You have probably heard about the Titanic. You have maybe even imagined what it felt like to be standing on that deck, with the sounds of scraping metal in your ears, wondering if this was all the life you had left. I know I have.
I have also thought of how immense the relief must have been the moment a passenger stepped into one of those lifeboats. That flood of emotion that would come with the realization that they really were going to be ok… Surely there had never been a more joyous feeling in their lives.
But what about the people who didn’t make it to safety? Thousands didn’t. What would you have done for them? If you sketched yourself into that scene, snug in a lifeboat, how would you have reacted? As you rowed away from the wreckage, you would have heard people screaming in desperation, drowning or freezing to death, and completely out of hope. Do you stop for them, or do you keep on going, getting yourself as far from that misery as you can?
Most of us say we would go back, but in reality, only two boats did. Just two.
I was listening to a sermon one day that used the Titanic as an illustration, and I was just cut to the core by that image. I realized for the first time that we, as Christians, are in a situation that’s frighteningly similar to those people in those boats. And over and over again, we choose to keep on rowing…
Think about it.
As Christians, we know that our position is safe. We have accepted the gift that God has given to us in Jesus Christ and we are guaranteed a home in Heaven. Romans 8 tells us, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”
We have a lifeboat.
On the other hand, we are SURROUNDED by people who are without hope, who are facing a situation that is far more terrifying than a sea of cold water. Without a saving faith in Jesus, unbelievers will suffer an “eternal punishment” (Matthew 25:46), in a “lake that burns with fire and sulfur” (Revelation 21), and be “forever separated from the Lord” (2 Thessalonians 1:9).
And yet, do we feel any urgency to help them? Are we talking about Christ to friends, family, and people on the street? Are we pointing them to the lifeboat?
Romans 10:14 challenges us by asking, “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?”
We need to learn to see the world differently. We need to see it as a mission field and a battleground. There is a war being waged for the souls of people all around us, and yet we allow ourselves to get distracted by our goals and our comfort. We need to care about people more than that and remember how desperately they need Jesus.
The majority of the people around us aren’t secure in the lifeboat yet. They’re drowning, no matter how put together they may look. Remember that.