On December 7, 1988 an earthquake devastated the northwestern section of Armenia, killing an estimated 25,000 persons. In one small town, directly after the earthquake, a father rushed to his son's school only to find that the school had been flattened and there was no sign of life.
But he had no thought of turning back. He had often told his son, "No matter what, I'll always be there for you when you need me!"
Though the prospects appeared hopeless, he began feverishly removing rubble from where he believed his son's classroom had been. Other forlorn parents only wailed hopelessly. "My son!" "My daughter!" Some told the father to go home, that there was no chance that any of the pupils could be alive. To which this loving father replied, "I made my son a promise that I'd be there for him anytime he needed me. I must continue to dig."
Courageously, he proceeded alone. No one volunteered to help him. He simply had to know for himself: "Is my boy alive or is he dead?"
With strength and endurance beyond himself, the faithful, loving father continued to dig... for 8 hours... for 12 hours... 24 hours... 36 hours. Then in the 38th hour, as he heaved away a heavy piece of rubble, he heard voices. "Armand!" he screamed.
A child's voice responded: "Dad! It's me,... Armand!" Then, "I told the other kids not to worry. I told 'em that if you were alive, you'd save me, and when you saved me, they'd be saved. You promised you would always be there for me! You did it, Dad!"
Moments later, the dad was helping his son Armand and 13 other frightened, hungry, thirsty boys and girls climb out of the debris. Free at last! When the building collapsed, these children had been spared in a tent-like pocket. The father lovingly carried his son home to his mother, where he was given the care he needed.
When the townspeople praised Armand's dad, his explanation was, "I promised my son, 'No matter what, I'll be there for you!'"
Do you realize that God, the Heavenly Father, is in the rescue business? He has gone to great effort to rescue you from a terrible plight.
Unless you have a personal relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ, you have no hope of spending eternity in heaven with God. According to the Bible, sin separates you from God: "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). "For the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). Ephesians 2:1 says you are doomed forever.
The Bible tells us that "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). He offers you the free gift of "eternal life in Christ Jesus" (Romans 6:23). You cannot be saved through your own effort: "For by grace you have been saved through faith," not by works (Ephesians 2:8-9).
God reaches out to rescue you. To be saved, you must respond and believe in Him, confessing to Him that you have sinned and want His forgiveness. This act brings you into His family forever. John 1:12 says that all who receive Him and believe in Him "become children of God."