Which Ship Are You On?
What you are about to read and discover is the eternal significance behind the tragedy known as the Titanic, significance you will never discover in a mere movie! Are you aware of the fact that as you read this message you are aboard one of two ships? More precisely, you are aboard either the Ark or the Titanic! You see the Ark is an ancient picture of salvation from the coming wrath of God while the Titanic provides us with an awesome picture of arrogance and sudden judgement for those who are under the wrath of God. From a strictly spiritual perspective there are in reality only two ships you can be on and the ship you choose will determine your voyage and your fate.
The Ark and the Titanic are the two most famous ships of all time. The Ark was approximately a football field and a half long (450 feet) and could hold the equivalency of 520 boxcars and was thus the largest ship ever built until the late 19th century. The Titanic was also the largest ship of its time but that's about as far as the parallels go. From here on out the two most famous of ships of all time provide a most intriguing study in contrast.
God's word instructs us that there are valuable lessons to be learned from the voyage of ships at sea, and wow - do the Ark and the Titanic ever pack a powerful series of lessons for us. (Psalm 107:22-31) The study in contrast begins with their inception. God Himself (Genesis 6-8) designed the Ark. In contrast Whitestar refused to even christen their ships, as was the custom of most other shipbuilders of the time. When all was said and done the Ark rest safely atop mount Ararat, the Titanic in contrast lay in its grave yard at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean!
If there was ever a lesson on judgement, man's pride, arrogance and self-sufficiency, it was the Titanic. The tragedy known as the Titanic is filled with bizarre irony to say the least! It is noteworthy, that the name Titanic comes from the Greek mythological creatures known as the Titans. Thus Titanic speaks etymologically of being of the Titans. Ironically, this would prove to be a fitting name as the Titans were said to have been damned to the lowest hell even as the Titanic would be doomed to the bottom of the Atlantic. The Dictionary, God's and Mortal in Classical Mythology describes the fate of the Titans:
He [Zeus] then threw his Titan enemies down into Tartarus, in the nethermost depths of the underworld, as far beneath Hades as the sky was above the earth. In this place of eternal gloom the Titans were everlastingly imprisoned behind bronze doors, with the three Hundred-Armed giants as their jailers. (Michael Grant & John Hazel, Gods and Mortals in Classical Mythology, Dorset Press, New York, 1979, p. 342)
There is something ominous about the tragedy known as the Titanic that strikes deep within the core of man's being, lessons such as brash arrogance being met with swift judgement. Perhaps this is why the movie Titanic has become the most successful movie of all time, described as the biggest money-maker in movie history. It is the first film to gross over a billion dollars worldwide. The Titanic was the largest and most luxurious ship of its day. Representing man's technological wizardry and the greatest his wealth had to offer, but man was to learn a radical lesson.
You see, on April 15th, 1912, the RMS Titanic set out on her maiden voyage from South Hampton England to New York City. She, as you are well aware, ended up crashing into an iceberg receiving a fatal blow below the waterline. Water rushed into her supposedly unsinkable hull, flooding several watertight compartments. The bow was finally submerged, resulting in over 1,500 people screaming and crying in the water, dying from drowning and hypothermia. The tail stood upright, perpendicular with the dark sky. Incredibly the Titanic ended up darting more like a submarine than a ship to its graveyard at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.
James Cameron, the director of the blockbuster film, Titanic, said, It was the biggest ship in history, filled with the celebrities of that time. James Cameron goes on to say, It would be like if you took a jumbo jet filled with half the stars in Hollywood and crashed it into the Washington Monument. Incredibly, the Titanic was carrying over 2,200 passengers -- 1,522 were killed and 712 were rescued. The rich and affluent that set out for her maiden voyage, were so plentiful that the voyage was billed The Millionaire Special. The combined wealth of those on board was estimated to be $500 million. Five hundred million dollars in 1912 is an even far greater amount today. One commentator, in attempting to put it in perspective, stated, It would be like having Ross Perot, Bill Gates, Steven Forbes, Stephen Spielberg and Donald Trump aboard a single cruise ship today. Add to that actors and actresses like Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Demi Moore, etc., and you get the idea.
PRIDE PRECEDES DESTRUCTION
What possessed the Captain and crew of the Titanic to jet the massive ship at a dangerously high speed of 20.5 knots in the dark of midnight through a minefield of icebergs? The answer was sheer arrogance in man's power and technology. The Titanic represented man's futile attempt to become invincible over the forces of nature. The Titanic was thought by many to be utterly invincible, indestructible and therefore unsinkable. Prior to the sinking of the Titanic, the Associated Press said, All that wealth and modern workmanship could produce is embodied in the Titanic. This led to great human pride, and, as God's word clearly warns, pride goes before destruction. (Proverbs 16:18) The Shipbuilder Magazine described the Titanic before its maiden voyage as practically unsinkable. Yet in only 100 hours at sea, on her first voyage, she would go down for the count never to rise again. Just months before its first and last voyage on May 31st, 1911, a man at Whitestar Shipbuilding, which built the Titanic, foolishly boasted, Not even God himself could sink this ship. Ironically, it didn't even take a head-on collision to wipe out the ship, all it took was a mere scrape on its side and down she went. The lookout aboard the Titanic was Frederick Fleet. Fleet who first saw the iceberg 500 yards away, but too late referred to it as a narrow scrape. One of the most tragic things about the destruction of the Titanic and the incredible loss of life was that it was not inevitable but the result of unheeded warnings. You see, there were at least 6 different warnings radioed into the Titanic. Warnings that went brazenly unheeded.
