before the sun goes down

"Be of good courage, and let us behave ourselves valiantly for our people, and for the cities of our God: and let the LORD do that which is good in His sight" (I Chronicles 19:13).

Saturday, April 15, 2017

What Comes to Mind When the Titanic is Mentioned?

Yesterday 105 years ago, the Titanic struck an iceberg.

Early this morning, 105 years ago, that great ship sank beneath the dark frigid waters.
What comes to mind at the words "the Titanic"?

I believe that many people think of the ship that sank on April 15th, 1912, the tragedy that shocked the world, and perhaps they think of certain elements of the account, such as

The luxury of the ocean liner on her ill-fated maiden voyage.

The lack of sufficient lifeboats, and the lives of some 1,500 people lost because of it.

Notable people on board who made it, or didn't, such as Molly Brown and John Astor.

The honorable men, some very wealthy, who gave up their seats so that women and children could be rescued.

The ship's young cabin boys, who also yielded their seat in the lifeboats.

The story of the cowardly scoundrel, who tried to dress like a woman in order to gain a place.

Phrases that come to mind, like "Not even God could sink this ship", and "Women and children first!"

I believe also that many people think of a movie released in 1997, by the name Titanic, which is called one of the most romantic films of all time.  It was the first movie to gross over a billion.    In the United States, an estimated 128 million tickets were sold in the initial theatrical run. That is a good portion of the national population of 272.6 million at the time.  For the 100 year anniversary, they made a 3D version of it, and the gross profit swelled to over 2 billion total.

I am sure that many thousands, perhaps millions more, have seen it since then, in theatres and in their homes (I cannot include myself in that number).  It had incredible effects, an outstanding musical score, and an emotionally tugging story line.  Tragically, it featured lust and fornication in the lives of the two main characters, highlighting it as a grand and beautiful thing.  In that way, Titanic sinks in depravity, even as the Titanic sank into the depths.

So what do I think of when I hear the word Titanic? 

I think of John Harper, God's man on board that ocean liner, who went out of this world blazing forth the truth of the Gospel in that dark night, 

-who called out, "Women, children, and the unsaved into the lifeboats first!"

-who loving set his 6 year old daughter Nana in a lifeboat to ensure her protection, and 
stayed on board to preach and die.

-who declared the Gospel to the over 1,000 passengers remaining in the face of grim death.

-who in the waters, surrounded by people drowning, was heard shouting, "Believe on the 
Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved!", leading them to faith in Christ, even as they died.

-who took off his own life preserver in the waves and gave it to an unrepentant sinner, saying, "You need this more than I do."  Who later led that man to the Lord.

-whose last words were "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved."

-who is called the Last Hero of the Titanic.  (You can read more about John Harper, by going to the labels of my blog and clicking Ships, then reading the post "Of Ships and Souls".)

How does the sinking of the Titanic strike me? 

Three things come to mind, three things that I can do about it.

1. It challenges me to be a man of honor, willing, and even seeking for chances to yield my own rights and comfort for the good of others.

2. It affords a great opportunity to preach the Gospel, and to encourage fellow Christians to do the same.  Such a springboard to go from an event that everyone has heard of, and then bring out parallels to the need for and way of salvation!  It can be done in print and in person.  I have used it while standing on the deck of a cruise ship, standing on a street corner, in front of an abortion mill, in a homeless mission chapel, elementary and high school chapel services, churches, and in one-on-one conversations many times.  It is so simple and powerful.  

3. It also affords a platform to exhort for the abolition of abortion!  Just bringing out the concept of giving place to protect those more vulnerable than myself, and then challenging the hearer to do that for the 3,000+ that will be murdered TODAY.  That is hundreds more than were on the Titanic when it struck the ice.  We are to actively seek justice and equity for the weak and defenseless, not just be against their murder in our opinions.  

Abortion must be abolished.