This was going to be such a great trip. You were going to get a chance to spend some time with friends, in nature, and away from your busy life. That was the idea, anyway, but now, you're lost in a dark, endless forest, disoriented and frightened. You wander for days. You’re hungry and thirsty and spend the worst nights of your life shivering in the dark.
On the afternoon of the third day, you’re no longer even trying to look for help. You’re leaning against a tree, having lost all hope, when you hear footsteps. You look up to spot a park ranger coming your way. You’re rescued.
“You’re safe,” the ranger assures. “I’ve been looking for you for days.” Relieved, you follow him out of the forest. As you make your way out of the woods with him, he makes you an offer. “I do a Saturday morning survival skills class. I’d love to have you join us.” Your mind immediately races to the benefits. Being trained would prevent you from ever being in this situation again, but it would also allow you to help others who might need assistance as well.
“I’d love to,” you agree.
He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, (Colossians 1:13)
Just as the guide rescued you from that dark forest, Jesus rescues you from the darkness of sin. Salvation is God's rescue operation, where He delivers you from sin and transfers you to His Kingdom through faith in Jesus. This rescue is a one-time event, ensuring your eternal safety. No matter what happens after your rescue, you can never get “unrescued.” Once you believe in Jesus, you have the free gift of irrevocable eternal life.
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Matthew 28:19–20)
After the rescue, you chose to train under the guide, which is akin to discipleship. This is an ongoing process where you are trained to navigate the spiritual life and help others along the way. Discipleship involves learning, obeying, and teaching others the commands of Jesus.
It may help to imagine that your friends and loved ones are wandering in a deep dark forest, and they need help. Jesus is the ultimate survival skills trainer. Having been trained by Jesus, you can now go out and look for other lost, lonely, and wandering people and pull them out of darkness into the light.