The ship known as the Californian warned the Captain and crew repeatedly. The Californian warned the Captain that there were massive icebergs in their path, exclaiming dangerous waters ahead and that they had better change their course, or else! The radio operator, John Phillips, along with Harold Brice received the warnings and passed them on to Captain Smith and other officers who arrogantly ignored them.
The last warning that was given before the fateful collision was given from a ship up ahead of the Titanic, I say old man, we are surrounded by ice.
Do you know what the response was that was given? Tragically, Phillips in response to the 6th and final warning said, shut-up - shut-up, shut-up, we're busy! as they headed at an incredible deadly speed into an iceberg and committed what could be called shipicide. The lessons we can learn from the voyage of the Titanic are stunning. Even so, millions today are aboard the spiritual Titanic refusing to hear God's warnings and are on the verge of spiritual suicide.
Now I told you. You are on one of two ships, the Ark or the Titanic. One represents eternal life and salvation, the other destruction and damnation. What John Phillips told the Californian is what many people are telling God today. God is warning them to turn and change their course, to repent of their sin - they are headed toward destruction. Yet like those aboard the Titanic, they have believed the lie that they are invincible, indestructible and unsinkable. So God says, dangerous waters ahead, change your course, turn to Jesus, and they say, shut-up, shut-up, I'm busy. They ignore God's warnings and speed headlong in the dark, and like the Titanic which sped toward the iceberg, they speed toward definite judgement and damnation.
This, my friend, is what it means to be aboard the Titanic. To refuse to repent of your sin and turn to Jesus Christ. To refuse to heed God's warnings and speed through life saying, shut up to God I'm busy. (Mathew 22:1-14)
LESSONS IN FUTILITY
One of the most intriguing and astonishing things I have discovered in my studies on the Titanic is a little novel that was written 14 years before the Titanic sunk into oblivion. Incredibly, this novel has proven to be somewhat prophetic, as it described the destruction of a supposedly indestructible ocean liner in ways that parallel the destruction of the Titanic. So amazing are the parallels that the novel is a bit eerie and uncanny.
The book was fittingly called Futility and was written by Morgan Robertson. Robertson's book was about a large ship, like the Titanic, which had, like the Titanic, a capacity of 3,000. The ship in Futility though it had a capacity of 3,000 it sailed with a little over 2,000 just like the Titanic on it's fateful voyage. Both ships were between 800-900 feet long. Triple propellers drove both ships. Both were British ships. Both ships had a top speed of between 24-25 knots. Both sailed in April.
Now here are the clinchers. The ship in Futility was named the Titan, It was destroyed and sunk after hitting an iceberg. Like the Titanic, the Titan did not have enough lifeboats to save the passengers. Pretty amazing!
The tragedy is that while the novel Futility was sad but fiction, the Titanic was much sadder as it was stark reality. What I find most intriguing about this is that there is another collision about to take place. A collision that will be so massive that it will make the tragedy of the Titanic seem miniscule by way of comparison. A collision pertaining to a much larger ship, a collision that concerns all of us. I am talking about the collision of the Spaceship Planet Earth.
The incredible thing is that just as the Titanic was foretold in some uncanny way in the book Futility, the destruction of Spaceship Planet Earth, as some like to refer to it, has also been foretold in another book. This book, of course, is the Bible. This book was not written by Morgan Robertson, but by God. And the collision is not going to be with a mere iceberg, but with God Himself.
The Bible records history in advance. While the book Futility described interesting coincidences, the Bible is 100% accurate and goes into incredible detail about the coming ultra Titanic catastrophic collision, as well as the means to survive the coming crash. This brings us to the other famous ship we are to discuss, Noah's Ark.
NOAH'S ARK AND THE GREAT FLOOD
Geological evidence is replete with incredible evidence of a worldwide flood. Marine life has been fossilized on the highest mountain peaks. Even the massive Mt. Everest is composed of fossil bearing, water deposited layers. Scientists agree that evidence of mass extinction took place in 95% of marine life, along with the majority of land dwelling vertebrates. Coral reefs and forests were destroyed. They have found massive dinosaur graveyards. Bones found conglomerated together in caves, as they were swept away.
Apart from the account recorded in the Bible, the history of the flood is verified by diverse cultures, whose people recorded a flood mirroring the biblical account. Accounts appear among the Greeks, Babylonians, and other ancient civilizations and sometimes include an account of those surviving by ship.
At this present time 70% of the earth is covered by water. If this water could be brought to an average water level and smoothed out over the face of the Earth it would cover the earth approximately 2 miles deep. In Psalm 104 we see that after the universal flood God caused the water to dissipate and recede by raising the mountains higher and sinking the valleys lower. God arranged the earth's topography to create deep ocean basins to displace the water.
