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Who could forget the amazing rescue of 33 miners October 13, 2010? You may recall news of an explosion and collapsed mine in Chile Aug 5, 2010, leaving the men trapped a half mile below the earth’s surface for 69 days. Movie producers have taken this miraculous rescue story and have created a full-length feature film titled “The 33” that will debut Nov. l3.

As a follower of Jesus, I look for ways to share the Good News with nonbelievers. When I heard about the rescue of these miners five years ago, I contemplated the similarities between their physical rescue and my spiritual rescue. I’ve used this comparison to share my rescue story with nonbelievers. If you are a believer, you can do the same.   How?

You can use this movie, “The 33”, as a part of a conversation that naturally turns it into a spiritual conversation. Here’s how. After you watch the movie with your nonbelieving friend, you can discuss the movie in general. Then you can say, “The rescue story reminds me of my own rescue story.” When they look at you awkwardly, you can continue to explain your spiritual rescue story. What a “natural bridge” to your own life changing story!

Disclaimer: I have no personal connections to the film. In fact, I have not seen it. If you decide not to watch the film, it could still come up in conversation.

Here are six truths I’ve discovered when comparing my story to the miners’. After each truth, I will give you the miners’ perspective and how it relates to my story. You can use it as an outline to prepare your story.

Truth # 1- I had to understand my need for help.

Unlike the miners who knew immediately after the collapse of the mine that they needed help, I originally didn’t understand I needed help. As a young girl, I thought, “I’m a pretty good girl. I go to church every Sunday with my family.   God loves me because I’m not as bad as other people.”

But through God’s Word, I learned that my bad actions, bad thoughts, and bad attitudes were called sin. And even one sin was enough to separate me from the perfect God of the Bible.   Because of God’s perfection, He does not allow sin into Heaven. I may not have been trapped under a mile of rock, but sin trapped me, separating me from God. I realized I needed to be rescued. I needed a Savior. Rom. 3:23 says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Truth #2- I had to understand I could not rescue myself.

Just think what would have happened if the miners thought they could escape on their own. They all would have perished. Imagine one of the men grabbing a spoon and declaring, “Don’t worry, I can get us out.” Ludicrous!

Similarly, I used to think I could free myself from my sin. I told myself, “If I just do enough good things, go to church regularly, give money to the poor, then I can save myself from my sin.” But Eph. 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith and not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not of works so that no one should boast.” Just as impossible as it was for the miners to escape with a spoon, it was impossible for me to “work my way” into heaven. I could not rescue myself!

Truth #3- I had to understand I did not deserve to be rescued.

The miners didn’t deserve to be rescued. The miners hadn’t “earned the right” to escape. They merely experienced the new joy because people loved them and wanted them home. Therefore, people whom they had never met, worked to rescue them.

Likewise, I didn’t have to “do” anything to deserve God’s gift of salvation. But because of God’s great love for me, He displayed His grace by rescuing me in spite of my sin. The Bible says God came and rescued, “while we were yet sinners” (Rom. 5:8). I didn’t have to make my life look better for God to accept me. He accepted me even when sin trapped me.

Truth #4- I had to understand the ONLY rescue plan.

Like the miners who only had one way out, God gave us only one way out of our sin. God sent Jesus. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.” And Jesus spoke in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” Why would God send His only Son to die for us if there was another way?

Truth #5- I had to understand the importance of personal faith in the rescue plan.   

For the miners, it was not enough for them to KNOW ABOUT the escape route, but they had to demonstrate their faith by getting into the escape capsule. How absurd would it have been if the miners decided to stay buried underground? Each miner made a personal decision to be rescued and to place his faith in the rescue effort. Once he stepped by faith into the escape contraption, he did not have to put out any effort of his own to ascend to the surface. Each man totally relied on the rescuers.

Similarly, God helped me understand that I needed to place my faith in Jesus. When I was a young girl, we had a special speaker at our church. I clearly heard the rescue plan. The Bible told me, the penalty for my sin is death, or separation from God forever. But Jesus died in my place and was buried and rose again from the dead. God accepted Jesus’ blood on the cross as a payment for my sin. That night I told God I accepted His rescue plan, Jesus. I asked Jesus to forgive me of my sin and turned from my self-effort of escape to rely solely on Him for my escape. It was by faith alone that God rescued me.

Truth #6- I had to understand how God’s rescue changed my life.

Even though the miners went from darkness to light immediately, they still had to adjust their lives to the change. They even wore sun glasses when they surfaced to protect their eyes from the scorching rays. The miners’ lives changed forever because of their rescue.

Likewise, my life changed. The Bible tells me that I am a new creature. The Bible says, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2 Cor. 5:17). I had to adjust to my new life in Jesus. God not only promises Heaven after death, but promises to make life on earth worth living. God gave me purpose in life, to honor Him all my days.

You can use these six truths to share your rescue story. The movie, “The 33” can be used as a natural transition.

Do you have a rescue story? Maybe you realize you have not been rescued. You can be rescued today.   Call 1-888-JESUS-2000.