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WHAT THE TITANIC CAN TEACH US ABOUT THESE PRECARIOUS TIMES
Thursday is the 109th anniversary of the sinking of the “unsinkable” Titanic. The message tied to this infamous ship is more relevant than ever. The icebergs are in the water and our nation is surrounded. The warnings have gone out, but who is listening? Who has binoculars to see what’s ahead? Does anyone know how to access the lifeboats?
“I cannot imagine any condition which would cause a ship to founder. I cannot conceive of any vital disaster happening to this vessel. Modern shipbuilding has gone beyond that.” These famous words were spoken by Edward Smith, Captain of the RMS Titanic. At the time of the quote, he was referring to another ship he commanded, known as the RMS Adriatic. But the bold words he spoke would come back to haunt him years later when he captained a brand-new ship that many believed was unsinkable. On April 14, 1912 at 11:40 p.m., the RMS Titanic would strike an iceberg. In less than three hours, it would split apart, plunging into the sea on April 15. Over 1,500 lives would be lost in a tragedy that was inconceivable, but preventable.
Most of us are very aware that our nation is surrounded by icebergs. The danger looms day by day as we see the Biden administration deliberately tear our border security apart. Religious freedom is targeted, as well as churches, communities and businesses who stand on the principles of God’s Word. Protections for unborn babies, such as the Hyde Amendment, are on the chopping block as well. If that weren’t enough, our very identities are in danger as we see this administration pushing to create vaccine passports, which would affect our personal privacy in ways never seen before in history.
In 2014 the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart through the story of the Titanic. The main message I perceived was that our nation was moving into a time where a great divide would occur. Like the Titanic which split in two, the divide would threaten to tear our nation apart. Shortly afterward, I began researching all the details about what led to the sinking of the ship. In the midst of my study, I realized there was a tetrad of four total lunar eclipses (also known as blood moons) occurring in 2014 and 2015 that were visible from the United States. Two of these eclipses occurred on Passover (April 15, 2014, April 4, 2015), while the other two fell on the Feast of Tabernacles (October 8, 2014, September 28, 2015). I thought this was amazing because Passover and Tabernacles are also known as moedim, or appointments with God on the biblical calendar. The first total lunar eclipse on Passover just happened to fall on April 15, 2014, which was the 102-year anniversary of Titanic’s sinking. It was also the 149th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination and death on April 14/15, 1865. The dates lining up reminded me of the great divide that Abraham Lincoln navigated our country through. He had a front row seat to the Civil War, which almost sank our nation like the Titanic. As I watched the entire eclipse from start to finish that night, I was left with the lingering feeling that our country needed to get on board with Jesus in order to endure what was coming. The other message that pierced my heart was one that echoed from 2 Corinthians 6:2 which says, “Indeed, the right time is NOW. Today is the day of salvation.”
During my research about Titanic, there was a story I came across that seemed so applicable to our times. It’s the story of John Harper, a godly Pastor from Scotland, who perished when Titanic sank. Harper was on his way to preach at the Moody Church in Chicago and traveling with his young daughter. While on board Titanic, he made it a habit to seek out lost sheep so he could witness to their troubled souls, and offer them a way to salvation through Jesus.
When the ship struck the iceberg that fateful, moonless night, Harper realized the situation was dire. He wrapped his daughter in a blanket and made sure she was placed on a lifeboat. Next, he set about locating the unsaved. He ran throughout the ship, pleading with people to turn to Jesus. One survivor heard him shout, “Women, children and the unsaved into the lifeboats!” Harper knew the souls of the unsaved were not ready to face death, whereas believers were eternally prepared to lose their lives.
Harper continued in his quest to help the unsaved. On the deck of the ship, he prayed with passengers, leading them to salvation by praying to receive Christ. As the ship broke apart and plunged into the sea, he jumped into the icy waters. Immediately he searched for more lost souls. Witnesses say they could hear him preaching the gospel to all those who were slipping into death. He continued on his mission until he sank beneath the water with his last breath.
A young Scotsman testified about John Harper and his unfailing quest to help the lost. Here is what he had to say.
“I am a survivor of the Titanic. When I was drifting along on a spar that awful night, the tide brought Mr. John Harper of Glasgow, 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. I am John Harper’s last convert.”
Harper knew the ship was going down, yet he wasn’t concerned about himself, but rather the souls of the lost. Matthew 16:25 says, “If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.” John Harper wasn’t afraid of losing his life because he knew he would gain eternity. He even gave his life jacket to a fellow passenger, knowing he wouldn’t need it where he was going.
His brother later wrote, “My beloved brother was a mighty man of prayer. He was a master of this holy art. I have been with him in prayer again and again and his whole frame shook like an aspen leaf, so earnest was he in his pleadings with God for a perishing world. Little wonder hard hearts were broken and stubborn wills subdued under his ministry.”