NOAH'S ARK: A PROPHETIC PICTURE
God's judgement upon the human race, which had become increasingly wicked in the days of Noah, is merely a prophetic picture of God's judgement to come upon the Earth again, this time though it will not be by water but by fire. In Matthew 24:37, Jesus forewarned, For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. Here we have a powerful warning that Christ's Second Coming will be like it was before the flood came in the days of Noah. It is absolutely incredible as to how specifically the day we live in line up with the days of Noah prior to the flood.
In Noah's day there was a population explosion. Genesis 6:1 says, Men began to increase in number on the earth before the flood. Did you know it wasn't until after thousands of years that men finally reached the 1 billion mark in 1867. But since then, in just over 130 years, the population has exploded to over 6 billion people.
Genesis 6:4 tells us that in Noah's day there were deviant and abnormal sexual practices. Today, like never before in history, man is glorifying deviant unnatural sexual behavior. Over 260 major kiddy porn magazines exploit over 300,000 children annually. Sickening folks! The President of the United States lies continually regarding his adultery with Jennifer Flowers and Monika Lewinsky and his approval ratings soar. We are in big trouble folks! Also, transexuality, transvestitism, homosexuality, bisexuality, adultery and fornication are all glorified in Hollywood - the world is ripe for yet another catastrophic judgement like the flood.
Also in Noah's day, according to Genesis 6:5, man's imagination was evil continually. Sadly, through the Internet and other forms media like MTV, not to mention dozens of other channels, men have their imaginations saturated with evil in ways that were not possible prior to the flood.
Furthermore, according to Genesis 6:11 the earth was corrupt in God's sight and full of violence. You can't read the newspaper without reading about mass corruption and violence in our world. I read a study done by Fullerton Police Department - top problems in schools in the 1940's which was contrasted with the top problems in schools in our day: 1940's - running in halls, tardiness, spit-wads and chewing gum in class
Today - rape, murder, drugs and assault with a deadly weapon, etc.
Violence has increased! Jesus taught that lawlessness would increase like the birth pains of a women in labor prior to His return. (Mathew 24:4-12) The apostle Paul warned that people would proceed from bad to worse. (2Timothy 3:13)
In Matthew 24:38-42, Jesus taught that even as people were going on with their lives oblivious to the fact that the flood was coming and unprepared so it will be just prior to His return. Just like those aboard the Titanic, people were living it up until it was to late and the flood swept them away.
For as in those days which were before the flood they were eating and drinking, they were marrying and given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the Ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so shall the coming of the Son of Man be. Then there shall be two men in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and one will be left. Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. (Matthew 24:38-42)
If you are on the Titanic refusing to change your course and turn to Jesus, you are doomed. You need to abandon ship and get on the Ark. It is the only way you will be saved.
2Peter 2:5 tells us that God did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others… (NIV). You see, for the very same reasons that many would not abandon the Titanic for the lifeboats, for the very same reasons the Titanic would not change its course, for those very reasons people would not get on the Ark and be spared the coming flood of judgement. They were having so much fun partying, they refused to believe that judgement was coming. They were in for a shock.
On the Titanic, they were saying, What iceberg? I don't see an iceberg. If one is on our path, we'll be okay, we're invincible, indestructible and unsinkable. In Noah's day, they were saying, What flood? I don't see a flood -- old Noah is all wet.
Like Jesus, the Apostle Peter warned severely about the pervasiveness of such an attitude just prior to the second coming of Christ.
2Peter 3:3- 4 - First of all you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, 'where is this coming he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.'
You see, they have been deceived by the lie of uniformitarianism. They have been led to believe they don't need to change course and repent of their sins because they have been deceived by the lie that everything stays at a normal ebb and flow and that God does not intervene in the time space continuum. But Peter, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, destroys their frivolous argument by reminding them of the fact of catastrophism, and by reminding them that this is God's universe and He has intervened before and will do so again. Peter uses the flood as an incredible case in point. He writes,
But they deliberately forget says Peter that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgement and destruction of ungodly men. (2Peter 3:5-7, NIV)
Peter goes on to say,
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of heavens by fire and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with His promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of the righteousness. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with Him. (2Peter 3:10-14)
Make sure you're right with God, judgement is coming once again! Are you at peace with God? Have your sins been washed away by the blood of Christ? Will you be found spotless and blameless? Have you changed your course, or are you on the Titanic like the proverbial ostrich with your head buried in the sand ignoring the warnings of certain judgement? Are you like so many before the flood, refusing to get in the Ark and be saved to your own eternal regret?
Which ship are you on? Are you on the Ark or the Titanic? If you are not on the Ark, God's word guarantees you are headed toward damnation.
