Everybody loves stories of people being rescued from imminent danger. Such stories receive a lot of coverage and views. And why not? It’s incredible good news that we hear in a world frequented by political battles, meanness and brokenness.
It’s even more powerful and awe-inspiring when we hear survivors themselves talk about their miraculous rescue.
The words of a child salvaged after being buried under earthquake rubble for 3 days.
The face of the man pulled from a flooding river that almost swept him to his doom.
We too at Marg rejoice to hear such real-life stories. But we are even more thrilled to hear stories of people who have been rescued from ultimate soul-destruction.
First-hand accounts abound of how a personal world of darkness, absolutely invisible to rescue teams, smartphones and social media, is invaded by Jesus Christ, the Emperor of the Universe. He, the Sin-destroying Light, rescues souls from lives doomed because of personal sin.
The Bible calls this invisible, impossible soul-rescuing work, salvation..
becoming a Christian.
The following is the story of a lady from one of the Marg church families; we’ll call her Sharon.
Wait a minute? Why did “Sharon” need conversion? She is “born” Christian right? She is already “God’s child”, right?
Let’s hear it from her:
“From a young age, my grandmother taught me to respect the Bible and the God it describes. A woman rooted in Christian traditions, she also taught me popular Hindu works of mythology like the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, basics of Buddhism and Communism because she believed I needed to know my culture.
And yet the Bible made sense of this world because of it’s unique and uncompromising take on reality.
I also faintly knew the it was not just a book of moral rules. Years later, when I started visiting the Marg gathering (back then known as Kerusso) in Pune, Vivek’s Sunday-teachings from the book of Romans changed everything I thought I knew.
A divine arrangement
As I listened to his sermons, I became more and more uncomfortable with various questions Vivek raised.
Rom 8:5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.
From this verse, he brought our attention to the kind of prayers people pray.
If life was ultimately about God, then why do our prayers centre more and more around our jobs, our family and our well-being?
That was just one eye-opening spiritual punch. I realised my prayers were almost always about me. My mind was set on the things of this world- my idea of success in this life. My god had not been the living God of the Bible- it was god the flesh.
But why can’t I strive to be better at my work at my career?
Was this not what I was taught all my life?
Rom 8:6 – For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
As a name-sake Christian, both external and self-based assurances helped me believe I belonged to God. That God was with me. Whenever I realised something was wrong in my life, I would fall back on the above assumption to justify myself.
This cycle of self-justification used to go on and on. But now, the axe was at the roots. I couldn’t accept that maybe, just maybe- I was not rescued, i was never saved by God.
Vivek’s preaching was not open to interpretations of the listener. Such “interpretations” of the Bible were common in sermons I had heard in my childhood. But God was now bringing solid, convicting truth to me. And I just could not shake off what I had heard even long after I had left the church hall. God was using Vivek’s sermons to prod me to run to Christ to be rescued.
Romans 8:8 – Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Soon I began listening online to the Neglected Way of the Cross sermons by Vivek had preached in 2010. Listened to six sermons in three days. My mind was becoming ablaze with the things of God and the identity a true Christian has.
Meanwhile my boyfriend broke up with me and said many demeaning things to me. Though I wanted that relationship to work- and that was wrong- I realised that I didn’t have to justify myself before him. Justification mattered only in God’s eyes and it could be done only by the Son of God, Jesus Christ who gave himself up for me.
Rom 8:31 – What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
Who then can separate us from the love of Christ? I had thought I was a Christian.
Now I realise I never was one. No one can be a Christian without a rescue-experience from sin that Jesus does. God gave me the life of Christ; new, eternal life that I never deserved. He justifies the ungodly by His Son’s death and resurrection.”
Thus began the eternal life for Sharon!
Margfamilies.com would like to feature some more Rescue Stories in the coming weeks!
This is a call to everyone from all three Marg churches. If you want to share your salvation experience that might encourage others, please contact your leaders and pass on your Rescue-stories!
I’m merely a product of mercy,
The target and victim of Your perfect love.
– Fame, Rush of Fools