Topical - Titanic
When one thinks of the Titianic, one thinks of the greatest story of disaster in history. It took place on April 14th, 1912, at 11:40pm. The Titanic sunk with 2,300 people on board, and 1,500 people drowned. You know its an amazing thing when you stop and think about this, because there have been other events historically that have taken place where more human lives have been lost: wars that have happened, calamities, eathquakes and such, but yet there is something about the story of the Titanic that captures peoples hearts.
The story of this great Luxury Liner, with some of the most wealthiest people on the earth sailing out on it maiden voiage and only 100 hours of use on this ship and it sunk to the bottom of the icy Atlantic Ocean.
You know it’s an interesting thing because when it was built, the Titanic was really quite an enginering feet. With the cost of about 10 million dollars, it was thought to be one of the most technilogical marvels of its time. In fact, as the new century was dawning, there was this feeling and belief that man was somehow going to build his Utopia, his heaven on earth, and the way he was going to accomplish that was through technology. And the very cream of the crop of that technology was the Titanic.
So here was this incredible ship built with all of the latest technologies, so they felt that the Titanic was so well built that it was virtually unsinkable. In fact, the question was asked, “Could this ship sink?” And the response was, “God himself could not sink this ship?”(Genesis 18:14; Jer.32:17; Matt.19:26). And because it was considered the “unsinkable ship” and it was the maiden voiage making its way to New York, everybody wanted to be on board (Matthew 7:13-14). In spite of the fact that it offered the most expensive Trans Atlantic Accomidations the world would ever know, people were standing in line to be a part of this historic voiage.
In fact there were so many millionaires on board, that Wall Street dubbed it “The Millionaire Special.” John Jacob Aster was on board who’s fortune was worth 150 million dollars, he was returning from a trip of Egypt with his new 19 year old bride. There was Benjamin Gugenhime who was worth 95 million dollars. There was Isador Strauss the founder of Macy’s department store, he was worth 50 million dollars. There was Jay Ismay who was worth 40 million dollars, they said 1 string of his wifes pearls was worth $250,000.00. Now those numbers don’t sound so large to us today when we think of the wealth of certain people like Bill Gates, but if we were to take those numbers and apply them to our time, these people would be equivilent to Billionaires.
It would be as though a ship was making its maiden voiage and on board was, Ross Pero, Bill Gates, Steve Forbs, Steven Speilberg and Donald Trump.
The Maiden voiage of the Titanic was a calm moonless night, the temperature was just above the freezing mark. The passengers were enjoying a wonderful dinner in their incomperable accomodations and the Titanic was speeding ahead.
Now a number of warnings were sent to the Titanic telling them that there were icebergs ahead. But they were so busy with other messages from the passengers and for the passengers that they ignored 7 warnings that came their way. One of those warning was recorded and it came from a ship known as the California that was up ahead in the area where the icebergs were and they radioad over to the Titanic and gave this message and I quote, “I say old man, we are surrrounded by ice,” and the reply from the Titanic was, “Shutup, shutup, were busy” endquote.
The Titanic steamed right into the side of the iceberg and a 200-foot gash was torn in the side of this massive ship and it broke through six of its watertight compartments. Ironically this ship was built to withstand 5 of the comartments being broken into but it could not take six.
Thomas Andrews was on board and he was the one who designed the Titanic, he was called to the bridge, he assesed the damage and he told the Captain that the ship was going to sink in a couple of hours. So they told the passengers you need to come out of your cabins, you need to put on your life vests, and you need to get onto the lifeboats. But the people laughed it off; they thought there’s no way this ship is going to go down. They continued to drink, dance, and gamble and have a good old time. In fact one person passing by saw a chip of the ice on the deck of the ship from the iceberg and put it into his drink. It was just one-big-joke to them not realizing they only had about two hours to live (James 4:14). The stewards had to literally break inot the state rooms to get people to wake up from their sleep to realize their paral. And this is because people simply did not believe the Titanic would ever go down. And the tragedy is many of the people would not get into the lifeboats in spite of the fact there was room (Luke 14:16-24). Many of the life boats with the ability to carry as many as 50 people, left with 10, 12, 15 people in them. And then there were a series of loud explosions and the people began to panic but then it was to late. The lifeboats had already launched off and they would not return because they were afraid they would be swamped.
And here was this great ship going down and they asked the band to come up and to play for the people hoping that it would calm them. And here were people standing on board, many of them with enough money to buy the Titanic but in spite of all of their wealth, there was not a single thing they could do (Heb.9:27). All of that wealth could not buy them one little spot in one of those lifeboats. One first class passenger was seen, emptying his wallet into he ocean. Imagine the scene, “All these people standing on deck, with all of their wealth, all of the finest furs that money could buy, with the most expensive rings on their fingers, pearls around their necks, diamond earings in their ears, diamond tearas in their hair, and at that moment they were no different from the poorest third class passenger trying to fight their way to the top. The band played on, and of course the ship went down. And that was it, 1,500 people lost their lives, why?
Because they did not heed the warnings. Even though the warnings were given over and over again, they ignored them, they laughed at them and they paid with their lives.