A MONUMENTAL COLLISION
You are on a collision coarse, not with a rock of ice, but with the rock of ages, Jesus Christ! The Bible describes His coming as a massive stone that will smash into dust those who refuse to repent. (Daniel 2:44-45) Incredibly, the wrath of God that will collide with Spaceship Earth at the end of the age will mirror somewhat the icy death that was experienced by those on the Titanic. In fact, Armageddon will include a furious hailstorm from God of meteorites or asteroids. Revelation 9:21 says that those who encounter various plagues will refuse to, repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts. They refuse to change their course and as a result collide with the iceberg. Revelation 16:21a says, people will be wiped out by huge hailstones, about 100 pounds each… which will come down from heaven upon men. Ouch! (see also Revelation 11:15-19, 6:12-17, 16:17-21, Matthew 24:29-31). If you're not concerned about 100-pound hailstones from heaven Revelation 8:8-11 describes what sounds like a massive asteroid or comet smashing our planet the size of a large mountain: The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, an a third of the ships were destroyed. The iceberg the Titanic collided with was nothing compared to what's coming.
The Greek word translated stars in the book of Revelation is asteres. It is from this word that we get our English word asteroid. Right now more than ever, the world is aware of the threat from asteroids, comets and meteorites. NASA is currently tracking them and planning on attempting to possibly blow them out of the sky before they strike the Earth. Again, this is yet another vain example of man relying on his futile technology to escape the judgement of God. There is no escape - get off of the Titanic and get into the Ark, the only true safe haven from the coming wrath of God.!
So we see the Titanic is an incredible picture of how so many in the world refuse to heed God's warnings and be saved and are headed toward destruction. Yet thankfully the Ark is a picture of salvation from the coming storm of God's wrath for those who turn to Christ and are saved.
Peter not only tells us that the flood was a picture of the coming destruction, but that the Ark is a picture of salvation in Christ.
THE ARK AS A PROPHETIC PICTURE OF CHRIST
1Peter 3:18 Peter tells us the Ark speaks of Salvation found in Christ. The Ark is a picture of Christ death burial and resurrection and is related to baptism in the truth it conveys:
For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also - not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God's right hand - with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.
You see the flood for the lost symbolized coming destruction, but for the saved it symbolizes baptism, and baptism symbolizes the salvation experience. Even as the Ark was submerged beneath the water of God's wrath and rose again so Christ was crucified and buried and rose to life on our behalf. Both Noah and the Ark are a picture of Christ and our identification in Him for salvation. Follow this carefully. God is so incredible in so many ways and here again we see Him in His majesty shine through in His plan concerning salvation.
NOAH A PICTURE OF JESUS
Noah literally means comfort. In the Ark he was submerged in water, yet protected and coming up again and again after the relentless water continued to bury it. It is no coincidence that Noah's name means comfort and that God used a dove to land upon him after coming up out of the water. At Jesus' baptism, He came up out of the water and what fell upon Him? The Holy Spirit like a dove. Noah and the Ark are an incredible picture of Jesus and salvation. You need to come to Jesus like those who followed Noah into the Ark. You need to accept Christ death for your sins, his burial and his resurrection.
You see, even as the Ark was submerged in water and was a picture of death, so Christ baptism was a picture of His death, burial and resurrection for our sins. Those who were in the Ark identified with His death for their sin as we read in 1Peter. They escaped death because they identified with the Ark. So also we who are in Christ accept His death on our behalf and pass through the wrath of God through Him!
Romans 6:3-4 the Apostle Paul teaches us:
Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Chgrist Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the father, so we to might walk in newness of life.
A PICTURE OF CHRIST DEATH & RESSURECTIION
Incredibly, the Ark was constructed with gopher wood. Gopher wood, which was used to construct the ark, was also used for caskets. The Ark was shaped like a coffin. The etymology of the Hebrew word for Ark is related to an Egyptian word for coffin. Pitch covered the Ark inside and out so that it would be protected when it would at times be submerged under water. The Hebrew word translated pitch is translated over 70 times elsewhere throughout scripture and in every usage it is translated atonement. Atonement is a word that is used throughout scripture, which speaks typologically of Christ atonement for our sins on the cross. The Ark speaks of Christ death, burial and resurrection. You see, all the world deserved to die, even Noah - through being submerged in the Ark, emerged alive.
Even as the Ark was prepared before the flood, Salvation in Christ was God's plan of redemption before the world began. (Ephesians 1, 2 Timothy 1:9, 1 Peter 1:18-20, Acts 2:23-24) Trees were cut down to provide salvation through the Ark. A tree was cut down so Christ could die for our sins on the cross.
The Ark was provided so one could hide from the storm of God's wrath. Jesus, the Ark of salvation, is the place to hide from the coming wrath. Colossians 3:3 says, …your life is hid with Christ in God. Unlike the Titanic, the Ark of our salvation is unsinkable. In Matthew 16:18 Jesus said: …on this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. 1Peter 1:15 states that we are; …kept by the power of God through faith.
There was only one door to enter into the Ark and be saved. There was not one door for Noah and his family to enter and yet another for the zebras, another for the orangutans, another for the giraffes, etc. There was but one door, one way!!! The Titanic had many doors. Jesus said he alone is the door.
John 10:7-11 -- I am the door, if anyone enters through me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal, and kill and destroy; I come that they may have life, and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
Like the one and only door on the Ark, Jesus is the one and only way to salvation.
