Wednesday, February 21, 2018
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I was in downtown Oklahoma City, and I had the privilege to visit the scene of the Oklahoma City bombing back in April of 1995. I don't think any of us who were alive at that time will ever forget the images of the day that that Federal Office Building was destroyed by a terrorist bomb. The images of that devastated building and of the frantic rescue efforts there, a baby in a fireman's arms. It was a day of heart-wrenching tragedy and it was a day of incredible heroism. Literally, an entire city dropped everything to respond in whatever way they could to this life-or-death situation. The job was clear that day: rescue the dying whatever it takes.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Focusing On the Rescue."
When Jesus came, the job was clear: rescue the dying whatever it takes. Our word for today from the Word of God is in Luke 19:10, "The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost." God's Son came here to aggressively pursue and rescue lost people like those rescuers going into the wreckage of that building. The "save" word here isn't just a theological concept-it's a rescue word as in what those rescuers did in Oklahoma City or at Ground Zero. If they didn't get to the people trapped in that building and save them, they would die.
Then Jesus says to us in John 20:21, "As the Father has sent Me, I'm sending you." Our job is clear-to rescue the dying people around us whatever it takes. Paul makes our responsibility very clear when he says in 2 Corinthians 5:20, "We are Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you..." Notice the passion here, the urgency "We implore you on Christ's behalf. Be reconciled to God."
See, that's why you are where you are-in your school, in that neighborhood, that organization you're in, your workplace. Jesus put you there to be His personal representative to that group of people. It's a divine assignment. So, how are you doing? He's put you there to, well as they say in kindergarten, "show and tell" them about Jesus. You need to show them what Jesus is like by your attitude and your actions and your treatment of them. But you can't just show-you have to tell.
Look, they're never going to guess that Jesus died on the cross to pay for their sins just because you're a nice person. You have to tell them. And it really is a life-or-death assignment. See, sin carries an eternal death penalty which can only be canceled one way-by a person putting their total trust in the One who paid that penalty for them - in Jesus. Jesus took their hell so they don't have to, but chances are they don't know that. It's up to you to lovingly deliver that life-saving message. Your job is clear, rescue the dying whatever it takes. It's easy to forget that most important mission of all.
But they didn't forget that mission that day in Oklahoma City, or that awful day in Ground Zero in New York City, because they knew the lives of dying people were at stake. They dropped everything. And I think that's what we've forgotten-that the people in hell will look just like the people we work with, we go to school with, we live near. They don't look like they're spiritually dying, but the sentence for sin is very clear.
You have to ask Jesus to give you His broken heart for those people; His eyes to see what He sees when He looks at the people around you. Would you dare to pray this prayer? "Go ahead, God, and break my heart for the lost people in my personal world."
Churches forget what our life-or-death mission is and all of us rescuers tend to forget it. We do what's easy-just talk to the people who are already safe. But when you realize that people's lives, people's eternities are in the balance, you put everything else on hold to save them.
The job is clear, rescue the dying whatever it takes.