The beginning of the 20th centuryÂ saw many new British passengerÂ liners entering service. Each one seemedÂ to be larger, faster and more luxuriousÂ than the one that had gone before, untilÂ there was the biggest and grandest of allÂ the ships, the Titanic! Weighing 48,000Â tons and with a length of 882 feet, thisÂ new ship was the pride of the seas. WithÂ its twelve watertight compartments, theyÂ claimed it to be â€œpractically unsinkableâ€.
The rich and famous soon bookedÂ their places in the lavish and expensiveÂ cabins. Thousands of people came toÂ Southampton on Wednesday April 10,Â 1912 to see Titanic embark on its maidenÂ voyage to New York. Little did thoseÂ people know that this was to be its firstÂ and last voyage.
Within five days the majority of peopleÂ on board that ship were in eternity!
For Those in Peril on the Sea
On Sunday night April 12, 1912 aÂ hymn singing evening was arranged.Â About a hundred passengers gatheredÂ in the second class dining saloon for theÂ occasion. One of the many hymns sungÂ that night was William Whitingâ€™s famousÂ seafaring hymn â€œEternal Father, StrongÂ to Saveâ€, containing the words, â€œOhÂ hear us when we cry to Thee, for thoseÂ in peril on the sea.â€ Those enjoyingÂ this evening of singing did not knowÂ that within two hours they would all beÂ enduring an unprecedented great perilÂ in the freezing waters of the AtlanticÂ Ocean.
As you sail across lifeâ€™s ocean, haveÂ you prepared for the one certainty in lifeÂ – death? Have you ever stopped to thinkÂ of the awful danger your soul is in if youÂ are not right with God? The Lord JesusÂ Christ said, â€œwhat will it profit a man if heÂ gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?â€Â (Mark 8:36).
Iceberg Dead Ahead!
Most people on board the greatÂ liner were retiring for bed at 11:40Â p.m. when Fredrick Fleet, a sailor inÂ the crowâ€™s nest of the forward mast,Â sighted a dark mass in the water aheadÂ of the ship. Picking up the telephoneÂ connecting him to the bridge heÂ called out, â€œIceberg dead aheadâ€.Â First Officer, William Murdock,Â immediately ordered the helmsmen toÂ steer, â€œHard a starboardâ€. TravellingÂ at 23 knots (26.5 mph) the ship seemedÂ reluctant to respond but finally herÂ bows started to slowly move to theÂ left. It seemed that she would miss theÂ iceberg. However, as Titanic tried toÂ skirt around the ice a light vibrationÂ shuddered through the ship, alertingÂ those on the bridge that their effortsÂ had tragically been unsuccessful.
Are you trying to steer your ownÂ way to Heaven using your good worksÂ and efforts? The Bible says, â€œby graceÂ you have been saved through faith, andÂ that not of yourselves; it is the gift of Godâ€Â (Ephesians 2:8).
To the Rescue!
At 12:15 a.m. Harold Cottam, theÂ wireless operator of the steamshipÂ Carpathia, picked up Titanicâ€™s distressÂ call. He immediately woke his captain,Â Arthur Rostron. Rostron made everyÂ effort to cover the 58 perilous milesÂ to the floundering ship as quickly asÂ possible. Carpathia was pushed to theÂ limit as Rostron wove a treacherousÂ course through hazardous pack iceÂ and icebergs! During the nearly fourÂ hours it took to reach Titanicâ€™s position,Â Captain Rostron ordered his crew toÂ prepare for the reception of survivors.
The next morning when all theÂ survivors of the disaster had been safelyÂ rescued, Rostron looked around theÂ barren expanse of sea. As he gazed atÂ the dangerous pack ice he exclaimed,Â â€œSomeoneâ€™s hand other than my ownÂ was on the helm of my ship last night!â€
The Bible states, â€œthe Father has sentÂ the Son as Saviour of the worldâ€ (1 JohnÂ 4:14). The Lord Jesus did not comeÂ out of a request for help from a ruinedÂ sinking world. He came in great love,Â â€œto save sinnersâ€ (1 Timothy 1:15). ByÂ dying on the cross at Calvary theÂ Lord Jesus paid in full the price thatÂ a righteous God demanded for ourÂ sins. Just as Captain Rostron issuedÂ orders to get his crew ready to receiveÂ survivors, we need to obey Godâ€™sÂ command to be ready for Heaven.Â The Bible says God, â€œcommands all menÂ everywhere to repentâ€ (Acts 17:30). HaveÂ you repented (turned away) from yourÂ sin and trusted Christ as your Saviour?Â As you remember the tragic loss ofÂ Titanic may your soul be averted fromÂ eternal disaster. â€œBelieve on the Lord JesusÂ Christ, and you will be savedâ€ (Acts 16:31).
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