the basket in order to be pulled up to the surface. Only when they reached the surface were they truly free.  Now, imagine, those miners protesting when the rescue capsule came. It’s unthinkable. But that’s what we allow to happen everyday when we allow someone to deny Christ unto eternal damnation.  Think of some of the excuses we accept today and let’s apply them to the miners for a few minutes…

1. We like the mine. Mine’s aren’t so bad.
2. Deny the existence of miners, mines, or cave-ins. Mine collapse’s don’t really happen. This isn’t real. It’s just a figment of our imagination. We reject the truth of mine collapses. Only the naive believe in mine collapses! You’re not brain-washing us to get in that rescue basket.
3. All you have to do is just become one with the mine, exist with the mine.
4. Think our own way out. Intellectuals don’t need rescuing.
5. I have not been good enough to be rescued with the rest of these miners. Only good miners are rescue-able.
6. Apathy: We don’t care.  It doesn’t matter anyway.
7. It’s not our fault we are trapped in this copper mine, it’s the company’s fault. Pass the blame. If we stay here or if anything else happens, it’s the company’s fault!
8. We’ll chisel our own way out. We’re good miners, we’re the best miners, we can do it all by ourselves. We don’t need no one else to tell us how to get out of this mine, we got ourselves in here, we’ll get ourselves out with no help from anyone.
9. I would go, but I’m not like the guys who drilled the shaft or who await our arrival on the surface. And I don’t like them any way.
10. We don’t all agree that a rescue shaft is the way to get us out of here. If we’re going to get out of here, it’ll have to be by a way we all agree with.
11. If you want us to get rescued, you’ll have to give us a multiple of ways out. One way is just not fair or reasonable.
12. You say that rescue shaft leads to freedom on the surface, but we have no way of knowing for sure. It might not. I’d go, if I only knew for sure that it led to freedom.