The true story is a picture of our culture. We live in a pleasure mad culture. There are warnings all around us telling us that judgment is coming! Warnings telling us that Jesus Christ is coming again and people just ignore it and laugh it off, partying the night away thinking its not going to happen in their lifetime!
A recent pole was taking by U.S. New and World Report and it brought forth an interesting truth, and it pointed out that 66% of all Americans including a 1/3 of those who say they never attend church believe that Jesus Christ is coming back to the eath some day. Aprroximately 2/3 of all Americans believe that Jesus Christ is coming back to the earth. Though these people believe that Christ is coming back and that on day the world will end, they also believe it will not happen in their lifetime, and most of them believe that it will happen a few hundred years from now, just like the people on the Titanic. “I believe He is coming again, but it wont happen in my lifetime so I can live as I please and do as I please”. But one day Christ will come and if you’re not ready, it will be to late for you and there will be nothing you can do.
A lot of people today are just like that man in the radio room in the Titanic as the Spirit of God is saying, “Wake up, get right with me” and were saying, “Shut up, shut up, were busy”.
1. Deception (v.4-5).
a) Take heed that no one decieves you (v.4).
The first mark that begins to unfold in the time of the Tribulation is a time of great deception, particularly characterized in the deception of Antichrist who leads the whole world to follow him and worship him as if he were God, the ultimate deliverer of man.
(1) The Enenies #1 Deception Of Today Is The Word “Tomorrow”.
The Bible does not say, “tomorrow” is the day of salvation but “today” Paul says, "We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." (2 Corinthians 6:1-2, NKJV).
Our life is like the morning fog, it’s here a little while & then it’s gone. James says, "Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away." (James 4:13-14, NKJV)
(2) Man Has An Appointent With God:
Hebrews says, "And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment," (Hebrews 9:27).
"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men” (2 Corinthians 5:10-11, NKJV)
(3) People Need To Make A Decision:
Moses said, "See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil…"I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;" (Deuteronomy 30:15, 19, NKJV)
Even professing believers in Jesus Christ must make a decision, Jesus said "Write this letter to the angel of the church in Laodicea. This is the message from the one who is the Amen—the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation: “ I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, I will spit you out of my mouth! You say, ‘ I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing! ’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. And also buy white garments so you will not be shamed by your nakedness. And buy ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see. I am the one who corrects and disciplines everyone I love. Be diligent and turn from your indifference. “ Look! Here I stand at the door and knock. If you hear me calling and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal as friends. I will invite everyone who is victorious to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne. Anyone who is willing to hear should listen to the Spirit and understand what the Spirit is saying to the churches. ”" (Revelation 3:14-22, NLT)
2. Wars and rumors of wars (v.6).
a) Are we a world that is at peace tonight? I would say not.
(1) Violence in our own county. People magazine had an article on all of these young people that are killing today.
(2) What about 911? We now have a war on Terrorism.
(3) Iraqu throughout the United Nations inspectors. What did that lead to, “war”!
(4) Its been stated that more than 25 nations have or may be developing nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons and ways to use them said the defense secretary. He said the front lines are no longer over seas. You need to understand that conflict is happeing all over the world and it’s rising.
(5) Wars and rumors of wars are just one of the signs that Jesus pointed to, to tell us that He is coming back again.
3. The reaction of People (Matthew 24:38-44).
a) Refusing to heed Noah’s message of judgment (v.37-38).
When will Christ return? How did Jesus tell us that people would react in the face of impending judgment? His coming finds its counterpart in Noah’s day. He will come when the world is living just as it was living in the days of Noah’s:
(1) Living Sensual Lives, Eating, Drinking, Marrying, Divorcing, and Remarrying.
(i) Eating: to gnaw; to chew. It has the idea of grabbing and gnawing greedily like a hungry dog. Here it means the habitual practice of eating with a gluttonous appetite, eating excessively.
(ii) Drinking: to drink; to participate in the partying spirit of drink; to participate in the abomination of drinking. The idea is a habitual practice, drinking to excess.
Paul wrote in Galatians saying "envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God." (Galatians 5:21, NKJV)
Don’t let anything influence you other that the Spirit of God, Paul said "And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit," (Ephesians 5:18, NKJV)
(2) It Was The Same As Happened In The Days Of Lot (Luke 17:26-37).
(a) Here Is The Point. Men will be going about their daily lives without giving any attention to God or to the warnings of coming judgment.
(b) Noah and Lot did one thing that others failed to do: they believed God’s Word. When God said to prepare for the flood and for the coming judgment of fire. Despite all their shortcomings and failures, all their sensual and loose living, when the Word came to prepare, they believed and they prepared.
(c) The People Of Noah’s And Lot’s Day Did Not Believe And Did Not Prepare. They went right on with their normal routine of living, they were caught unaware:
(i) “The flood came and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:27).
(ii) “It rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:29).
A word of warning from Jesus, He said "But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly." (Luke 21:34, NKJV)
(3) When Noah told them that there was going to be rain and judgment was coming, how did they react? The same way they reacted to the message that the Titanic was going to sink. They don’t believe it, they laughed it off, and they carried on, business as usual, just like people are doing today.
