I recently took a trip to Wisconsin Dells with my sister. We enjoyed a relaxing boat ride on the Wisconsin River to view the beautiful rock formations that had formed the sides of the river. In the span of the river that we toured there was very little shoreline. There were long stretches of river where it was nothing but rocks and cliffs on both sides which made it impossible to get out of the water should someone find themselves capsized. And this is exactly what happened to a canoe that our boat happened upon. Toward the end of our tour, the captain went off course towards the edge of the river where they spotted a man, a woman and a dog struggling in the cold water to stay afloat after their canoe capsized. They were clinging to the rocky edges and tree limbs that extended into the water, and needless to say, being October, they were very cold. Unfortunately our boat was situated too high in the water and after many attempts they could not get the people out of the water so they radioed for help. As we were watching their attempts to get these people and their dog onto our boat, I was wondering why our boat did not have a ladder. It would have made the rescue quick and easy. And frankly it seems it should be a required piece of equipment since there’s always the possibility that a passenger could fall into the water. It makes me think how simple God made it for people to find salvation but He just needs people to share the message. There are people struggling in their lives to keep their heads above water not knowing that God had provided the way out through Jesus Christ. They just need someone to extend the message of salvation so they can grab hold of it and be rescued from certain death. As a Christian, the great commission requires us to share and extend the good news to others who are in need of rescue. We are not their salvation, but we are the ladder to it. (p.s. – all were taken out of the water to safety, even the canoe).
18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 (NLT)
15 And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. Mark 16:15 (NLT)