He Refused to be Rescued

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It seems bizarre that someone who was perishing would resist being rescued, and yet it happened

A 30-year old man climbed over the retaining wall and jumped into the rapids of Niagara’s Horseshoe Falls. Quickly the currents carried him towards the 173-foot drop. Even if he wanted to, there could be no turning back. The 675,000 gallons of water that plunge over the cataract every second hurled him like a toothpick over the famous falls.

Very few have ever survived such a fatal plunge, but incredibly the man resurfaced at the bottom in the fierce currents. He was conscious and clinging to a piece of driftwood. A Niagara police officer yelled for him to swim towards shore. Letting go of the driftwood he headed in the opposite direction, swimming between the chunks of ice.

A helicopter flew low over the man and extended a pole but he refused the rescue attempt and swam away. Despite the treacherous conditions of ice, high winds and waves the helicopter pilot angled the chopper blades to create a wave that would push the man towards the shore.

Rescuers were racing against the clock. After thirty minutes in the icy waters the man was weakening but remained totally uncooperative. A firefighter jumped into the river and pulled the perishing man to shore. He was rescued against his will. God sees people from every walk of life heading towards the same end. Despite the warning of Hell ahead, people swim on in the swirling current of their sins.

For some the current may be religion or pride. For others it may be drugs or sex. Everyone going to Heaven has a moment  when Christ the Saviour ‘pulled them out of the turbulent rapids’ of sin. Do you have such a moment?

Are you thinking correctly? Do you understand that your sins are deadly, and you will eventually perish if you resist or refuse God’s rescue? Are you cooperating with God or struggling to keep your distance from Him? Tragically, people push on in their chosen path, dodging God’s efforts to stop them.

Has something ever happened in your life that gave you thoughts of God or caused you to think about life after death? Don’t brush those thoughts aside. That is equivalent to swimming in the opposite direction.

Are you avoiding the welcoming and saving arms of the Lord Jesus as He invites you to come to Him for salvation? The Lord Jesus said He came “to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). He came to rescue sinners and to give them an abundant life (John 10:10). He invites perishing sinners, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

The looming precipice is not a mere 173-foot drop. Hell is ahead for sinners who refuse the Saviour. Unlike the Niagara incident, there is no possibility of being rescued once the plunge is taken. The time to be rescued from your sins is now – today. God rescues no one against his will. He speaks to you through life’s circumstances and through His Word the Bible. He urges you to trust Christ as your Rescuer. But in the end, the choice is yours.

Jesus promised that He will never cast out anyone who comes to Him (John 6:37). The Word of God promises that “Whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).

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