Daily Devotional – I’m Normal.™ I AM Ministries
“To promote Godly living in a culture committed to destroying it”
Monday, September 26, 2016
False Hope & Self-Rescue
As New Year’s Day celebrations ended and the work-a-day world resumed on January 2, 2006, a methane gas explosion rocked the Sago mine in Tallmansville, West Virginia. The world watched in anguish as the story of 13 trapped miners unfolded. Rescuers battled furiously to gain access to the mine chambers in an attempt to save the stranded men while town residents waited and hoped for good news. At one point, reports came that all but one man had been found alive. Church bells rang out and joy spread through a town exhausted by a 24-hour a day vigil. But the joy was shattered when the initial reports turned out to be false – all but one of the miners had perished in the underground. Family and friends were completely devastated. The false news had caused them to celebrate under the impression of false hope.
Rescuers soon relayed more detailed information about the fate of the unfortunate men. As trained, the miners had huddled behind a curtain they created to keep out the dangerous gases that accumulate in an underground coal mine. Each man had been using a special device called a self-rescuer to try to save himself. A self-rescuer uses the air a person exhales and generates fresh oxygen. The chemicals in the breath react with chemicals in the self-rescuer to provide about an hour’s worth of air. It also helps keep the harmful gases from overcoming the victim. Despite diligent use of these devices, only one man survived the ordeal.
The events that unfolded in this small, coal mining town seem to be a reflection of the spiritual state of many people in our country. People are rejoicing at the false hope spread by false prophets claiming one can rescue his or her soul and gain entry to Heaven simply by our good deeds or wishful thinking. They claim we do not need a Savior. People are rejecting the message of Christianity in droves because it’s too much work, too big a commitment, and a plan that sounds intolerant.
People today refuse to believe a loving God would allow senseless tragedy in the world. Many refuse to believe God would sacrifice His own Son. Instead, they believe anyone who is “spiritual” will be granted access to the Heavenly Kingdom. They believe living a good life, helping others, not murdering anyone, and following the Golden Rule will be sufficient to gain access to God’s Kingdom. In short, they believe their works can rescue them from their sin.
The false hope in Tallmansville was the result of highly unfortunate and unexpected communication errors. In contrast, the false hope regarding our spiritual fate is predictable. Jesus warned us that false prophets would come and issue false reports (Matthew 24:24). He warned against the yeast of the Pharisees, their false teachings, and their attempts to save themselves under the Law (Matthew 16:6, 12). If Jesus were here on Earth today, He would warn us not to believe those who preach messages claiming “any way or any god” will get you into Heaven.
Every miner is given a self-rescuer and trained how to use it to save his life in an emergency. God has offered each of us a spiritual self-rescuer, the LORD Jesus Christ. We are given instructions through God’s Holy Word, the Bible, as to how we use our self-rescuer and Savior so we do not perish into everlasting death. Self-rescue attempts in Tallmansville saved only one man out of thirteen and we now know that Randall McCloy’s survival was actually a miracle from God. In contrast, self-rescue through Jesus Christ is 100 percent effective and 100 percent guaranteed. No one who becomes a follower of Christ will perish (John 3:16).
A local woman told a television correspondent, “We are a Christian community.” This gives me hope that my prayers that all who were in the mine were believers. I pray that each man had committed himself to Jesus Christ before the accident or had time to accept Him as their Savior before his self-rescuer failed.” I pray that none had listened to the merchants of false hope who proclaim that a person can be his or her own self-rescuer spiritually.
We are all trapped in a life that ends in certain death. Because of our sin, we are all under a death sentence that leads to eternal separation from God (Romans 6:23). The prophets of false hope will tell us we can save ourselves. They are wrong. Self-rescue from eternal darkness can only come through the blood shed on our behalf by the LORD Jesus Christ. He is the only self-rescuer we will ever have or ever need. His sacrifice is sufficient for all sin for all time.
It is normal to want to rescue yourself from death. It is normal to wish that life will continue. The people of Tallmansville had their emotions shattered by the false hope based on false news. As a Christian community, they know the Good News – The Gospel of Jesus Christ will save you. Through Him, we have the assurance the death befalling believers is only physical.
Many people today will die physically only to find they are sentenced to an eternal death (Revelation 20:14). Once they die, it will be too late. They will discover their self-rescue attempts were in vain and they will be devastated for all eternity. The believers in Tallmansville will only suffer during their few short years on Earth. Unbelievers will suffer eternal, unending death. On what self-rescuer are you relying for your eternal salvation?
Life is short (James 4:14). It’s not normal to try to rescue your soul on your own. God gave us a sure way into Heaven (John 14:6). Don’t cling to any false hope the world may try to give you. Hope comes only through one man, The Man, Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12). He is not false hope. He is the only self-rescuer you will ever need.
A servant of Jesus Christ
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