“And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.” — Jude 22-23
This morning, everyone is thinking about what took place 8 years ago when the World Trade Center buildings were destroyed by terrorists. One blogger recieved a heart-wrenching response from a fireman who was at the scene. He wrote, “Please forgive me. I wish I could have done more.”
When I heard what the fireman had written, my heart was crushed. What a selfless expression of compassion and concern. In that moment I believe my heart was confronted and challenged by the precious Holy Spirit. His question to me was, “Will you be my fireman?” Jude 22-23 was His answer to my heart.
I am to show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. There are many in our day who are growing weak in their walk and in their stand for Christ. The work of the Enemy has intensified and many who profess to know Christ are withering under the attacks. So much holy ground is being surrendered and is becoming “hellish ground.” Lord, I will “strengthen the hands that hang down” and show them Your love and compassion…Your mercy.
I will not compromise with sin. That is not showing mercy. I will love those who find themselves in the mire and lift them out. I must lead them to the solid rock so that their feet will be established. Then, “He will give them a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what He has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.” (Psalm 40:3)
I am to rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. This is my adventure, my risk and my call. This means I must be willing to get my hands “dirty.” Just like the fireman, I cannot stay in the confines of the fire station and fulfill my purpose. I must get out there where the fire is destroying lives. I must risk my well-being.
I must not discriminate or be selective about who I help. If anyone is in danger of judgment; anyone is in danger of going down to the pit, they must be rescued! I am not called to rescue those who are “present”–those who come to my church; but I am called to rescue the “perishing”–those who are out there in their sins.
I am not to deal gently with those who are in the flames but instead to deliver their souls with all force necessary. I must not be a “mamby-pamby, sissyfied” witness. I must be bold, reckless, thundering and determined. I must be a man of courage–a God-called man.
Others, I must rescue using great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives. I simply cannot love sin and be of help to others that are perishing in theirs. I must hate sin with all my heart by loving Jesus with all my heart. I must despise what sin does to the human heart, soul and life. I must fear its consequences in my life before I can be broken-hearted over its effects in the lives of others.
I must be passionate about my own personal holiness. I must be vigilant about the church’s corporate holiness. I must be jealous for the testimony of God’s holiness. I must not flinch in hesitation when His name is blasphemed, but stand in His strength and power to oppose such foolishness.
I want to be God’s fireman. Will you join me? The time is short and judgment is coming. This is not a time for rest, but rescue!