Rescue Workers: The Real Heroes

Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday morning, Oct. 21, 2001, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia. 


By Michael D. O’Neal                  Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church                  Albany, Georgia

Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 9:17-22

Text: 1 Corinthians 9:22

1 Corinthians 9:22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

Introduction: One of the results of the recent terrorist attacks, especially in New York City and Washington, DC. was the fact that we as a nation began to have a greater respect for rescue workers — firemen, policemen, EMTS, and the like. Many of us have been touched by the efforts of these people to try to rescue victims of the attacks upon the World Trade Center towers and upon the Pentagon.

These brave men and women went above and beyond the call of duty in tirelessly laboring through unimaginable conditions to try to find survivors of the attack.

As much as our hearts may have been touched by their sacrifice and devotion, let me say that there is something more tragic than the recent terrorist attacks, and here is what it is. Millions of people in our country are under attack each day by the devil and by sin. Multitudes will die today, without having a remedy for their sins, and will spend eternity in hell.

Someone needs to RESCUE them! Although the word, “rescue,” isn’t used often in the Bible, it is a Bible word, and the word is synonymous with the word, “save.” To SAVE someone is to RESCUE someone.

Jesus left His people with a responsibility. That task is to “rescue the perishing,” as Fanny Crosby described it in her song by that title.

We call those SPIRITUAL rescue workers “soul-winners.” The Bible says,

Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

I want to mention some characteristics of soul-winners today and try to stir each of you who are saved to get involved in this great rescue work.


Acts 20:31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

Soul-winners see that there are more important things than making money, sports, family get-togethers, television programs, and vacations.

A. The danger is real

B. The destruction is sudden

C. The degree of destruction is terrible

  • No hope after death
  • Eternal torment is the teaching of the Bible


Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

A. They are unseen by most people

B. They are unsought by most people


1 Corinthians 9:16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!

Some of the victims in the World Trade Center attack were rescue workers who were on the scene from the attack upon the first building. Others died while trying to rescue people from the carnage.

A. Real soul-winners feel that they have no choice

B. Real soul-winners forget their own comfort

  • They are willing to sacrifice their time, their money, their comfort, their feelings, even their lives.


Acts 20:31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

The rescue workers were tireless in their efforts. They searched for people long after most of us thought that the chance of finding survivors was nonexistent.

When do we quit soul-winning? When there are no people in this world without Jesus Christ.

Don’t quit because you’re tired!
Don’t quit because you’re disappointed!

A. Keep walking

B. Keep witnessing


Acts 26:28-29 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. 29 And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.

A. Some victims delay being rescued

  • They like, Agrippa, are ALMOST persuaded to get saved.

B. Some victims decline to be rescued

  • You can’t MAKE people trust Christ as Savior.


1 Corinthians 9:22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

Psalms 126:5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.

A. Someone will receive your witness!

B. Someone will run to Jesus!

C. Someone will rejoice because you brought them the gospel!



Daniel 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

A. They get limited recognition here

B. They will get lasting recognition in eternity

  • “as the stars for ever and ever”

Will you join us?

Gospel Light Baptist Church Exists Solely to Exalt the Savior as we Evangelize the Sinner and Edify the Saint.

Become a part of this church, a spiritual rescue operation!

Rescue the Perishing
Text by Fanny J. Crosby 1820-19151. Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave;
Wweep o’er the erring one, lift up the fallen,
tell them of jesus, the mighty to save.


Rescue the perishing, care for the dying;
Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save.

2. Though they are slighting Him, still He is waiting,
Waiting the penitent child to receive;
Plead with them earnestly, plead with them gently;
he will forgive if they only believe.


3. Down in the human heart, crushed by the tempter,
Feelings lie buried that grace can restore;
Touched by a loving heart, wakened by kindness,
Chords that were broken will vibrate once more.


4. Rescue the perishing, duty demands it;
Strength for thy labor the Lord will provide;
Back to the narrow way patiently win them;
Tell the poor wanderer a Savior has died.


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