The message of Harper’s story is clear–reach out to the lost before it’s too late. Share the message that Jesus Christ saves. Speaking of messages, many people think the RMS Titanic was just a passenger ship, but that’s not true. Actually, the RMS stands for Royal Mail Ship which means the vessel was a floating post office. In fact, when it sank, between six and nine million pieces of mail were lost. Titanic had five mail clerks who worked up to the very last moment to save the mail, but in doing so they forfeited any chance of escaping the doomed ship. They went down with the mail.
As I picture all the mail going down with the ship, I can’t help but think about how important it is that we get the message to others that Jesus is Lord and he’s coming back. With all the turmoil and strife in our nation, people need this hope more than ever. Like John Harper, who ran along the decks of Titanic screaming, “Jesus saves,” we must let our voices shout above the fear and the lies that pervade our society. Like the mail clerks, who used every precious second to save the mail, we too must work all the way up to the 11th hour. By the way, did I mention that John Harper put his young daughter in Lifeboat 11?
There are many messages we can glean from the sinking of the Titanic. But perhaps the biggest take away is that nothing is unsinkable in this sinful world. Many lives could have been spared if iceberg warnings were heeded. In addition, there weren’t enough lifeboats to save all the people on board. The same is true today. The Bible says this world is sinking, but we have a lifeboat waiting and his name is Jesus Christ. He will never leave or forsake us. Right now, he’s in the lifeboat, urging us to get in. All we must do is step out onto the water in faith, knowing he will joyfully receive us as his own.
- That the great divide in the nation will be an opportunity for the spread of the Gospel message that Jesus saves
- That Christians will be passionate about sharing the Gospel NOW
- That people would respond to the message of the Gospel and get in the lifeboat with Jesus!
- That the Church would be encouraged that “nothing is unsinkable in this sinful world.”
How can we boldly proclaim the good news that Jesus saves? Share in the comment below. . .
Angela Rodriguez is an author, blogger, and homeschooling Mom who studies the historical and biblical connections between Israel and the United States. You can visit her blogs at 67owls.com and 100trumpets.com. (Photo Credit: Nicole Hackart.)
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Father, give us the boldness to speak Jesus to a dying world. May the true story of the Titanic be told.
Father in Heaven, in Jesus’ Name, by the power of Your Holy Spirit open the eyes and ears of those making decisions for corporate America to see what You have done as Creator of the Universes. Cause them to put their trust in You, Lord. Remove the scales from their eyes. In Jesus Name, I rebuke the powers of darkness at all levels of commerce and government from deceiving the people. Thank You, Lord for holding Your creation together. Thank You for the gift You give Your people of ,”peace of mind and heart” so we do not have to fear, be troubled, or afraid.
Thank You for using us to bring the message of salvation to others. What a privilege, Lord!! Thousand thanks.
Know you love all people, and those who have not yet come to know You. By Your almighty power cause all leadership in our country to bow in humility before You, repenting of their sins, and then, knowing the JOY of being rescued, and to be in Your presence through eternity. Take them aboard the lifeboat of salvation just as
some were rescued in lifeboats as Titantic sank.
Keep Your people from discouragement and weariness in witness to the Faith. You have promised, “Your Word does not return void”. Help us to remember if we feel our witnessing is failing, “The Lord isn’t really slow about His promise, as some people think.” “No, He is being patient for Your sake. He does not want anyone to destroyed, but wants everyone to repent”. (2 Peter 3:9) Lord, even if we don’t see results, help us remember
You are acting on our prayers and concerns. Psalm 86:7 promises whenever we are in trouble, or call on You, You will answer”. Praise, honor, glory to Your Holy Name. Amen.
Wow! What a powerful, beautiful, but timely, story!! God help us all to listen to this message! God help us to be the “John Harpers” to our country! We need that passion, for such a time as this! “Nothing is impossible with our God.” “We CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens us.” God have mercy on us!
This story brings tears to my eyes and pulls at my heart. It sheds a new light on the that sinking. Who would have assumed that people got saved in that awful time! What a great man of God, and what an 11th hour blessing to those people on board who were saved because of him!
I agree Wanda. It’s amazing to hear about a man like John Harper, who kept preaching the gospel up to the last minute. What courage and devotion! Thank you so much for reading and may the Lord bless you!
Thanks for such a great message!!
God DOES need us to do it- to evangelize- and we know He will find others if we don’t.
We pray for His mercy to be fishers of men!
Amen. The urgency to speak God’s truth boldly and plainly is of utmost urgency NOW in these last of the last days.
In these last of the last days, in this time of a great TRUTH FAMINE, His people must fearlessly and obediently speak His truth plainly as the Word instructs.
Habakkuk 2 says for us to make our words, our messages from Him PLAIN, so when someone reads or hears it, they may do what the Lord has commanded or instructed.
Then the Lord answered me and said:
“Write the vision
And make it PLAIN on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.
So, the opposite it true. If a Christian uses mealy-mouthed words and messages, he or she is depriving others of the truth of God’s Word as well as the know-how on what exactly to “run with” in obedience to the Lord.
