It was a beautiful spring day when the “unsinkable” new ship, the H.M.S. Titanic set sail for America in 1912. Traveling on this “newest wonder of the world” was quite a status symbol for the many wealthy passengers who had bought first class tickets for this maiden voyage.
Naturally, they wanted their loved ones to celebrate their good fortune with them. On board the Titanic was a fairly new invention, which seemed to offer the perfect way to do this.
“Wireless Telegraphy” was a technology developed only a few short years before, in 1909.
To send a message by this means was the equivalent of the cell-phone calls we all made in 1995 to our amazed family and friends
The cost of wiring a brief message from the Titanic would be more than $50 today, but to send that message from the deck of the greatest ship on earth made it irresistible despite the expense.
Hundreds of such messages were composed by happy passengers and submitted to the “wireless operator” of the Titanic, a young man named Jack Phillips. Jack was eager to participate in this money-making venture. Hour after hour on the night of April 14th he tapped out these messages from the piles stacked before him…but he kept getting interrupted.
Some other nameless radio operator out in the North Atlantic kept sending the same urgent message to the Titanic causing Jack to have to interrupt his own lucrative efforts in order to receive each new transmission.
At last, in frustration, Jack Phillips acknowledged the radio operator of the “Californian” who had been repeatedly warning of icebergs spotted in the path of the Titanic. These are the six words of response Jack sent out that fateful night:
“Shut up! Shut up! I’m busy!”
When he finally went to bed late that night, Mr. Phillips actually shut down the radio of the Titanic. No further warnings could be received, and there is some doubt that the earlier warnings were even forwarded to the bridge.
A few short hours later, alarm bells sounded, but Jack Phillips had not only doomed his passengers but himself as well. He had put in such long hours at his job that he was too exhausted to survive in the icy waters, and he died that night, 25 years old.
Although these events took place 99 years ago, there is still a life-saving message in this story that it is not too late to receive Like the well-to-do passengers aboard the Titanic, many of us are comfortably steaming through life oblivious to the danger just up ahead.
Some of us even resemble eager young Jack Phillips; ambitious, dedicated and hard-working, but choosing to ignore the warnings sent to us repeatedly by a caring God who does not want us to perish in eternity. By ignoring the warnings that God is sending us, we are essentially responding to the Lord in the same way Jack Phillips did the night the Titanic sunk:
“Shut up! Shut up! I’m busy!”
The worst part of that choice is that after sending that message a number of times, we usually do what Jack Phillips did, we shut down our receiver, and, spiritually, we go to sleep. God continues to transmit His merciful warnings, but we no longer perceive them. That is why the Bible says:
“ …Awake O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light” (Ephesians 5:14b).
My dear friend, I submit to you that if we continue in this neglect, we will suffer the same fate Jack Phillips did. The Bible says:
“For how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” (Hebrews 2:3).
“Be not deceived, God is not mocked, whatever a man sows is what he shall reap” (Galatians 6:7).
The warning that God is sending us is this:
“He who has the Son, has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:11).
Do you “have” the Son of God? It is not an accident that you are reading this message today.
I believe it is the mercy of God that is even now inviting you to turn the ship of your soul around and head for safe harbor in the mercy of God. Consider how joyfully history could have been written if the Titanic had sent out six different words that fateful night…
“Message received. Course changed. Clear sailing.”
What will you do now with the warning you have received? Dear friend, you are loved by God. Acknowledge His message sent to you today in this story. Put aside your “money-making ventures” long enough to pursue and obtain eternal riches.
Flee into the safety of Christ before your devotion to your career leaves you too exhausted to survive the icebergs of life.
Do you perceive the warning signs that our nation and our world are heading into great danger just ahead? There is a way of escape! Find your way into the lifeboat of Jesus Christ!
1.Ask God to give you a spiritual heart transplant…to take out your “heart of stone” and give you a clean new heart filled with faith in Him.
2.Ask Jesus Christ to come and take up residence in your new heart. Prepare a place for Him by admitting that your sins can only be cleansed by His blood, sacrificed for you on the cross.
3. Begin right away to attend a church that believes that the Bible is the literal and error-free Word of the Living God. Follow the Bible’s directions as your spiritual compass.
May our loving God guide you safely home!