A Second Chance (KJV)
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- Format: Folded Tract
- Paper: Gloss Text
- Size: 3.5 inches x 5.5 inches
- Pages: 4
- Version: KJV
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On July 24, 2002, at 8:50 p.m. the Quecreek Mine near Somerset, Pennsylvania began flooding from a mining accident, leaving eighteen miners to face the raging waters racing toward them 240 feet below the ground. The miners were working in two groups of nine, some distance from each other, when the first group to encounter the millions of gallons of water sent an urgent phone message to the other group to “Get out NOW! Don’t wait!” As a result of this warning being heeded immediately, this second group of nine miners escaped to safety after a forty-five minute trek through the torrent of water that almost drowned them.
The other nine miners also tried to reach the mine entrance, but the water had already blocked their escape routes. They were trapped, and fought desperately through the surging water to higher ground, only to find that the water was rising, and that they had nowhere else to go.
Meanwhile, above ground, a major rescue effort was set in motion. A six inch air hole was skillfully and successfully drilled to the exact location of the miners. This proved to be the first time the miners’ lives were saved, as without the high pressure air pocket that was pumped through that shaft, the miners could not have survived until a drilling rig cut a shaft large enough to retrieve the trapped workers. It wasn’t until three days later that the 1500-pound drill bit broke through the roof of the mine near the nine trapped men. After the air shaft was put in place, nothing had been heard from the miners for two full days, so what an emotional scene it was when it was reported that all nine were alive! This was followed by even greater joy and rejoicing by the miners, their families, and rescue workers when all nine of the miners’ lives were reclaimed from the brink of death as, one by one, they were all lifted out of darkness into light and life by the special rescue capsule, some seventy-seven hours after they first thought “they weren’t going to make it.”
During those hours and days the nine miners were trapped, their thoughts turned to family, death, and the hereafter. They all wrote final messages to their families which were then sealed in a bucket for their survivors. One miner asked another, “Will I go to heaven since I’ve never been baptized or anything?” His friend assured him, “All good people go to heaven.” All nine of the miners spoke of praying while trapped deep within the flooded mine. Meanwhile thousands of people from all over the world joined in prayer for the safe return of these nine men. After the rescue, a sign on a nearby business said, “God gave us a miracle.”
The events surrounding the Quecreek Mine accident are a good illustration of the spiritual miracle of a person’s soul being saved—being born again by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The miners were totally helpless to save themselves. They had to rely on help from above. Jesus alone is the One who is able to save a soul lost in the darkness of sin, for He is the Saviour who came all the way down from Heaven’s glory to become a man on this earth and to lay down His life in death that He might provide a way of salvation for mankind. “God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
The rescue effort at the Quecreek Mine spared no expense or effort to save the miners. Likewise, God “spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all” (Romans 8:32). Christ gave His own life’s blood to provide the cleansing from sin that man needs. It is only as one believes that Christ died for his sins, was buried, and rose again, that he will go to heaven. Interestingly enough, the miners were “buried” in the mine for three days, and the Lord Jesus was in the grave three days before He arose from the dead to live forevermore (see 1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Man is only saved “by grace, through faith” (Ephesians 2:8,9), receiving God’s gift of “eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
The Bible says, “There is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Romans 3:12) and “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “Good” people do not go to heaven, because in God’s sight, none of us are good enough. Only people who admit they are sinners and trust Christ as their personal Saviour will go to heaven. Just like the trapped miners, man is helpless to save himself. No amount of works can save; baptism cannot save; “doing the best one can” cannot save.
Just as there was only one rescue capsule, there is only one way of salvation. “Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name [Jesus] under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me” (John 14:6). Notice also that each of the nine miners was brought up in the capsule individually. Each one had to trust himself to that device and the crane operator’s skill if he was to be saved from certain death. Likewise, each one of us must believe for himself that Christ died for his sins, and trust that finished work alone for deliverance from certain eternal death. No one can believe for another. Salvation is a personal experience between the sinner and Christ the Saviour.
“Nine for nine” became the motto for the trapped, and subsequently rescued, miners. It is God’s desire for “all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3,4). Are you saved? “The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).
One of the miners said a few days after his rescue, “I got a second chance at life, and I don’t want to blow it. I don’t want to blow it.” Everyone who hears the gospel of God’s grace gets an opportunity to receive eternal life. I trust that no one who has read this account will “blow it” when it comes to your soul’s salvation. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ now and you will be saved (Acts 16:31). To wait until Christ comes or death overtakes you is to “blow it.” To reject or neglect God’s offer of full and free salvation and be forever lost and separated from God in the darkness and suffering of an eternal hell is to “blow it.” Heed the warning as given by the trapped miners, “Get out NOW! Don’t wait!”
By believing in your heart what God says about your sin, and about the work of Christ on Calvary’s cross for you, then you can say, “He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings” (Psalm 40:2). —Tim Johnson