Article originally posted October 14, 2010 on www.Heaven4Sure.com.
Miners Rescued in Chile! No More Barrier!
'I was with God, and I was with the devil. They fought, and God won'
The coverage of the miners' rescue in Chile has been riveting. Mario Sepulveda was the second miner brought up from the mine. He was obviously thrilled to be back 'above ground', and filled with appreciation for doctors and psychologists who aided the miners via videoconferencing. “They gave us our lives back. It's incredible that with 700 metres between us, and not seeing us face-to-face, they revived us,” he said.
What would it be like to look up and see rock, and know that above that was more rock and more rock and more rock – 700 metres (2,300 feet) of rock and earth between you and the people you love and the place you want to be? Imagine not being able to see their face or hold their hand. Imagine crying out, but knowing they couldn't hear you.
That was the experience of the 33 men trapped underground for 69 days at the San Jose mine in Chile. For over two months, they survived in the bowels of the gold & copper mine, hoping and waiting to be extracted. The story of their rescue has captured the attention of the world, and rightfully so. It is an amazing account of perseverance and deliverance. The long embraces between miners and family once they step out of the capsule are heart touching, and the jubilation of the crowds around them seems similar to what you'd see at a Chilean soccer (futbol) match. No more wondering how the engineers could drill through that barrier of rock without causing it to collapse. No more merely hoping that rescuers would be able to get down and miners would be able to get up such a narrow passage. No more praying to be saved. They are saved! The separation from loved ones above is a thing of the past.
Mr. Sepulveda spoke of his time underground and said: “I was with God, and I was with the devil. They fought, and God won,” he said. Sepulveda said he grabbed God's hand and never doubted that he would be rescued.
Have you ever grabbed God's hand? Have you been rescued... saved? Or is there still a barrier between you and the One above who loves you?
The Bible says in Isaiah 59:2, “your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear”. Do you see why there is a separation between you and your God? Not because of 2,300 feet of rock and earth. It is thicker and harder and deeper than that. The barrier is your iniquities, your sins. Your sins (whether lies or idolatry or greed or lustful thoughts, etc....) are preventing you from enjoying peace with God. God wants you to enjoy eternal life, abundant life, and rest for your souls, but as long as the barrier of your sins remains between you and God, you are separated from Him.
Mr. Sepulveda was right, though. God and the devil did fight... and God did win. The Bible also looks at the problem of our sin, not under the imagery of a barrier, but as a debt. Colossians 2 says that when the Lord Jesus died on the cross, God was “canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross,” (Colossians 2:14). Then in the next verse, describing the demons who hated Jesus Christ as spiritual 'rulers and authorities', it says “He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in it,” (Colossians 2:15). God and the devil fought... and God won.
1Corinthians 15:3-4 says “Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures”. Just like rescuers at the San Jose mine descended through 700 metres of rock, the Lord Jesus came down from Heaven to save us. 1Timothy 1:15 says “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”. Everyone who puts their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone to save them from their sins is forgiven and is eternally reunited with God. “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” (Romans 5:1). As the rescuers came down to send up the miners in the rescue capsule, God the Father sent His Son Jesus Christ down to earth, to the death of the cross... for us. But He raised the Lord Jesus from the dead so that we might be lifted out of our sins and enjoy new life in Christ!
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,” (Ephesians 2:4-6).
Mario Gomez is another rescued miner. His wife, Lillane, rubbed her hands and clasped them together in anticipation as he was being unloaded from the rescue capsule. She has prepared a honeymoon for the two of them as soon as he is ready. As Mr. Gómez stepped out of the capsule, he raised his hands, gave two thumb up as he waved the Chilean flag proudly and pointed at his family. He kneeled to pray and thank God, with his Bible in his hand. He has said he will never step foot in a mine again - a place he has worked since he was 12. No surprise there! Why would he want to go back into a place where he was captive for 69 days after being saved out of it?
The Bible describes people in their sins as being captive to sin (John 8; Romans 6). Only the Lord Jesus, God's Son, can give you freedom. He said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.... So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed,” (John 8:34, 36). Once you have tasted freedom in Christ, you would never want to be held in the sway of sin again. Thankfully, once someone has been saved through the Lord Jesus, they are eternally rescued.” Concerning those that trust in Him, the Lord Jesus said “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:29).
Earlier in this article, we looked at the words of Isaiah 59 where God tells us that the problem between us and Him is not His fault, but our sins. He wants to save you, and He is able to save you. “Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save... but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God...” (Isaiah 59:1-2). You can't rescue yourself out of this problem of sin. The barrier is too thick for you to work through on your own. You need to be like Mario Sepulveda. Remember his words? “I was with God, and I was with the devil," he said. "But God won, I held onto God's hand, the best hand, and at no point in time … did I doubt that God wouldn't get me out of there.” Have you ever reached out to grasp God's hand? He extends it to you in His Son, Jesus Christ.
“The LORD's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save.”
“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved,” (Acts 16:31).
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Several of the miners came up wearing coats with the words of Psalm 95:4 (in the Bible), in Spanish, on the back: "In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also". Then it adds, “To Him Be The Honour And Glory”.
Information in this article obtained from www.cbc.ca, www.cnn.com, and the Associated Press. Photos are from www.cnn.com and were originally provided by the Government of Chile.