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Salvation and the End Time
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John 14:9; Zephaniah 3:17; John 1:1-3; Romans 8:38, 39; Psalm 91:15, 16; Revelation 14:6, 7; Ephesians 1:4, 5. April 28, 2018

Hours before the Gwilliam family planned to leave the Hawaiian island of Kauai last week, floodwaters stranded them. Two feet of rain in 24 hours washed out a bridge, cutting the San Diego family’s vacation rental off from safety. “We tried not to let the kids see, but I was terrified,” said mom Erin Gwilliam. A nearby resident and Good Samaritan helped the family escape. Their knight in a shining wetsuit? Surfing legend Laird Hamilton.

The surfer coordinated rescues after severe rain struck, causing mudslides and power outages on the island of Kauai. Hamilton conducted more than 75 rescues in floodwaters near his Kauai home, but he’s not asking for credit. “If you have compassion, this is what you do,” Hamilton said. "These are opportunities to make a difference, when it really counts." Hamilton’s boat launch is on the high side of the flood plain, which enabled him to conduct the rescues beginning at 4:00 am each day. “I was able to help some people off their roofs and get them what they need.”

Hamilton rescued 15 girls from a sleepover camp at the home of fellow surfer Leila Hurst, and lent his boat launch to the National Guard, who used it for their own rescue operations. The rescues weren’t limited to humans: Hamilton and his friends also rescued approximately 80 bison they found in the flood plain. “We were just going around in boats, tying them and towing them, trying to get them back into pasture,” Hamilton said. “In Hawaii we have a word called ‘ohana.’ It means family. Family and friends banding together. It’s a pretty wonderful thing. This would have been much worse had we not all banded together here. That’s ohana.” [1]

When it comes to our salvation in the end times, it’s necessary to be a part of God’s family. According to our lesson this week, during the end times especially the whole world will need a Savior. Fortunately, we have a God who loves us, and preserves us through troubling times. This week we’ll explore the love of the Father, the love of the Son, and the love of the Holy Spirit for us.

In the first angel’s message of Revelation 14 we find the term “everlasting gospel.” The word gospel simply means “good news.” The best news of all is that God loves us and wants to rescue us from this messed up planet and deliver us to our eternal home in heaven. This is the message that’s to go to the entire world: the rescue operation is underway! Unfortunately, most of the world has no idea that this is our final warning—that things will not continue as they are indefinitely. The end times are simply that: our final days. We have salvation when we truly become ohana, adopted into God’s family.

~cb

[1] https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/19/us/laird-hamilton-water-rescue-kauai/index.html