He said, I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through me. (John 14:6, NASB)
Acts 4:12 -- And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved. (NASB)
1Timothy 2:5 -- For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. (NASB)
Genesis 7:1a -- Then the Lord said to Noah, enter the ark, you and all your household so they could be saved.
Act 16:31 states: Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved, you and your household.
God said, come into the Ark. Jesus said, come unto me you that are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. Genesis says God Himself shut the door behind Noah; And the Lord closed it [the door] behind him. (Genesis 7:16b) Ephesians 1:13 says that Christians have been sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,
God supplied plenty of food and water in the Ark - Christ satisfies the thirsty hungry soul.
A PRECISE PICTURE OF THE RESSURECTION
The clincher, lest there be any doubt in your mind. Genesis 8:4 tells us that the Ark rested on Mount Ararat on the 17th day of the 7th month. In Exodus 12:1-5 , we see that on the Jewish calendar the 7th month changed to correspond with the first month. Incredibly - Christ died on Passover, the 7th month, the 14th day. He rose from the dead 3 days and 3 nights later on the 17th day of the 7th month. Christ rose from the dead on the same date the Ark rested on mount Ararat as a fulfillment of the picture of salvation that God gave us in the Ark. God and His plan in salvation in incredible to say the least!
The scriptures say God waited patiently in the days of Noah - 120 years.
Noah was a preacher of righteousness, the world around him refused to listen and perished.
What is keeping you from coming aboard the Ark of salvation? Sexual sin, violence, materialism, wickedness?
THE EXCUSES OF THE DAMNED
What is keeping you on the Titanic of destruction? Perhaps some of the same things that kept some on the Titanic.
One man said, I will take my chances and stay on the ship. You have no chance - you have about the same chance as a snowball in the depths of hell!
What would possibly possess you and keep you on the Titanic and off of the Ark?
Perhaps like Captain Smith you are saying, LATER. What possessed Captain E. J. Smith, who was called the Millionaire's Captain, to run roughshod through a minefield of icebergs?
Captain E. J. Smith was considering retiring after one last voyage -- the maiden voyage of the Titanic, but unbeknown to him, it would be his last cruise. There are conflicting stories about how he reached his demise, but one witness stated that he saw him pull a pistol out and shoot himself in the head. Whatever the case, don't follow that example.
Perhaps you are saying, One last cruise, one last fling, then I will get right with Jesus.
The Bible says in Hebrews 3, Today is the day of salvation and, Now is the acceptable day of salvation.
God's word declares that, your life is like a vapor, which appears for a little while and is gone. who knows where you will be tomorrow? (James 4:14-15) and that it is appointed for man once to die and then to face judgement. (Hebrews 9:27)
When the Titanic hit the iceberg, Thomas Andrews, who had built the ship, was on board and realized it was sinking. Passengers were immediately told to report on deck and board lifeboats, but few people heeded the early warnings. Many of the lifeboats were designed to carry 60 people, but few boarded them at first and they left with 10 to 15 passengers.
Just like today, people ignore the coming judgement because they want to keep partying and refuse to get off the Titanic and come to the Ark and experience salvation.
You see, many did not think it was all that serious, they stayed on the ship drinking, dancing and gambling the night away. Some even began to play with the ice from the iceberg they had just plunged into, making snowballs, laughing and having fun.
Some poke fun at the judgement of God until it is to late and His judgement grips them and their laughter turns into weeping and gnashing of teeth.
A PARTY SPIRIT AT THE PRICE OF A SOUL
Or perhaps you are like the millionaire playboy Benjamin Guggenheim who was said to be drinking brandy and smoking cigars as the ship sank. How many of you are keeping yourselves upon the Titanic of destruction and refusing to come to the Ark of salvation because you want to keep partying, keep drinking, keep doing drugs and finally it will be too late?
Jesus warned about a man who said to himself, You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry. But God said to him, You fool! This very night your soul will be demanded from you. Then you will get what you have prepared for yourself? (Luke 12:19-20)
Today, like this man who said eat, drink and be merry and lost his soul, many are saying sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, party on and refuse to repent - judgement is certain.
Some witnesses said that while the ship was sinking, the band continued to play waltzes and rags until the end.
In 1995 Americans spent $57.3 billion on illegal drugs. $38 billion of that went for cocaine. That same $57.3 billion could have provided a four year college education for a million American students. (Parade 11/9/97)
There are now 1.7 million men and women behind bars in the United States. That is 1 in every 155 U.S. residents. According to a recent study by Columbia University National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, drugs and alcohol abuse played a part in the crimes committed by 80% of these prisoners. (Houston Chronicle, 1/10/98)
Revelation 21:8, tells us that those who use mind altering drugs, i.e. pharmakeia translated sorcery, will burn in the lake of fire and Galatians 5:19-21 tells us that such will not inherit the kingdom. In 1Corinthians 6:9-10 the Apostle Paul warns us that we are not to be deceived, drunkards will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Perhaps you are indifferent. Some on the Titanic just went to sleep thinking everything would be okay, after all, they were on the ship that even God could not sink! Some of you are not partying, using drugs or gambling and think you're okay. You're just indifferent - you've gone to sleep - I'm okay.
