Rescue? Who Me?

Click on the line and listen to Lauren Daigle – Rescue. Who needs a rescue?  Who needs a rescuer? I don’t need a rescue but I will rescue someone else! Really?
This blog is about Loving God and Loving People. We look at First Commandment love meeting Great Commission imperatives. People often look at Jesus’ kindness, provision, beauty, and how His love is manifested to us. We enjoy love from that point of view. What does Scripture tell us about our love for our Lord?  How is it we love Him at all?

Is Love What Or Who?

Jesus in crossWe love Him because He first loved us. To know love, we must examine the One Who is love. We do not love rightly. We are fallen, sinful creatures in need of recreation. We cannot be fixed. We must be transformed.  We’re told if any man is in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things are passed away and all things are new. At that point, the capacity for Godly love is present, but it’s a learning process. So, we look at Him in order to know love.

Believers first encounter Christ as Redeemer, or Rescuer. He saves us from something as well as for something. What He saves us for is First Commandment love. It is supposed to control our lives Pursuing this love gives us mission, purpose in life, and makes us more like Him. First Commandment love is helped by reflecting on Christ as Rescuer. Every redeemed person has been rescued from hell. Remembering this it may be unpleasant, may be painful, but it’s necessary if we’re to grasp the magnitude of what has been done for us.  See the Scripture list at the end of the post for further study.

Rescued From Hell!

Hell is a place of punishment. Sin must be judged. God’s holy and righteous character demands He punish sin. He threw His full judgement of sin upon Christ. Christ became cursed when He took upon Himself my sins and yours.

Hell is a place of burning. The fire burns but is not quenched neither are those present consumed by it. It is meant to paint in our minds the picture of ongoing pain and suffering. Being consumed by fire is a way to communicate to the finite human mind a pain that is surely much worse than we can imagine.
Hell is an eternal place. God’s design of Man meant Man would never cease to exist once conception occurs. God breathes into His creation a living soul. In the mother’s womb He formed us and knew us. Our being is eternal. Once redeemed, we’re remade (see above). When we see Him, we’ll be remade a final time and able to live eternally in His presence.  The unforgiven get a makeover as well. They must be fitted with a body that cannot be consumed by the flames but can endure the pain without ceasing. Hell is eternal and nothing about it is pleasant.
Hell is a place of falling; eternal falling. It is described as the bottomless pit.  Remember that sick feeling you get when falling and you know you couldn’t do anything to prevent it? Hell will be like that.
Hell is a place of separation. There is no recorded fellowship or social interaction. There is only isolation and loneliness. Modern day prisoners will attest to the difficulties of solitary confinement. Hell is like that.
Hell is a place of memory. The man in Luke 16 remembered his life and that of his brothers. Memory brings regret, regret that salvation’s offer was not accepted and regret life was not lived differently. Forever the memories will be with those who are banished to Hell. The torment of the flames and falling are compounded by the memories. They do not stop!
Luke 16 also suggests Hell is a place where the saved may be viewed. What “could have been” will be in the sight of Hell’s inhabitants. What pain that must cause.
Hell is a place of stench. It would be difficult for us to imagine the acrid odor of burning sulfur and flesh. The foul smell that permeated the countryside of Nazi Germany would not begin to compare with the stench of Hell.
Hell is a place of thirst. The rich man wanted only a drop of water on his tongue. The heat, the pain, and impossibility of relief compound the agony.
Hell is a place of darkness. Eternal falling through the flames in darkness. How is it possible for a lake of fire to be dark? JESUS called it the place of outer darkness (Matt. 8:12). It is outside the City of Light and by contrast would be dark. The presence of God is seen repeatedly in Scripture as Light. Jesus said He is the Light of the world. Hell is separation from God. Hell is a place of darkness.
Hell is a place of hopelessness. The realization will come to those in Hell that escape is not possible. Taking one’s life in order to escape will not be an option. The inhabitants cannot cease their existence. This is truly the second death.
Why this exercise? First, to deal honestly with the whole counsel of the Word of God, not just the pleasant parts. Second, as awful as Hell is, it was not intended for us . fire rescue ladder The Bible says it was prepared for the devil and his followers. Third, no one has to endure this unless they choose to. Yet, still the path is broad that leads to destruction and many are on it. Looking closely at Hell is to love Him all the more for rescuing me from sin’s destination. Only He could love one like me enough to take my punishment. Hell’s reality is a sobering reminder that the most loving thing  one may do for another is tell the truth: Calamity waits ahead, but God loves you enough to be your Rescuer!

You, have been rescued from Hell. If Jesus gave you no spiritual gifts, no part in His work on earth, no promise of His presence in this life, no home in heaven, and no eternal reward, rescue from Hell should be enough to cause eternal gratitude and love. What did Jesus say to Simon as the woman was anointing His feet?  “Who loves the most; the one forgiven little, or the one forgiven much?”  Remember and share!
Just to help, you might see the song Rescue in a little different light!   Think about it!
(Rescue download  available through this affiliate link)

Matt. 5:22, 5:29-30, 10:28, 13:42, 18:9, 23:15, 23:33, 25:30;
Mark 9:43, 9:45, 9:47-49;
Luke 12:5, 16:19-31;
James 3:6;
Rev. 19:20, 20:10, 20:14-15, 21:8.

Soli Deo Gloria!  

Keith Burnett |