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Saturday, February 8, 2014

How to save souls

Like many students in our nation, Tyler Doohan, a fourth grader at East Rochester Elementary School in New York, was out-of-school on Monday, January 20, due to a holiday.  Because of the time out of class, Tyler spent Sunday night with some extended family at his grandfather's trailer in Penfield, a suburb of Rochester.

Perhaps it was the smell of smoke or popping sounds caused by the fire, but Tyler awoke from sleep very early on Monday morning and saw that the trailer was on fire. This eight-year-old sprang into action awaking 6 other people – including two other children, ages 4 and 6 – enabling them to get out of the trailer safely.

Tyler's uncle, Steven Smith, and his grandfather, were still in the burning trailer, so Tyler rushed back in to help them.  His uncle was disabled and used a wheelchair because he'd
lost part of a leg.

Tyler, his uncle, and his grandfather did not make it out of the trailer.  Fire investigators found Tyler's body just a few feet from his uncle's bed.

Chris Ebmeyer, Fire Chief of the Penfield Fire Company, said the casualties would have been much worse had Tyler not reacted so quickly.  "He saved those other six people," Ebmeyer told the Democrat & Chronicle newspaper of Rochester.

The East Rochester School District sent a letter to all families saying Tyler "bravely and selflessly" gave his own life "to save the lives of six others — and he is truly a hero."

Tyler Doohan reminds us of the greatest Hero of all…

When we were doomed because of our sins and headed for the "everlasting fire" of punishment, God sent Jesus to our rescue so that we would not perish in the flames (Ephesians 1:7).  Jesus went "into the fire" and suffered the punishment for our sins.  He "endured hell" so that we
wouldn't have to.  "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree [i.e., the cross], so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed" (1 Peter 2:24).  He gave His life for us so that we might live (1 Thessalonians 5:10).

Jesus will save and give eternal life to those who accept His offer of salvation on His terms: placing their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turning from sin in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confessing Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and being baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). He will continue to cleanse those who strive to continue to walk in the light of His Word (1 John 1:7).

Jesus said, "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." – John 15:13

Tyler demonstrated that kind of love.  His actions provide a glimpse of the great love that Jesus demonstrated for ALL of mankind to offer salvation
from the greatest peril: how He bravely and selflessly gave Himself to save ALL who would come to Him in trusting obedience.

Won't YOU respond to His great love by accepting His gift of salvation and life on His terms?

David A. Sargent

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