I'M OK YOU'RE OK?
We have news for you - you're not okay. You too are a sinner in desperate need of a savior, and you need to get off of the Titanic and on to the Ark. It wasn't until some loud explosion went off that many began to stampede for the lifeboats, but it was too late, many of the lifeboats had already taken off - only barely full. Get on the Ark now before it's too late!
WHAT IS A FRIEND?
Some people just didn't want to wrinkle their expensive suits and dresses or ruffle their fur coats, so they refused to put on lifejackets and ended up drowning! So today, some people foolishly reason, What if I turn to Jesus what will my friends think? They might not think I'm cool. Don't be deceived. What kind of friend would want you to stay on the Titanic and keep you off the Ark anyway? That's not a true friend. That's a real enemy. A real friend would want you to be saved.
Did you know the Titanic had more than enough room for more lifeboats, but they refused to put them on because they didn't want to clutter up the 1st class deck, they didn't want the lifeboats to cramp their style.
I'M ALREADY COMFORTABLE
Many people are avoiding getting into the Ark and receiving Christ because they don't want Him to cramp their sinful lifestyles and like those on the Titanic they are headed for violent judgement.
ROMEO AND JULIETTE
Or perhaps a sinful relationship is keeping you on the Titanic and off the Ark. Perhaps you are like 37-year-old Samuel Morley, a married businessman, who took a 19-year-old employee of his, Kate Phillips, on board with whom he was committing adultery. They went by the name Mr. and Mrs. Kate Marshall. They thought they were pretty clever, getting away with something. Maybe you're refusing to get off the Titanic and get on the Ark because you're seeking to perpetuate or preserve an ungodly relationship. You think you can hide it by changing your name or hiding it. You might fool man, but you can't fool God, you're doomed! You need to repent right now before your entire world comes crashing down upon you. Get off the Titanic now, before it's to late and get on the Ark!
1Corinithians 6:9-10 - Tells us, not to be deceived, the sexually immoral will not inherit the kingdom of God!
Hebrews 13:4 says the marriage bed is undefiled, but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
Revelation 20:11-15 says the sexually immoral will burn in the lake of fire
Or perhaps you are like many who at first refused to get off the Ark because they did not want to leave their loved ones. Jesus taught that if one is to be saved He as God must be first in their lives even before their own family members. In Matthew 10:37 -Jesus declared, He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Don't let others keep you from Jesus. When we put anything before Jesus we commit the deplorable sin of idolatry. Revelation 21:8, states that idolaters will go to the lake of fire.
MATERIAL GIRLS & BOYS
Or perhaps it is materialism that is keeping you on the Titanic and off the Ark. Perhaps you're like John Jacob Astor, possessing a large fortune and you want to live for yourself, caught up in materialism. Astor had an $87 million fortune, but would find that in the end that money could not get him off the Titanic and save his soul. While the ship was sinking, Astor did not go to his safe, but he grabbed some fruit. Astor was found with $2,500 on him. His body was found crushed, eerily covered with soot. The man looked like he had burned in hell. Presumably a falling smokestack hit him. Your riches and material pursuits will not save you, but they have the potential to damn you.
The advertising industry spends $6 billion a day seeking to get us to buy things we usually don't need. Many such things involve people in a lifelong material pursuit of things that keep them from putting Christ first in their lives and will be of no value to them on the day of judgement. Jesus said, For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul. (Mark 8:36)
Jesus also said, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. (Mathew 19:b) The Bible says that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil and the desire to be rich has plunged many people into destruction. (1Timonthy 6)
Materialism is among the most destructive idols that keep people on the Titanic of destruction and away from the Ark of salvation in these United States of America.
In the midst of 1,500 people screaming and drowning, Duff Jordan, a dress designer, turned to her secretary and said infamously, There is your beautiful nightdress gone.
So sad! Don't let money and materialism keep you from following Jesus! Jesus said, the deceitfulness of riches choke out relationship with God. (Luke 8:14)
Many of the millionaires on the Titanic could have bought the great ship several times over, but on that fateful night, they couldn't even buy a section on the lifeboat. One man on the Titanic was seen emptying out his wallet, dumping all his money into the ocean as the Titanic was sinking.
Money and materialism will not help you on judgement day. God's word tells us in Zephaniah 1:18,
Neither their silver nor gold will be able to deliver them on the day of the Lord's wrath; and all the earth will be devoured in the fire of His jealously, for he will make a complete end, indeed a terrifying one, of all the inhabitants of the earth.
James 5:3 says, in the last days the treasure of the wicked will come back to haunt them. The only ones who will be spared are those who are on the Ark of salvation covered by the blood of Jesus, saved from the wrath to come. (1Thessalonians 5:9)
SALVATION BY WORKS
Maybe you think you're good enough. You don't need to get on the Ark. When all was said and done, the Titanic was only a few hundred miles from her destination south of New Foundland, but obviously she didn't make it! So in salvation - try your best to work for it - be good enough - you will ultimately come up short, only through the grace of Jesus Christ can one be saved.
Ephesians 2:8-9 - For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.
Titus 3:5 - He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.
