Don’t Be a None
Much has been written about the sinking of the Titanic. When the word Titanic is mentioned you can almost hear Celine Deion sing “Near, far, wherever you are.”
Nearly everyone knows the story of the three ships and the three ship captains who were involved. Captain Smith who went down with his ship, Titanic. Stanley Lord, Captain of the Californian, who was within sight of the Titanic all night while she sank just a few miles away, and whose crew watched distress flare after flare from the doomed ship, and yet did nothing. Captain Arthur Rostron of the Carpathia who risked everything to rescue the few who did survive.
Of the 2240 passengers and crew on Titanic 1517 of them drowned or froze to death. Only 705, or less than one out of three survived. Only 6 people who were not in or on lifeboats were recovered alive.
It was said that God Himself couldn’t sink the Titanic, and such was the thought of the day in 1912 when the biggest most luxurious ship ever built up to that time left the Old World for the New.
Captain Edward John Smith said, “ I cannot imagine any condition which would cause a ship to founder. I cannot conceive of any vital disaster happening to this vessel.”
Captain Smith was urged by Bruce Ismay (the owner of the company that built Titanic) to make headlines by arriving in New York a full day ahead of schedule.
A total of six iceberg warnings were ignored. The Marconi wireless operator of the Titanic even tapped out the words, “shut up, shut up” to the operator on the Californian when they tried to warn them about the impending dangers of the ice.
The “unsinkable” Titanic sailed at nearly full throttle through the dark of night right into an iceberg and about 3 hours later lay on the bottom of the ocean.
Sadly, many sail through this life without a care in the world for their eternal soul and ignore all the many warnings of living a life apart from God.
The fastest growing demographic in the United States today are “nones.” When asked their religious affiliation on a form they mark “none.”
I’m sure that the passengers of the Titanic had little thought about their eternal souls on April 15th, 1912, prior to 11:40pm that fateful night.
While most know the story of Titanic, few know of the true story of a heroic second class passenger named John Harper. The widowed Scottish Pastor Harper (with his little 6 year old daughter Nana) was on his way to preach at Moody Church in Chicago.
When the Titanic was sinking John Harper handed his precious Nana onto a lifeboat (#11) knowing he would never see her again in this life. He began shouting for women, children and the unsaved to get into the lifeboats.
Harper preached on the deck of the Titanic to those who were unable to get into the lifeboats. Both he and they knew they were going to meet their maker in a matter of minutes. It has even been suggested it was Harper who asked the band to play, “Nearer My God to Thee” as the ship sunk.
Once in the icy water, a man Harper preached to claimed he was not saved and did not want to listen to any preaching. John Harper took off his own lifejacket (his only hope of survival) and lovingly gave it to the man with the words “Then you need this more than me.”
After swimming to reach others, a while later a wave brought Harper back to the same man who was clinging to a piece of wood. He had changed his mind, realizing he had no hope without Christ. John Harper led him to his Savior. Then as he attempted to swim to others in the water the hypothermia took over and with his last words “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved” John sunk below the icy water. Hs body was never found.
As John Harper’s body sank into the icy depths, 2 1/ 2 miles below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Newfoundland, his soul rose to meet his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Four years later at a Titanic survivors’ meeting in Canada, the man John Harper had passed his life jacket to stood up and claimed “I am John Harper’s last convert.”
“I am a survivor of the Titanic. When I was drifting alone on a piece of wreckage that awful night, the tide brought Mr. John Harper, 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 thou shalt 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 on the Lord Jesus Christ for myself.”
In New York City anxious people looked for news as to the fate of those on Titanic and there were only two headings: “SAVED” and “LOST.” All other distinctions: wealthy, poor, 1st class or 3rd class, were meaningless.
There are only two kinds of people in this world still today: SAVED and LOST.
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” Acts 16:31
Don’t be a “NONE!’