Excerpt from: My Promise to the Lord: Speak PLAINLY
This is an excellent lesson and comparison to what is going on in the world today. Lots of sheep in the world today being led down the wrong path. Just like the higher ups of Titanic with “full speed ahead” of breaking records for power and money, many people today are full speed ahead for money and power (no matter what the cost is). People then and now want to be rich with material goods but can’t see how much richer they would be to be saved by our Lord, Jesus Christ. There aren’t too many Mr. Harper’s around to save others because he was “awakened” by our Lord and he in turn “awakened” others. He didn’t fear death because he knew where he was going when his work on earth is finished. Jesus is unsinkable and invites everyone to take their lifeboat to Him.
Love all your comments Linda! So true about the “full speed ahead” analogy. May we all be the “John Harpers” that Jesus needs us to be.
A few months ago, the Lord spoke to me in my prayer time: ‘A tsunami is coming to the East coast. It is coming to America. For those who are hidden in Me, they will be lifted higher and carried in the Ark. For the unsaved, though it will not mean annihilation, it will bring devestation. People need to be in the Ark now!” Father, stir up a passion to share Jesus will all we meet. Give us a sense of urgency to get others in the Ark before it is too late. You are mighty to save! Kingdom come! Signs and wonders follow us who believe!
Lori, I received a similar word about getting on the Ark as well. The Holy Spirit impressed the words, “Get on the Roof” on my heart also, which is what people do when a flood is coming. Praying with you that people see the urgency of turning to Jesus now before it’s too late. Thank you for reading and commenting.
Sometimes it seems that our nation is going down – like the Titanic did. The Titanic could have been saved if the key to the binoculars could have been given to David Blair’s replacement after he departed. But the key to our nation is the Bible – God’s Word. I pray that our nation will turn back to the Lord and to God’s Word.
Thank you for this article to again get my focus on the souls of the lost. God have mercy on us, soften the hardest of hearts, humble the proud, grant repentance that the ones you’ve chosen may come to their senses & escape the trap of the devil who has taken them captive to do his will. May we you’re servants have the same urgency as John Harper to see souls saved. Empower us by your Holy Spirit to humbly walk with & obey you. To God be the glory, Amen.
Lisa, thank you for reading and praying. Yes, there are so many people with hardened hearts in this nation. I pray for a breakthrough and revival in our land. May the Church arise and share the gospel NOW.
What a beautiful message of a life well lived and given for the sake of sharing Christ Jesus. John Harper’s story both motivates us and bring admonition of the times we fail to share the gospel when prompted by Your Holy Spirit. Father God, help us live lives that are completely Yours free from guilt, shame and fear! Grant us boldness and steadfast hearts willing to share the gospel in confidence that You will make the way clear and prepare hearts to receive You. Thank You for the example of John Harper and the many more like him who abandon self to share the life giving Word of Christ! In Your Name we pray!
Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal One have mercy on us. May all the lost souls bereached for Christ in these trying times.May God give all us Christians wisdom how to witness to unsaved souls. Aen.☦
Thank you for studying and sharing the story of John Harper. I hadn’t heard that in a long time. I do need to share Christ at every opportunity. He that sows is nothing and he that reaps is nothing but He that gives the increase, Jesus Christ.
All praise to Christ Jesus our Lord!
Romans 10:9-10 read, and share this article. This would be a great pulpit message. I have never heard it before. We are still fighting a war in the Spirit. But God wins!!! Onward Christian soldiers!
I agree Carole Ann. I am getting some “gospel” cards printed with the Titanic on them and this is certainly the perfect verse to use! My thought was to leave them in different places where I visit and go. Thank you for reading, and for the encouragement!
Angela, What a great idea you have about the cards! You go girl!
ThankYou, I’ve never read or heard of John Harper. What a man! No greater love! Lord give us hearts as passionately on fire for you and the lost as John Harper’s.
Oh, how I pray for a sweeping of the Holy Spirit over our nation to move people to Christ. Will you please pray for my children to come to Jesus? My heart is hurting. Thank you.
I’m praying the Holy Spirit will come upon them & gently convict them of their sin, open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light & from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins & an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Christ. May God comfort your hurting heart, strengthen you, give you wisdom, grace, & love to continue to fight & pray for the souls of your children. Be encouraged God loves you!
I would encourage you to go to Dutch Sheets website and His Give Him 15 posts of the last 3 or 4 days. He has some excellent teaching on prayer and speaking the word of God to change the direction of people’s lives. I think you would find it very helpful. It has certainly inspired and educated me. I pray that the circle of your family will be unbroken in Jesus name. Amen.
Thank you for the information about Dutch Sheets. I will check it out. The Word of God is so powerful and definitely something we need to speak over others. Blessings to you and your family.
Father, we stand in the gap for the lost souls of America. We pray that revival will hit America, that your spirit will be poured out on this great divide and hearts will repent and people will be saved from eternal damnation. Give your people a sense of urgency to pray and seek you daily, and prepare for the spiritual battle that is ahead. Let us wake up and carry the torch of John Harper in our daily lives and daily walk with you. That we will use every opportunity you put before us to spread the gospel to the unsaved. In Jesus name we pray.