Promises & Warnings

August 10, 2012 — Leave a comment

“We believe that the boat is unsinkable.” Philip Franklin, Vice-President of White Star Line, owners of the Titanic.

Only foolishly overconfident people ignore legitimate warnings. One hundred years ago, in 1912, the largest and most luxurious ocean liner afloat, the Titanic, sank on her maiden voyage with a staggering number of lost lives.  Of the 2,223 passengers aboard the Titanic, only 706 survived.

The Titanic was the pride and joy of the White Star Line Shipping Company.  She was not only the largest and most luxuriously appointed ocean liner in the world, she was also a pace-setter in terms of engineering and construction.  The Titanic had eight watertight hull compartments that would close if water entered which would allow the ship to stay afloat. No one could imagine any sort of structural breach that would render the Titanic vulnerable.  She was called “unsinkable.” 

As a sidebar note, if you are ever in London you should try to eat at the Texas Embassy Restaurant located at Trafalgar Square.  It’s quite good and also quite historical.  The building that now houses this modern day restaurant is the former office of the White Star Line.  Many Titanic passengers purchased tickets here and it was to this very building where many friends and relatives came to view the lists of survivors. 

Now, back to the story that you already know so well.  The Titanic was not unsinkable – she struck an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. on April 14, 1912 and sank at 2:20 a.m. on April 15.  Although the watertight compartments did help mitigate the amount of water that the ship took on and allowed her to stay afloat longer, five of the eight were flooded and caused the weight to be too much for the ship to bear.

What really caused the Titanic to sink?  Many believe it all boiled down to this:  the ship’s officers ignored legitimate warnings of icebergs along their route. They sped ahead as if the warnings carried no significant weight whatsoever. Only foolishly overconfident people ignore legitimate warnings and the name Titanic stands as an object lesson to the danger of human presumption. They could have, and should have, paid attention to the ice warnings.

This Sunday we’ll be in a passage of scripture (1 Corinthians 10:1-13) that contains both warnings and promises and I believe God can use this teaching for your good and mine. It’s a passage of scripture that is designed to make us healthier, more robust believers whose conduct is evidence of our faith. It’s designed to stir us up, wake us up, arouse us, encourage us and help us live with a high sense of purpose as we serve our good and gracious God.

My friends, always claim God’s promises and always pay attention to His warnings. Why?  Because the Lord is good, He is trustworthy, He is full of compassion and mercy, and He is for you in the best ways possible.

I hope to see you Sunday at either 8:30 or 11:00.

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