Thursday, March 22, 2012

Titanic - what really went down in eternity

The movie Titanic in the 1990's seemed to capture the complete fascination of this historic tragedy when that ship sank early on April 15th 1912. The ship was sent off with a foolish headline from a major newspaper that said “This Ship Is Unsinkable, Even God Himself Can’t Sink It!”. It sank. This big news item ship was nothing but status for it's passengers. The world media was reporting the maiden voyage. As the high tech, high fashion ocean liner sunk, 1,500 drowned of the over 2,200 people that were on board.

My wife and I were some of the few American adults who never saw the movie in a theater. Ask my wife why? She remembers my answer still. My sarcastic remark back then was "I know how this ends."
We are reminded of my remark when we see commercials for the re-release of the new 3-D movie. But no I did not know how it really ended.

As a boy in the 1960's I remember the Friday night TV show The Time Tunnel. On one episode the time travelers landed on the deck of the soon to sink Titanic. That episode frightened me so. The story is continually fascinating to the world it seems.

Most people today I reason, when recalling the Titanic, will think about the Leonardo DiCaprio movie as what really happened concerning that historic ship's sinking. Yes I now have seen some short clips of the movie. It grosses me out that they interview the old woman on the movie who is perhaps one of the few remaining survivors of the tragedy. Why? What does she remember? Her quick meeting up with a boy, while engaged to another, and having sexual encounters with him. I could only imagine as the family visits the nursing home they say "Hey granny tell Junior about the Titanic." "OH, Never mind now Granny. How about some pudding." What really happened? A life changing real story, in the jaws of death, happened on board that impacted eternity.

About this true story of faith, I first heard it when A friend of mine mentioned it in his revival sermon at my church. I researched it at *(Check the link at the end) Christian History magazine. This is humbling. This story is soul crushing and soul lifting. This story makes me ask "I know I love Jesus, but would I do that?"

This awesome servant of God and true evangelist I heard about is Scottish evangelist John Harper. He nearly died several times in life before on the water. Once in a well as a child. Twice he was in peril in the sea in dangerous circumstances. His wife died early in their marriage. The widower evangelist had a six year old daughter on board. They were heading to Chicago as he was called to pastor the Moody church in Chicago. He had earlier in life planted a church in Scotland that had grown from 25 people to over 500.

The article from Christian History reports "In 1912 Harper, the newly called pastor of Moody Church in Chicago, was traveling on the Titanic with his 6-year-old daughter. After the ship struck an iceberg and began to sink, he got Nana into a lifeboat but apparently made no effort to follow her. Instead, he ran through the ship yelling, "Women, children, and unsaved into the lifeboats!" Survivors report that he then began witnessing to anyone who would listen. He continued preaching even after he had jumped into the water and was clinging to a piece of wreckage (he'd already given his lifejacket to another man)."

"Women, children, and unsaved into the lifeboats!" WHAT???
The ship was sinking. An icy painful drowning death was knocking at the door. He put his daughter on a life boat. He turns to the dying.
He went to work to save souls. What kind of man does that?

A man convinced that-

Acts 2:21 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

A man who would do this is convinced what is hoped for is greater than now.

Romans 8:23-25 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
"23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. 24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it."

A man who would do this would not care what you or I would do.

1 Corinthians 1:18-19 New American Standard Bible (NASB) " 18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,

A man that would give all for Christ like John Harper believes preaching the life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most important thing in life.

1 Corinthians 15:1-3 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
" 1 Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, "

A man who would do this would know and trust his King.

1 Timothy 2:3-5 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
"3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,"

So, is this story true?
Is this just one of those weepy evangelism stories like the "Draw-bridge" or
"Footprints In The Sand"?

Read this recorded statement.
*"Harper's final moments were recounted four years later at a meeting in Hamilton, Ontario, by a man who said: "I am a survivor of the Titanic. When I was drifting alone on a spar that awful night, the tide brought Mr. 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." He was also one of only six people picked out the water by the lifeboats; the other 1,522, including Harper, were left to die."

John Harper and his family and converts are not thinking they are the "King Of The World", as Leonardo DiCaprio shouted In the height of the "love story" movie, with he and his new girlfriend overlooking the sea.

This love story has John Harper, his family and converts on top of the universe sitting at the feet of "The KING OF GLORY."

My prayer.
Lord send us a revival born from your Spirit. We beg for an anointing that will change weak men like me. Thank you for sending us men of faith. We need you now in this lost and dying world. We have no other hope. You made a way out of no way as you took our sin and paid the penalty for it, as we repent and turn from the world we look to you for forgiveness of sins, salvation, peace with God and citizenship in Heaven.
Lord I believe. Help my unbelief.

In Jesus life saving name we pray.


Thanks for reading friend.
The link to the Christian History article with more information about John Harper is below.

In Christ Alone!

Fletcher Law

Sacrifice at Sea
The untold story of a true Titanic hero.
Elesha Coffman | posted 8/08/2008 12:33PM

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