One of the saddest facts about the tragedy of the Titanic is that they created 3 classes. This was not only relative to their accommodations, but related to their evacuation.
You see, first class adults were given lifeboats before 3rd class children. In fact, while almost 100% of the 1st class and 2nd class children were saved, only 30% of the 3rd class children were saved. And while 62% of all the first class survived, only 31% of the 3rd class survived.
This was of course very sad and tragic and such is the way of the world. In fact, here in America over 35 million babies have been murdered through abortion, sacrificed on the altars of materialism and selfishness so adults might have more freedom on the Titanic of destruction as they voyage through life.
But Jesus doesn't care what class you're in, you can get on the Ark. There is room for all; the scriptures declare that, whosoever will may be saved. (Romans 10:9-15) That of course includes you. But you better come now before it's too late! The time of grace is running out.
THE CLOCK IS TICKING
Another tragedy is that after those on the Titanic had told those who were trying to help them on the Californian shut-up, they realized they were sinking. The radio operator then frantically sent out distress signals for help. But the radio operator on the Californian was not at his post and the distress signals went unheeded. They called too late - their cries for mercy fell upon deaf ears. Their cries simply became haunting echoes of their own futility.
So it is with God, there will arrive a time in the near future wherein it will be too late, the age of grace will be over. A time when those who continually harden their hearts against God's repeated warnings will find themselves in judgement, and just as they refused to heed God's warnings, He will refuse to hear their cries of distress and eternal judgement will come. Today is the day of salvation. Now is the acceptable time.
With over 2,200 people on board, the Titanic had only 16 lifeboats and 4 life rafts, which was a disaster waiting to happen.
TOO LITTLE TOO LATE
After the sinking of the Titanic, the U.S. Senate immediately called an investigation. The investigation condemned Ismay and Whitestar for knowingly going too fast in dangerous waters and having too few lifeboats. In time, the regulation that stipulated that lifeboats were required for only 1/3 of the passengers was rectified and changed to accommodate all.
This, though it was a bit late for those 1,522 who perished on the Titanic in the icy cold seas of the Atlantic. So too it will be in hell wherein everybody will acknowledge that they should have abandoned the Titanic of destruction and boarded the Ark of salvation. Should have, could have, would have, but it will be too late. You must come to Jesus now and not wait, it will be too late.
THE FINAL JUDGEMENT
As the death toll mounted subsequent to the sinking of the Titanic, the Whitestar office in Liverpool England hung two large boards, one on the right and one on the left of the main entrance.
On one board they posted the names of those known to be saved and on the other who were known to be lost. As names of the deceased and living came in, a Whitestar representative would lift up a piece of cardboard outside the office bearing their names. As they were reported, throngs of relatives and friends awaiting the news of the fate of their loved ones waited outside. In the midst of what has been described as a deathly stillness, the crowd eagerly, yet apprehensively, waited to see which board the name would be posted - living or dead.
The Word of God tells us in Romans that at the time of Judgement, every mouth will be shut as God passes eternal judgement.
Revelation 20:11-15 tells us that judgement doesn't end at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean Revelation 20 says, even those dead at the will appear before God to be judged.
And I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged every one of them according to their deeds. And death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11-15)
At this, the judgement of all judgements, no dream-team of sophisticated lawyers will plead the cases of the guilty. No appeals will be made in their defense. It is here that the righteous judge will judge righteously. At the future judgement, it will not matter as to whether or not one's name was listed on some worldly Who's who. It will not matter whether or not one had received a Nobel Prize, had a star on Hollywood's walk of fame or had his or her face was printed on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine.
Here all humanity will discover the meaning of Christ's words God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God. (Luke 16:15b). All that will matter is that ones name will be found in the book of life and that his or her name is confessed by Jesus Christ before the Father in heaven and His holy angels (Matthew 10:32-33, Revelation 3:5).
It is absolutely vital and of supreme importance if one is to be finally saved that his or her name is found in the book of life at the great white throne judgement. In a parenthesis between the dissolution of the old creation (Revelation 20:11) and the inception of the new creation (Revelation 21:1) the final judgement will take place. Standing between time and eternity the small and the great will receive their final sentence, every one of them according to their deeds (Revelation 20:13b). The bottom line though will ultimately be as to whether or not ones name is to be found in the book of life.
TRIVIAL PURSUITS IN LIGHT OF ETERNITY
Daisy Spedden, who escaped death on the Titanic by lifeboat, wrote years later in her diary, The daily incidents which once seemed of such importance dwindled into mere trivialities. On judgement day, they will dwindle into even less than trivialities.
The part owner and managing director of Whitestar became a public disgrace because he showed his way onto a lifeboat designated for women and children. Those who refuse to follow Christ will be eternally disgraced in forever in hell.
Like the mythological Titans the Titanic was named after those who refuse to abandon the Titanic of this world system will experience eternal damnation! Hell is real. For us to ignore hell would be even worse than the mentality that chose to ignore the approaching iceberg as the Titanic sped toward its fate.
Jesus described hell as a place of eternal fire. Matthew 18:8-9 - Thrown into eternal fire… the fire of hell.
