Lifeboats, Cruises, And Knowing The Drill

John 3:16
John 3:16

“For God so loved that world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

Down the stairs, over the steel threshold, and out the double doors we stepped. As we did, the balmy air and ocean breeze began peeling layers of fatigue off our lives. We were on vacation. Though landing on a cruise ship was not our pick, our daughter and son-in-law had invited us. For us, being with them made it one of the most beautiful places we could possibly be.

Now I had no idea just how big a cruise ship really was, but as people streamed out the side doors and onto the lifeboat deck, I began to figure it out. There were over three-thousand passengers alone, not to mention the fifteen hundred staff and crew members keeping things afloat.

Mind you I didn’t come up with those numbers by myself; the captain told us. In either case, the bright orange lifeboats, fluorescent vests worn by the crew, and mandatory participation by each passenger, made it very clear; the safety drill we were undergoing was extremely important.

Line by line, row by row, they positioned us in the very place, God forbid, we would have to abandon ship should it become necessary. It was there, in that cramped uncomfortable place, that a few interesting thoughts came to mind.

The first thing was that, when it comes to being saved, we’re all on equal footing. Whether rich or poor, well-known or not, lifeboats are not segregated. From the most affluent passengers, with estate rooms and exclusive ocean views, to those just glad to be on the ship, the idea of needing to use a lifeboat leveled us all. That revelation, coupled with the thought that a provision was in place to save everyone, had me considering some weighty matters.”

Though a sinking cruise ship is almost unheard of nowadays, a sinking person is not. I see it all the time. From broken families to broken individuals, people are struggling all around. Beyond that, even for those who outwardly are cruising along just fine, without accepting Jesus as savior, ultimately we’ll all perish. That, by the way, is not my idea but what the Bible says very plainly. Consider this familiar verse in light of what I’m saying.

“For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world: but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believes on Him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:16-18)

 

The good news is, unlike the Titanic, on this ship there’s enough room in the lifeboats for everyone to survive. And that, according to the Scripture, is the burning desire of God’s heart.

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

As for me and my house, we’ve decided to pay close attention to the instructions God has set forth for us all. Life eternal is in His Son. For those who repent and place their trust in Him, death has lost its sting and the grave its victory.

Pastor R. Goyette
Living Waters World Outreach Center
Originally published January 06, 2012 in the Fernandina Beach News-Leader

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