September 4, 2006 • By Ed Wrather
But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh. - Jude 1:20-23.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences. - 2 Corinthians 5:10-11.
Two Boy Scouts, Christian Nanson (11-years-old) and John Fitzgerald (9-years-old) were on a camping trip at the Two Rivers State Recreation Area west of Omaha, Nebraska when they saved a girl’s life. Christian spotted something floating in the Platte River - that something turned out to be an 18-month-old girl floating face down. Apparently, the child had somehow gotten away from her mother upstream. The two boys were able to reach the girl and bring her out of the river to shore. It is amazing but the girl, Stephanie Pacheco, was still alive! After being treated for hypothermia, she was released a couple of days later. What a joyous reunion it must have been for the mother and child!
If you had been at the Platte River and seen the 18-month-old girl floating by would you have tried to save her? Of course, you would! It was a very desperate situation for the young girl and only the quick action of the two scouts saved her.
It is very obvious that an 18-month-old toddler floating by face down in a river is in danger of drowning. However, when we look at the lives of people floating on the streams of life that pass us by every day it is not as easy to see those at risk of spiritual death. Their situations are even more desperate than that of little Stephanie because if they are not rescued they will go out into eternity to suffer not just physical death but spiritual death. You, as a Christian are called to be ever vigilant and ever ready, to engage in rescue missions for those lost souls floating by.
Jesus makes it clear that there is nothing wrong with the harvest in Matthew 9:37 when He says, "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few." There are plenty of lost, desperate, doomed souls floating by you on the streams of life. There is no shortage of people that need to be rescued. They are all around you. What there is - is a shortage of rescuers. Why? Perhaps it is because we lack a reverence of, fear of, and a respect for the Lord. Do we not realize that one day at the Judgment Seat of Christ we will have to give an account for those times we have failed to reach out to those lost souls who are floating by us? The apostle Paul says, "Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men."
C. T. Studd was a missionary to China, India, and Africa. His most famous saying was, "Some wish to live within the sound of Church or Chapel bell; I want to run a Rescue Shop within a yard of hell." His life motto was not quite as well known which was, "If Jesus Christ is God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him." We need to ask ourselves the same thing. If Jesus Christ is God and died for me is there a sacrifice too great for me to make for Him? We need to launch our lifeboat and save some of those lost souls floating by us.