This week we all had something to be thankful for. A seemingly hopeless mining disaster in the State of Pennsylvania turned out really well — first for the nine miners, their families and friends; and then for the rescuers and those of us who watched this heroic rescue.
The nine men trapped in darkness some 240 feet underground prepared themselves to die. Yet, they, too, (as did all of us) hoped for the best — even with the looming reality of the possibility that this could be the end of their lives.
Notable examples in the Bible relate similar stories: Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego along with Daniel faced the end of their lives. The reason they did is because they obeyed God. Against all odds and even human ability, they were delivered alive. Important to note in their experiences is the fact that they were reconciled to undergo this fate regardless of whether they were delivered at that time.
Peter, Paul and many of the original Apostles ultimately came to the end of their lives because of their obedience to God — they died at the hands of those who despised and hated the truth they proclaimed. Jesus Christ, Who died for our sins, declares that at the end of this age, Christians will be killed for their belief in and obedience to God.
Undoubtedly, there will be miraculous deliverance for some — just as those remarkable nine miners experienced. Yet, Matthew 24:9 plainly reveals that some will be tortured and killed. As we consider the truth of this warning, let us also remember that our deliverance is also certain.
Matthew 24:13 explains what we must do in order to be saved — whether we live or whether we die! Regardless of what we ultimately face, we are told that we must endure. Exactly how long we endure until our rescue occurs is much like that of the miners. We won’t know exactly, but this we do know — we must be prepared to endure just as Jesus Christ admonished us — to the end!