The world’s greatest rescue

The recent rescue of a young Thai football team has captivated the world. Yet we are all part of an even greater rescue.

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Airmen from the US Indo-Pacific Command prepare for dive operations on July 2, 2018, in Chiang Rai, Thailand. (Photo: Captain Jessica Tait/US Air Force)

For weeks, the recent news cycles have been telling us all about the dramatic rescue of a team of 12 boys and their coach trapped in a cave in northern Thailand.

The young footballers wanted to share an adventure—one that looked harmless and would give them something to remember. They found their way through narrow tunnels and wider spaces. But then rain started to fall, and the adventure threatened to become a tragedy.

A flood filled the narrow, winding tunnels to the outside world, and there they were trapped in the dark, without food. To make matters worse, for a week no one outside knew exactly where they were.

When scuba divers did find them, they had to work out how to get them out. The only method of escape was to swim some distance underwater in the dark. But none of the boys had ever tried using goggles or compressed air cylinders in deep water before. They would have to take a crash course in scuba diving.

So skilled divers found their way in and taught the boys how to dive. They also had to prepare them to grope their winding course through the cave in the dark. The most helpful rescuer, an Australian, was not only an experienced diver but also a doctor who could examine the boys to make sure they were fit for such a task.

Finally the preparations were put to the test. Over a period of three anxious days the divers guided the boys and their coach to safety. What rejoicing when the adventure was over!

The whole world is engaged in another rescue from the greatest disaster of all time, and this presents greater problems than any cave rescue.

In the beginning God made a new world, with great prospects of a happy life for all its inhabitants, and many adventures along the way. The Chief Guide came down frequently to show them how to live this joyful life.

But something went wrong. A false guide enticed the original inhabitants with a promise of an even more exciting adventure. They did not see that they were being led into a dangerous disaster situation. The majority trusted the false guide rather than the original Chief Guide, and followed a path which could only lead to death. So great was the deception, most of them thought the course they were following was the natural thing to do.

The Chief Guide often sent guides to lead those who were trapped; some listened but the majority persisted in their delusions, even though they had the example of a disastrous flood that left only eight survivors, and later a fire storm from which only three escaped.

Finally, the Chief Guide Himself came to the disaster scene. He showed the trapped ones the true state of affairs. He knew the way out, and He Himself demonstrated the way of escape. But He was opposed by many who claimed He was the deluded one, and that they were doing the trapped ones a favour by getting rid of Him in a cruel and excruciating death. To their surprise He appeared again, gathered a small band of those who accepted His instruction, sent them out to pass on the skills needed to escape, and returned to His home to prepare a welcome for all who accepted the needed escape training.

In the world today, the majority still persist in their mistaken view of this great rescue attempt, and ignore any who try to explain and demonstrate how to join the great escape. All the signs point to the impending return of the Chief Guide with thousands of rescuers to gather those who have prepared for the escape and take them to a place of safety and great joy in the heavenly world; while those who refuse to listen will have to be left in the dangerous situation they have chosen, which will terminate in horrible disillusionment and a fiery death.

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