Rescued by the Eternal Life Guard!

Does God rescue us? When I first heard the idea years ago that God does not rescue the fool or the unrighteous, Proverbs 19:19, I became quite afraid. Who is a greater fool or more unrighteous than me?  Will God not rescue me? And what about you? Will he rescue you?
Rather than try to find assurance from the false hope that we are not a fool or not unrighteous join me in a quick study of the word “rescue” in Scripture to learn if God will in fact rescue us. The goal of this study will be to answer six questions:
1. What does our flesh want to be rescued from?
2. What does God want us to be rescued from?
3. Can we rescue ourselves?
4. Does God rescue all mankind, the righteous and the unrighteous?
5. What does God’s grace teach us about rescue?
6. Should believers rescue other men?
Genesis 37:21 (NIV), “But Reuben heard this and rescued him out of their hands and said, ‘Let us not take his life.’ ”  Reuben tried to rescue Joseph from his brothers.
1 Samuel 14:45 (NIV), “But the people said to Saul, ‘Must Jonathan die, who has brought about this great deliverance in Israel? Far from it! As the LORD lives, not one hair of his head shall fall to the ground, for he has worked with God this day.’ So the people rescued Jonathan and he did not die.” The people rescued Jonathan from his father, Saul.
1 Samuel 17:35 (NIV), “I went out after him and attacked him, and rescued it [the sheep] from his [the lion’s] mouth; and when he rose up against me, I seized him by his beard and struck him and killed him.” David rescued a sheep from a lion.
1 Samuel 30:18 (NIV), “So David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken, and rescued his two wives.” David rescued his wives from the Amalekites.
2 Samuel 22:20 (NIV), “He also brought me forth into a broad place; He rescued me, because He delighted in me.” God rescued David from trouble.
2 Samuel 22:49 (NIV), “Who also brings me out from my enemies; You even lift me above those who rise up against me; You rescue me from the violent man.”  God rescued David from his enemies.
Nehemiah 9:28 (NIV), “But as soon as they had rest, they did evil again before You; Therefore You abandoned them to the hand of their enemies, so that they ruled over them When they cried again to You, You heard from heaven, and many times You rescued them according to Your compassion,”  God rescued Israel from their enemies.
Psalm 6:4 (NIV), “Return, O LORD, rescue my soul; Save me because of your loving kindness.” God rescued David’s soul from judgment.
Psalm 18:19 (NIV), “He brought me forth also into a broad place; He rescued me, because He delighted in me.” God rescued David from trouble.
Psalm 18:48 (NIV), “He delivers me from my enemies; surely you lift me above those who rise up against me; You rescue me from the violent man.” God rescued David from his enemies.
Psalm 34:7 (NIV), “The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them.” God rescues his people from trouble.
Psalm 82:4 (NIV),Rescue the weak and needy; Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.” God rescues the weak and needy from the wicked.
Psalm 119:153 (NIV), “Look upon my affliction and rescue me, for I do not forget your law.” God rescued David from trouble.
Psalm 144:10 (NIV), “Who gives salvation to kings, who rescues David His servant from the evil sword.” God rescued David from the evil sword.
Proverbs 19:19 (NIV), “A man of great anger will bear the penalty, for if you rescue him, you will only have to do it again.” Do not rescue an angry man from the effects of his sin.
Proverbs 23:14 (NIV), “You shall strike him with the rod and rescue his soul from Sheol.” Punish your child to rescue him from God’s judgment.
Isaiah 31:5 (NIV), “Like flying birds so the LORD of hosts will protect Jerusalem He will protect and deliver it; He will pass over and rescue it.” God rescues Jerusalem from trouble.
Isaiah 46:2 (NIV), “They stooped over, they have bowed down together; They could not rescue the burden, but have themselves gone into captivity.” Man cannot rescue himself from anything.
Isaiah 49:25 (NIV), “Surely, thus says the LORD, ‘even the captives of the mighty man will be taken away, and the prey of the tyrant will be rescued; for I will contend with the one who contends with you, and I will save your sons.” God will rescue his people from tyrants.
Jeremiah 39:18 (NIV), “For I will certainly rescue you, and you will not fall by the sword; but you will have your own life as booty, because you have trusted in Me," declares the LORD.' " God will rescue his people from the sword.
Daniel 6:14 (NIV), “Then, as soon as the king heard this statement, he was deeply distressed and set his mind on delivering Daniel; and even until sunset he kept exerting himself to rescue him.” The King rescued Daniel from his own edict.
Daniel 11:41 (NIV), “He will also enter the Beautiful Land, and many countries will fall; but these will be rescued out of his hand: Edom, Moab and the foremost of the sons of Ammon.” God rescues nations from judgment.
Daniel 12:1 (NIV), "Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.” God rescues the elect from the Lake of Fire.
Hosea 2:10 (NIV), “And then I will uncover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and no one will rescue her out of My hand.” Sinful man cannot be rescued from God’s punishment!
Micah 4:10 (NIV), "Writhe and labor to give birth, Daughter of Zion, like a woman in childbirth; for now you will go out of the city, dwell in the field, and go to Babylon. There you will be rescued; There the LORD will redeem you from the hand of your enemies.” God rescued his people from Babylon.
Micah 5:8 (NIV), “The remnant of Jacob will be among the nations, among many peoples Like a lion among the beasts of the forest, like a young lion among flocks of sheep, which, if he passes through, tramples down and tears, and there is none to rescue.”   No one can rescue but God.