Mark 9:48 - Unlike the fires of earth that go out, hell is where the fire never goes out… where the fire is not quenched.
The fire does not bring annihilation as the Jehovah Witnesses falsely teach, but great pain. Matthew 13:42 - They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Jesus spoke of the rich man as an example who in hell… he was in torment. This torment will be eternal. Revelation 20:10 - Satan will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
Revelation 14:10-11 - The wicked will be tormented with burning sulfur… And the smoke of their torment rises forever and ever. There is no rest day or night.
Jude 7 warns of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.
Jesus, in Matthew 25:46, says, Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.
Romans 2:5 - The day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgement will be revealed. -
Get off the Titanic of destruction and come aboard the Ark of salvation and enjoy eternal life, everlasting bliss in the presence of God.
AN ALTOGETHER DIFFERENT SCENE
Revelation 21:3-4 describes the heavenly scene;
Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain. -- Enter into joy of the Lord!!!
Which ship are you on? Only Jesus can save you from the coming storm of wrath. Listen to His words:
Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash. (Matthew 7:24-27)
You are either building your life in Christ's Ark upon the rock or upon the shifting sands of the Titanic.
Which ship are you on, that is the real question - the Ark or the Titanic?
THE ARK AND THE TITANIC CONTRASTED
What a contrast - the Titanic was designed and built by men, the Ark was designed by God. (Genesis 6:14)
The Ark was not an appealing luxury liner, but once you boarded it, you never regretted it. It was the most peaceful place in the world, literally!
The Titanic was state-of-the-art and everybody wanted on it.
The Ark did not at first seem all that appealing and only a few people boarded it. (1Peter 3:19-20; 2Peter 2:5)
Jesus said, Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)
Which ship are you on?
Remember this, when all was said and done, the Ark sat high up resurrected on top of the mountains of Ararat, on the 17th day of the 7th month.
The Titanic, however, after its fateful destruction was laid low, way down low on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.
A GRIZZLY SCENE
Imagine, as the rain came down and the water rose to their ankles they must have begun to wonder if there was something to what Noah was preaching. As the rain continued to fall and the water rose above their knees they must have begun to panic and many portably headed for the Ark. By the time it had reached their shoulders they were probably banging on the Ark and cursing themselves for their stupidity in refusing to turn from their sin and get on the Ark. Sadly it was to late!
Jesus who is the door to the Ark said:
But unless you repent, you too will perish. …Someone asked him, 'Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?' He said to them, 'Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, sir, open the door for us. 'But he will answer, I don't know you or where you come from. 'Then you will say, we ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets. 'But he will reply, I don't know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers! 'There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.' (Luke 13:3, 23-30)
The Greek word translated gospel literally means good news. The good news is that Christ died for your sins, that he was buried and that He rose again, that's the gospel - the real good news.
If you turn from your life of sin and accept His sacrifice made on your behalf, you will be in the Ark. If you reject Him, you remain on the Titanic.
A BEAUTIFUL ENDING
There were unheralded heroes that fateful day aboard the Titanic. One was Pastor John Harper. Harper was traveling from Glasgow to Chicago Moody Memorial Church. Harper showed courage and a selflessness that was not characteristic of many others aboard. When John Harper realized it was inevitable that the Titanic would sink, he cried out, Women, children and the lost first, he also offered his lifejacket to another person.
It is reported that he talked to others about the Lord when the Titanic collided with the iceberg.
While in the water, John Harper clung to a board for 50 minutes and quoted Acts 16:31 too as many as would listen, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.
One survivor of the Titanic recounted four years after the Titanic sunk:
I am a survivor of the Titanic. When I was drifting alone on a spar that awful night, the tide brought Mr. John Harper, of Glasgow, also on a piece of wreck near me. 'Man', he said, 'Are you saved?' 'No', I said. 'I am not.' He replied, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and though salt be saved.' The waves bore him away; but, strange to say brought him back a little later, and he said, 'Are you saved now?' 'No', I said, 'I cannot honestly say that I am.' He said again, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.' And shortly after he went down, and there, alone in the night, and with two miles of water under me, I believed. I am John Harper's last convert. (Aquilla Webb)
There will be a last convert and then it will be too late. Jesus offers you his life jacket, He went down on your behalf he died in your place. Come now, come now into the Ark of salvation, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and receive eternal life!
John 1:12 - Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God (NIV)
Revelation 3:20 - Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
2Peter 3:9 - The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (NIV)
1Timothy 2:4 - who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. (NIV)
If you refuse to turn from the world and your life of sin and turn to Jesus Christ for salvation you are like thoise on the Titanic who refused to heed the warnings of impending doom and you will surely perish in the flames of hell. We inform you of this because we love you and do not want you to eternally perish but desire your salvation. We beg you on behalf of Christ be reconciled to God!
If you refuse you are without excuse. You are accountable and things will only get worse for you from here on out as you approach the day of judgement.
However if you turn to Christ, you will be saved and God will even use your worst experiences for the good in the end. (Romans 8:28)
I leave you with John Harper's last words - really the words of Apostle Paul - really the word of God.
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved (Acts 16:31)
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