October 2022 Viewpoint
In her 2021 Independence Day sermon, Josephine McElveen noted that U.S. Special Forces at times rescue American citizens held captive in foreign lands. She related a Seal Team 6 mission as an illustration of the divine mission of Jesus. Satan holds sinners hostage, but the Lord came to rescue and set souls free.
She was speaking from experience about Christ’s rescue mission, because Sister Josephine herself was once held captive by sin. Though brought up in a God-fearing home by moral parents, her family lacked the knowledge of real salvation. Jesus was only a historical figure to Sister Josephine, and her Christianity was superficial. Thinking she needed to be liberated from the control of her strict parents, she moved from North Carolina to Southern California for school. However, instead of finding freedom, she found bondage.
There was an emptiness in Sister Josephine’s heart that she did not understand, which caused her to begin seeking God. One day, she got a ride to downtown Los Angeles for a medical appointment. She recalls, “Between the driver and me was a big book—a Bible. As we were riding to the clinic, the man asked me if I was saved.” She responded by describing her strict upbringing that included regular church attendance. He said, “I didn’t ask you that. I asked if you are saved.” He proceeded to tell her that she did not need to be a slave to sin because Jesus had power to deliver her and set her free. The following Friday evening found her at an old-fashioned wooden altar bench where she saw herself as a sinner in need of a Savior. She didn’t know how to pray, but cried out, “Lord, save me!” She relates, “The Lord came into my heart in a way that I never knew was possible. When I walked out of that place, it was as though I walked into a brand new world.” She was rescued!
Almost immediately, Sister Josephine felt a burden for lost souls. She lived in an apartment where a dangerous gang was active. Her desire was to reach out to them. She thought, “Perhaps these young people did not have a mother or grandmother who knew about God. Maybe there was nobody to pray for them or care for their souls.” The rescued became a rescuer!
Sister Josephine’s message (read it here) speaks of Jesus’ mission to preach deliverance to captives. For us who have experienced that deliverance from sin, His mission becomes ours. We are recruits in His special forces, called to help liberate souls from Satan’s grip. Through the power in Jesus’ Blood, we can see chains of sin broken and souls set free.
Who in your life needs rescuing? There is no higher honor than to have a part in the Gospel mission. As you read the testimonies and articles in this magazine, may you be inspired anew to reach out to the lost with the message of deliverance.