Matthew 27:43 (NIV), "HE TRUSTS IN GOD; LET GOD RESCUE Him now, IF HE DELIGHTS IN HIM; for He said, 'I am the Son of God.' " Man taunts Christ about rescue, even while he is rescuing us!
Luke 1:74 (NIV), “To grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear.” God rescues us from our enemies.
Acts 12:11 (NIV), “When Peter came to himself, he said, ‘Now I know for sure that the Lord has sent forth His angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.’ " God rescued Peter from Herod.
Acts 23:27 (NIV), “When this man was arrested by the Jews and was about to be slain by them, I came up to them with the troops and rescued him, having learned that he was a Roman.” Claudius rescued Paul from the Jews.
Romans 15:31 (NIV), “that I may be rescued from those who are disobedient in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may prove acceptable to the saints;” God rescued Paul from the disobedient.
Galatians 1:4 (NIV), “who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,” God rescues us from our sins and from this evil age.
Colossians 1:13 (NIV), “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,” God rescues us from the domain of darkness.
1 Thessalonians 1:10 (NIV), “and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.” Jesus rescues us from God’s wrath.
2 Thessalonians 3:2 (NIV), “and that we will be rescued from perverse and evil men; for not all have faith.” God rescues us from perverse and evil men.
2 Timothy 3:11 (NIV), “persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me!” Though Paul was eventually beheaded in Rome, God rescued Paul from losing faith despite persecutions and sufferings.
2 Timothy 4:17 (NIV), “But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that through me the proclamation might be fully accomplished, and that all the Gentiles might hear; and I was rescued out of the lion's mouth.” God rescued Paul from the lion’s mouth of many trials.
2 Timothy 4:18 (NIV), “The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” God rescued Paul from every evil deed keeping his hope on the heavenly kingdom, though he suffered many trials.
2 Peter 2:7 (NIV), “and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men.” God rescued Lot from destruction in Sodom.
2 Peter 2:9 (NIV), “then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the Day of Judgment,” God rescues godly men from temptation and judgment.
Here are some answers from the Scriptures to our questions:
1. What does our flesh want to be rescued from? 
From dying with Christ so that our selfishness and our idols may live, Galatians 5:17.
2. What does God want us to be rescued from?
From dying for our selfishness and our idols so that Christ may live in us, 2 Timothy 2:9.
3. Can we rescue ourselves?
Sinful man cannot rescue themselves from Christ’s transforming love, Hebrews 12:10.
Depraved man has no desire to be rescued to Christ-likeness, Ephesians 2:1-3.
4. Does God rescue all mankind, the righteous and the unrighteous?
God graces no one to rescue a life for selfishness or service to idols, Isaiah 30:15-16.
God graces some with belief in Christ to rescue them from judgment in Hades, Luke 16:25.
God graces some believers to escape sin and be rescued from sin’s fruit, Galatians 6:8.
God graces some believers to do good and be rescued from fruitlessness, Galatians 6:9.
God graces some believers with rescue from suffering, 1 Corinthians 11:30-31.
God graces all believers with secure salvation to rescue us from falling away, Jude 1:24.
God graces all believers with various trials to rescue us from immaturity, James 1:2-4.
God graces elect mankind with rescue from judgment in the Lake of Fire, Revelation 20:15.
God graces elect mankind with eternal Christ-likeness rescuing us from mortality, 1 Corinthians 15:51.
5. What does God’s grace teach us about rescue?
God is praised for rescuing our souls, for no one deserves his grace, Ephesians 1:11-14.
God does not enjoy our suffering, but our repentance, Isaiah 30:18, Ezekiel 18:23, Hebrews 12:11.
6. Should believers rescue other men?
Those rescued by grace are moved to serve as agents of God’s grace, 2 Corinthians 1:3-7.
Like Christ we should rescue men to salvation through the gospel, Romans 9:1-5.
Like Christ we should not rescue people to live selfishly or serve idols, Galatians 5:11-12.
Consider Job’s radical faith, "Though He slay me, I will hope in Him” (Job 13:15 NIV). Job had the hope that even if God ended his life in loss, despair, and unfortunate death that God was still his mighty rescuer to rescue him to eternal life.
For example, Jim Elliot and his comrades also decided NOT to rescue themselves from physical death by the angry natives with the guns they carried because God had already rescued their souls to eternal life while the natives did not yet know Christ. Elliot’s story is excellently portrayed in the movie, The End of Spear.
Abraham also rescued Lot even though Lot’s character was a mixed bag. Lot selfishly chose the better land when Abraham gave him the choice and Lot also chose to move into the wicked city of Sodom, though Peter writes that Lot did have a righteous soul. Abraham rescued Lot even though reasons could have been found to let him die.
Job, Elliot, and Abraham were undeserving men rescued by Christ who gladly served as agents of grace to rescue other undeserving men.
Finally, I conclude that Christ is no mere earthly lifeguard waiting to rescue our drowning bodies. Hardly! He is the eternal lifeguard acting to rescue our souls already drowned in sin. While our flesh seeks to live for selfishness and the care of our idols, Christ seeks that our selfishness would die and our idols crumble. Every move he makes in his creation is to rescue mankind to Christ-likeness for eternal life. Unending Love for his people is the foundation of his every decision. There is no vindictiveness with God. So, friend, if you think that God does not love you or has decided not to rescue you, think again. The very trial or crumbled idol you face has been ordained by God’s love... for the very rescue of your soul. It is the tender mercy of Christ that serves us the bitter cup for our salvation.
God is my and your eternal lifeguard and the mighty rescuer of our souls!