Listen to what Peter writes about the reaction of people in the last days, he says, "First, I want to remind you that in the last days there will be scoffers who will laugh at the truth and do every evil thing they desire. This will be their argument: “Jesus promised to come back, did he? Then where is he? Why, as far back as anyone can remember, everything has remained exactly the same since the world was first created.” They deliberately forget that God made the heavens by the word of his command, and he brought the earth up from the water and surrounded it with water. Then he used the water to destroy the world with a mighty flood. And God has also commanded that the heavens and the earth will be consumed by fire on the Day of Judgment, when ungodly people will perish. But you must not forget, dear friends, that a day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise to return, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so he is giving more time for everyone to repent. But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and everything in them will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be exposed to judgment." (2 Peter 3:3-10, NLT)
(4) We have a choice:
(a) Get into God’s life boat and be saved,
(b) Or, just stay on board and sink, there are no other choices.
(c) Your either going to be ready for the return of the Lord or your not going to be ready.
4. How are reaction should be (Matthew 25:1-13).
a) Warning to the believer and non-beleiver.
(1) Explain the wedding culture then to ours now
(2) The surprise was, you would never know when the Groom was going to show up. The idea was that you needed to be ready when he did.
(3) Many hear the gospel, believe it (mental assent), but have never trusted Christ as their Savior. Thus, they are nothing more than a “well educated non-believer”
(4) Don’t live in both worlds. I remember a song by a band I use to listen to Van Halen, the name of the song was, “The Best of Both Worlds” and one of the verses said,
“I don’t know what I’ve been living on, but its not enough to fill me up… I need more that just words can say… I need everything this life can give me.”
“You don’t have to die and go to heaven, or hang around to be born again, Just tune in to what this place has go to offer, cause we may never be here again”
“Now I know what I want…I want the best of both worlds…If we could have the best of both worlds, we’de have heaven right here on earth.”
(5) Don’t try to live in two worlds, its like saying “I want to put one foot in the life boat, but I want to keep one foot in the Titanic. You will go down.
(a) You want to be saved, then get in the life boat (Jesus Christ). You want to walk with Christ? Then give your life wholly to Him and follow Him.
(6) You cant have both worlds, Jesus said your either “for me or againg me”, John said (1Jn2:15)
b) They slumbered and slept (v.5).
(1) This is what the peeople did on the Titanic the night is sunk into the icy Atlantic.
(2) Note: “they all slumbered and slept”. The wise and the foolish ones.
(3) There are people in the church today that are asleep. They are not spiritually awake, they are sleeping spiritually like Jonah (1:5). There are many who don’t care about the lost.
(a) Slumbered—“nodding off… becoming drowsing” physically.
(b) Slept—“deliberately lying down to go to sleep”.
(c) This is why the Scripure says: (Eph.5:14; Rom.13:11; 1 Thess. 5:6 , 8; 2 Tim. 4:5; 1 Pet. 1:13; 4:7; 5:8).
c) Get your own (v.8-9).
(1) Going back to the Titanic story, there was an interview with an actual suvivior of the Titanic she was an elderly woman in her late 80’s and she said one thing that strikes me, she said “the ship went down and over 1,000 people went into the icy Atlantic, and the whale and cry of the people was horifying, she said the only thing she could compare it to is that she use to live by a stadium where they had ball games and when the team would score she would hear that roaring cheer go up, it was like that only a moan of death.
(2) Here were lifeboats with room, they could have paddled back and picked up more people but they didn’t! They did not want to be swamped; they didn’t want to indanger their own lives.
(3) That’s the way we are in our little life boat all safe saying “hey I don’t want to indanger my life” we need to row back their and pull them in. We need to care about lost people.
d) The door was shut (v.10).
(1) The Opportunity to Be Saved Was Gone.
Genesis says that "On the very same day Noah and Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark—they and every beast after its kind, all cattle after their kind, every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, every bird of every sort. And they went into the ark to Noah, two by two, of all flesh in which is the breath of life (SOMETHING I FIND INTERESTING, THE ANIMALS OBEYED GOD, BUT NO ALL OF HUMANITY). So those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the Lord shut him in." (Genesis 7:13-16, NKJV)
Jesus in Matthew 7 said, "Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’" (Matthew 7:21-23, NKJV)
The Book of Revelation has a very interesting verse that reveals the impossibility of any change after death: "He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.”" (Revelation 22:11, NKJV)
(2) On the Titanic there was a preacher who went over the side with the other 1,500. He realized he wasn’t going to make it and had only moments to live. So he decided he would do whatever he could to reach others with the gospel.
(a) We are told that he swam from lifeboat to lifeboat, from raft to raft, from piece of ship to piece of ship, crying out to the people “trust Christ, take Him as your Savior, receive Him into your heart, call upon the Name of the Lord and be saved.”
(b) With his last breath he sought to reach people with the Gospel who were literally drowning in the Atlantic Ocean.
(c) Then when he finally realized he wasn’t going to make it much longer, he cried out, “I’m going down, I’m going down”, then he paused for a moment and caught his breath then he said, “No no, I’m going up”. Then he died and went to heaven!