Posted: August 4, 2011 in Church, Discipleship, Evangelism

I can hardly believe that one year has passed since the triumphant rescue of 33 miners from Chile’s San José mine after they spent 69 days trapped underground. The first 17 days, when no one knew if any of the miners had survived, proved to be the worst for the families. Even one of those trapped underground remarked, “At least we knew we were alive but might die. For our families there was the torment of not knowing.” One of the wives, Elvira, talked about never sleeping and not knowing what to tell her children. However, she and the other women simply refused to wait around to claim the bodies of their husbands.

This group of persistent women fought against all odds, including a fight against a powerful mining system and police force that had basically consigned the miners to a slow death. Their determined pressure paid dividends when on day 17, the rescuers heard the probe being hit and so knew someone was alive. Soon they learned that all 33 had survived and had suffered no injuries. Jubilation filled the air when President Sebastián Piñera read out the note that was attached by the miners to the drillhead, “We are fine in the refuge – the 33.”

As big of news story as the rescue of these may have been, it pales in comparison one person who finds his soul’s Rescuer in Jesus Christ. When someone in our family or close friend comes to a saving relationship with Jesus, we celebrate. But I often wonder how persistent we approach this ministry of rescue of souls. Do we really see people without Christ in their dire conditions? Do we see them as helplessly trapped with no way of escape? Can we, as individuals who have been rescued, dare to ignore those still needing to hear the good news? Surely we can act like the wives of these previously trapped miners and fight against everything including “the gates of hell” rather than consigning people to eternal death.

The Lord gave us a clear command: make disciples (cf. Matt. 28:18-20). Jesus declared that when we follow Him that He will make us fishers of men. When we follow Him, we will make disciples as we go, baptize, and teach. Surely, prayer must undergird this work because no one will come to salvation unless the Lord calls the person. Therefore, we must pray for God to call people to repentance and faith.

I want to urge you join with others to pray for those that you know who need to come to Christ. At our church, we have several “prayer bands” during which times we pray for these individuals by name. Then as you pray for them, the Holy Spirit will sharpen your focus to the opportunities to share the good news.

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