Crew Member Or Passenger :: by Grant Phillips

I was listening to a message by Adrian Rogers the other day and he stated that most Christians think they’re on a cruise ship instead of a battle ship. I’ve thought a lot about that and it makes a lot of sense.

He was referring to the fact that we Christians are in a spiritual war, but most don’t even know it. Most Christians think they’re just passengers, out to enjoy the ride and soak up the sun.

The Apostle Peter says in 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”

The Apostle Paul says in Ephesians 6:11, “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”

Jesus says to His disciples in Luke 10:3, “Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.”

In the previous verse (Luke 10:2) Jesus says, “Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.”

Deviating just slightly from what Adrian Rogers was saying, I began thinking that on a cruise ship there are two groups of people; crew members and passengers, which takes me back to the previous verse where Jesus is talking about so few laborers.

Whether considering cruise ships vs. battle ships or passengers vs. crew members both lists comprise passengers, those who are working and those who are playing.

In any church I’ve ever been in, a very small percentage of Christians in the church actually do anything that is work related. They are the crew members. Everyone else just coasts along for the ride. They are the passengers. Of course they always want a piece of the action, if there is any, but they won’t lift a finger to get there. Mention food for example, and they’ll be right there with an appetite but little else.

Funny thing though, if you mention contributing some elbow grease to work that needs to be done around the church building only a handful will show up. If you mention going out together and visiting people, even fewer show up. They disappear like rats on a sinking ship.

I’ve noticed in some Baptist churches before that some members rarely show their face, but if there is something important at business meeting that concerns their interest, they’ll be right there.

Well let’s face it. This is just the nature of most people. What we should strive for is to overcome that about ourselves, if it applies to us.

As a Christian I need to be occupied in whatever the Lord requires of me. Now I’m not busy working in order to be saved or to keep my salvation. That is already settled in Heaven. Jesus saved me. Jesus keeps me. So that isn’t it at all. My work is totally obedience related. How is that you say? We work at whatever He calls us to do because He is not just our Savior, but also our Lord. We live to serve Him.

Sadly, far, far too many who claim they are Christians are not serving the One they say saved them. Since there are only two masters, Jesus Christ and Satan, and they are not serving Jesus as Lord, then it must be Satan.

Yes that’s right. If we are not serving Jesus, who we say is our Savior and Lord; we have to be serving Satan. Now I’m sure if we are truly Christian we do not consciously say, “I’m going to serve Satan today.” We must realize however, that by not serving Jesus, our actions default to Satan, because when we don’t walk with Christ, we get off on the wrong path. Another reason would be; Satan makes it look like we were on his side all along. Now none of us want that.

Probably all of us would like to be a passenger on a cruise ship, having all our needs met while we just relax and do nothing but have fun. Who wants to be a crew member and work the whole time while we could be playing? That seems to be the attitude of most Christians when it comes to serving Christ.

The one thing they miss though is that being the Lord’s crew member is by far more satisfying than being a vacationing passenger for the world. Some of you understand what I’m saying, while most of you probably think I’m nuts.

Okay. I’m not talking about vacations on a real cruise ship which involves crew members and passengers (vacationers). I’m talking about life. What mode is our life in? Are we a faithful servant of our Lord, or are we avoiding our Christian responsibilities? Is our life just one big “What can I do for me” or “What can I do for Jesus?”

It’s sad that most people strive their whole life for material things and activities in search for happiness, not realizing that true happiness is found in serving Jesus Christ. In other words, they strive for what is temporary instead of what is permanent.

Now let me put the brakes on for a minute. I am not anti-fun, anti-vacations, etc. and neither is God, but when that consumes our time so much we have none left for Him, then it’s a problem.

How many would avoid being fired if they just loafed on their job and did nothing? They’ve returned from vacation and think they’re still on the cruise ship. I don’t think so. They would either immediately shape up, or be shown the door; no more job.

Enjoy your leisure time, but be sure there is plenty of time to do what you were called to do as a Christian; i.e. serve the Lord. Then do it.

If every Christian got this message and acted upon it, many of our pastors would pass out from the shock. They wouldn’t know what to do or say when so many of the flock would actually volunteer to serve.

Grant Phillips