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Help From the Sky
Photo: Niko Romberg
A couple of years ago, I set out on an adventure. It was an awesome day following a mid-October rain. The sun was shining and the air was pristine. Grasping the moment, I headed toward the Santa Monica Mountains, northwest of L.A. Winding my way over a narrow, partially paved road, I made the white-knuckled assent to the Circle X Ranch.

This former Boy Scout Camp features wonderful hiking trails, volcanic rocks and incredible views of the verdant hills, nearby cities, and the blue Pacific, including Catalina Island.

Reaching the top of 3,000-foot Sandstone Peak about 4 p.m., I estimated I had just enough time to hike back to the parking lot by sundown. What I wasn’t figuring on was getting lost! Somehow, I went the wrong way on the Backbone Trail. As darkness began to fall, so did the temperature and I began to run, hoping to keep warm, and get to civilization before nightfall.

I didn’t make it! I found out later, I had run four miles in the wrong direction! As dusk swallowed the fleeting shadows, I realized I could go no further, so I reluctantly called 911 on my cell. An hour later the Ventura County Search and Rescue helicopter was flying overhead, scanning the dense brush with their search lights.Miraculously, there was no coastal fog that night. By cell phone, I directed them to my exact location. As the copter hovered above me, one member of the search and rescue team was slowly lowered out of the plane to the ground where I stood shivering and hungry.

Heavenward Delight

The most exciting moment happened after he attached the harness to my body. Suddenly, I was hoisted into the air to safety. It was so exciting and fun, I wanted to shout for joy. Inside I was beaming. But I told myself to sober up and look serious. After all, I was being rescued by the Sheriff’s department. I shouldn’t look like I was having that much fun, should I?

Did you know that the Lord will return for us in a very similar way? Not by helicopter, of course, but it will be a rescue from the sky. In 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 (NKJ), the Bible describes how the Lord will descend from heaven with a shout. Those who have died believing in Jesus will rise out of their graves first. Then those believers who are still alive will be caught up to meet Jesus in the air. Then they will all go to heaven together.

Contrary to what some believe, this will not be a “secret rapture.” In fact, it will be a “planetary event.”  According to Matthew 24:27 NIV, just like lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the second coming of Jesus. Revelation 1:7 confirms that Jesus is coming on the clouds and every eye will see him.

This thrilling event is coming in the not so distant future. If you haven’t given your heart to Jesus yet, why not do it today. The Lord’s coming back for us soon.

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By Kathy A. Lewis. Copyright © 2006 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982 and the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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