Coming to the Rescue

Luke 19.10

Whenever tragedy strikes, rescuers rapidly respond to save lives and prevent further danger. In any emergency—whether from natural disaster, accidental situations, or violent outbreaks—immediate help is needed. And we can be grateful for those who jump in without any hesitancy to come to the aid of the victims caught in their struggle to survive.

Lately, as we witness the shocking news of mass shootings in public gatherings, we think of those who come to the rescue to save others caught in harm’s way. In fascination, we watch first responders—police officers, firefighters, paramedics, medical technicians, and the like—bravely moving toward the chaos at hand. We commend them for fulfilling their duty, taking quick action in spite of endangering their own lives in the process.

We are also moved when others nearby come to the rescue. Take, for example, the most recent massacres in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. The mass shootings shook our nation as we first learned of a shooter that went into a Walmart in El Paso, opening fire into a huge crowd of shoppers on Saturday, August 3. In the wake of this evil act, 22 were killed and dozens more wounded. Then, during the early morning hours on Sunday,  August 4, a shooter entered Dayton’s downtown Oregon District—a collection of bars, restaurants and local businesses—killing 9 persons and injuring 27.

With all the news since then, we read of heroism in both scenes. This includes those who dove into the fray, some even acting as human shields, to save innocent lives. These were compassionate individuals who not only came to the rescue of loved ones but persons who were complete strangers.

An on-line article in the Dayton Daily News this week (8/8/19) fitly illustrates how good people are willing to help others in distress. In their article titled, “Many people rushed to help Dayton shooting victims,” Chris Stewart and Kaitlyn Shroeder give an intriguing report on their findings…

  • A critical care nurse fleeing from the scene, at first, stops and observes all the rows of wounded bodies on the sidewalk and starts to administered CPR on the ones who were will still alive.
  • A woman and her fiancé attempted to help the shooter’s sister who was among the critically wounded as the woman applied chest compressions she’d learned in a CPR course. All the while she kept praying for the victim to try to keep her alive. Sadly, however, the shooter’s sister died later.
  • A woman and her friend came running to the wounded and dying as soon as they heard shots being fired and found a man bleeding from a gunshot. She used her hands to try and stop the bleeding but he couldn’t be saved.
  • Many on the scene were said to hold up flashlights so people could apply first aid. Some supplied tourniquets and others provided comfort.
  • It was reported that 21 medic units were also tending to the wounded while police were busy chasing down the shooter.

After the shooting occurred, reports say it only took police about 30 seconds to bring down the gunman. Many believe that police officers probably saved dozens of other people from getting shot or killed had they not taken immediate action. They and all others who came to the rescue are commended for their acts of courage and compassion.

If someone has ever come to your rescue, whatever the situation, you can truly appreciate their efforts, concerns, and sacrifice for your care and safety. In fact, we can all be glad there are those who are even willing to take a risk at their own expense to come to our aid in time of need.

If we put this experience in a spiritual perspective, we can be even more thankful. For there’s another kind of situation we all find ourselves in as believers. And that’s the need to be rescued from the curse of sin.

You could say that God’s Son, Jesus Christ, is the First Responder to our need to be saved from the sin into which we’re born. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 6:23|). Christ came to rescue us when he died for us (Romans 5:6) so that we can be saved from the penalty of sin—the second death (Revelation 20:15; 21:8). For all sin requires that the penalty of death be paid.

Jesus died on the cross and took our sins upon him, enabling us to be forgiven of our sins (1 Corinthains 15:3; Galatians 3:13-14; Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 2:9; 1 John 4:10).

When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior through faith, repentance, and baptism, we enter a newness of life in him (Romans 6:1-11). We pursue God’s holiness, love, and truth as we’re filled with his Power. And our hope and faith is built upon the promise that Jesus will come again to establish God’s perfect Kingdom upon the earth (Hebrews 9:28; Titus 2:11-14).

The Good News for us is that Jesus will come again to rescue all his people from the curse of sin and death when he sets up God’s everlasting Kingdom (Daniel 7:13-14; Luke 1:32-33; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; Revelation 19:16). In several verses in Revelation, Jesus says, “I come quickly,” (3:11; 22:7, 12, 20). In other words, when he comes to rescue us, he will come “swiftly” according to his perfect timing.

The wicked, however, will not be saved as they will be raised, judged, and cast into the lake of fire (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 2 Peter 2:1-9; Revelation 20:11-15; 21:8). God will put a final end to the evil that prevails in this present age. There will be no more curse of sin and death (Revelation 22:3).

One of the wonderful blessings of being a Christian is not only that Christ rescues and saves us, but that we can save others from the judgement fire and eternal death. Jude 20-23 says, “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith; praying in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh,” (New American Standard Bible, NASB).

When we influence others through our Christian witness and they accept Christ, too, then we can rejoice knowing that we’ve been able to play a role in their salvation. That is one of the most satisfying feelings—coming to the rescue of others even as Christ has rescued us!

Good News to YOU!
Pastor Michael

P.S. Here’s Christian singing artist, Lauren Daigle presenting, “Rescue”:

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2 Responses to Coming to the Rescue

  1. Gerry Cook says:

    Thank you for sharing this with us. It certainly causes one to think and to be grateful.

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