Life or Death

Written by M. Larson

Are you afraid to show who you really are to others? Take this study.

Suddenly the giant ship Titanic came to a grinding halt.  “Iceberg!” a crewman screamed and an ominous, spine-curdling crunch could be heard. People rushed back and forth on the deck.

Edwina MacKensie wondered, should I stay with the ship or get on a lifeboat? Some passengers thought if they stayed on the “unsinkable” Titanic, they would have a better chance to live. They elected to stay. Edwina boarded a lifeboat. As the boat moved away from the giant ship, Edwina watched the Titanic going down.

“Each row of lights got lower and lower and disappeared,” Edwina said later, “and the screams of the dying were worse than any siren! All who stayed drowned!” Nearly 1,600 persons lost their lives when the Titanic sank. Only the 750 persons who chose the lifeboats survived. Edwina lived until she was in her nineties, and needless to say, she was glad she had made the right decision even though the majority had been wrong.

Jesus warned, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).

Those who went down with the Titanic knew lifeboats were available, but they wouldn’t leave that sinking ship and step into a lifeboat–so they died. And many professing Christians are still hanging on for dear life to that sinking ship, the “world.”

They know about Jesus Christ. They may have been baptized and joined a church. But they have never truly repented and trusted Jesus as their Savior. They will not step into the only “Lifeboat” that can deliver them from death. Instead of placing their faith in Jesus Christ, a living Savior, they cling to the sinking ship. And down they go! These will never see Heaven because they decided with the majority.

When the minority of persons left the Titanic to enter the lifeboats, they embarked on a new craft entirely. They shoved off. Had they hung around the Titanic, the suction it created would have drawn them down too.

So when we embark on our Christian life, we need to “shove off” from the world, the majority. The Bible calls us “a chosen people” and “strangers in the world”(1 Peter 2:9. 11).  By living as “holy” and “royal priests of God,” we are to show forth the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). This calls for living on the narrow way of Jesus Christ. But don’t by any means think it is an unpleasant way. Where there is “praise” and “marvelous light,” there is plenty of peace and joy!

If we hang onto any of our old ways of life that might be displeasing to God, we may be drawn into the icy waters of troubles, anxiety, discontent and unhappiness. Or should “our ship” go down in the tropics, we might be almost lulled to sleep by the lukewarm waters. When we stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ, we may find we have lost everything but our lives.

Other Christians will stand there too. Some will be surrounded by the treasures they sent on ahead to be laid up in Heaven for them. They will have eternity to enjoy these treasures.  While on board their “lifeboat” in this world, they comforted and helped others as they plowed through troubled seas. They steadfastly gave forth a bright light through the darkness to draw others to safety. They reached down a hand to help pull them out of their hopeless, lost estate. They were not afraid to launch out into the deep with their Savior.

The ship is sinking fast. Hebrews 3:15 says, “Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts”.

Important decisions must be made while we run the course in this short life–a matter of life or death. Will you give your life to Christ? Will you live it for Him?

About the Author Muriel Larson

2 Responses to “Life or Death”

  • Lori says:

    I loved this devotional, thank you so much. I almost missed it, but I’m catching up this morning. I’ve not heard a parable like this one w/ the Titanic. It really shows that the narrow path is the one to take! It also shows that it’s not an easy path by all means, and that it takes prayer and faith every moment to continue to move in the right direction and stay on that path. It can be in a second that we are faced w/ a life or death decision. Thank you for putting this into words like this.

  • Alyssa says:

    I have been coming to this devotional daily for almost a year, but this entry really touched me. I’ve read lots of your articles and they are all wonderful. Thank you for blessing us with your words!

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