Wednesday, January 13, 2016
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It's been over 100 years, but there's something about the sinking of the Titanic that fascinates us. The latest evidence, newly unearthed photographs and stories, the incredible success of the blockbuster movie, "Titanic". I mean, they've kind of refocused us on it. I've always found the story of the last hours of this supposedly unsinkable ship to be a haunting story. The people on the Titanic represented just about all the kinds of people that there are. Then I start thinking about how most of them died. At best, only a few hundred of them got into lifeboats. Many more of them went down with the ship only wearing life jackets. And, you know, there were different ways people handled those terrifying hours on that sinking ship, and it tells us a lot about what we're really like.
Only about 700 of the Titanic's 2200 passengers survived. But what's even more tragic is that many of the 1500 who died didn't have to die because many of the lifeboats were only half full. And those who made it aboard could hear hundreds of people in the water, crying for help. But almost all those people died - not from drowning - they were in their lifejackets. They died from hypothermia.
Here's the awful truth: there were 20 lifeboats, from the Titanic, most partially empty. Only one of those twenty went back - too late for most of the people in the water. Only six of those people were saved. Most of them could have been saved if only those who had already been rescued had gone back for those who had no other chance but them.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "A Titanic Tragedy."
Our Word for today from the Word of God comes from Ezekiel 33:6. It's about the watchman on the walls of an ancient city who sees the hostile army approaching. It says, "If the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes the life of one of them, that man will be taken away because of his sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for his blood."
God says, "If you know someone is going to die and you're in a position to do something about it, and you don't, that person's blood is on your hands." We're appalled to think that those who had been saved from the Titanic would just row off into the night, save themselves, but doing nothing about those who were dying around them. But I have to ask, "Dear God, is that us?"
We've been rescued from sin's sinking ship - from an eternity without God and without hope. But are we just rowing on, enjoying our cozy lifeboat with others who are already saved, singing our lifeboat songs, going to our lifeboat committee meetings, and building a more comfortable lifeboat for those who are already saved? And oblivious sometimes to our co-workers, our neighbors, our loved ones, our friends who will die if we don't turn the lifeboat around and reach out for them and tell them about our Jesus. Maybe we're not oblivious - maybe we're just afraid to go after them, to reach out to them. Whatever the reason, the result is the same - we're saved, they're not and they're going to die and their blood will be on our hands.
God's clear word in Proverbs 24:11-12 says, "Rescue those who are being led away to death. If you say, 'We knew nothing about this,' does not He who weighs the heart perceive it? Will He not repay each person according to what he has done?" God is accepting no excuses on this.
He's wonderfully pulled you into His lifeboat. He's rescued you from an awful eternity. And now He has put you in the middle of some people who need to know that Jesus died for them; that He's the relationship they've been looking for their whole life. People who are destined to die eternally without Jesus if they don't find out what He did for them on the cross. You're in a position to rescue them. They're within your reach.
There's still room in the lifeboat for the people around you. Please, don't leave them where they are.