The Unsinkable Ship

Lesson: 9
The remarkable story of some of the passengers on the ill-fated Titanic and how their lives reflect the condition of our world today.
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Welcome friends. Very glad that you're here joining us for presentation #9 in our heroes of faith series and we have one more tonight and that's going to be talking about the sign of Jonah. Now this morning's presentation is going to be a little bit unusual. It is based on a Bible story, but I'll be taking a major detour through history. And the title of the presentation is the unsinkable ship, but as we always do, these are rooted in Bible stories.

And so, we're going to be going to the gospel of Luke chapter 8, verse 22 and this will be the story that will be the springboard for our study today - Luke chapter 8, verse 22, "now it happened, on a certain day," - actually, at the end of a day of teaching; it was toward evening - "that he got into a boat with his disciples. And he said to them, 'let us cross over to the other side of the lake.' And they launched out. But as they sailed he fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to him and awoke him, saying, 'master, master, we are perishing!'" It must have been some storm because these were well-seasoned fishermen that spent their lives on that lake.

And that evening, in the dark, as they were crossing to try and get some peace and quiet on the other side, a tremendous supercell developed in the hills above Lebanon and it caused a storm and the wind in that part of the country can race down from those mountains to way down below sea level and it is one of the very unique pieces of topography that is known for sudden and very violent storms and this storm built up the waves from almost nowhere and their little ship was being bounced all over the place and water was starting to come in and they couldn't bail it fast enough and they were afraid the next wave was going to swamp them and send them down to the bottom. The sailors were scared. And then the lightning flashed and they saw Jesus was in the boat, and they'd forgotten all about him. He was so exhausted, thought he was drenched, he couldn't wake up - from his teaching and ministry through the day. And they called out and said, 'master, master, we're perishing!' In one version it says, 'do you not care that we're perishing?' Which is a strange question to ask Jesus.

Then he awoke, looked around, surveyed the elements, rubbed his eyes and he uttered one word in Hebrew, it says, 'peace be still' in Greek, but all he really said was 'shalom' and as soon as he said that, the wind ceased its raging of the water and there was a calm. Another part says 'a great calm'. As soon as he spoke, the waters became flat and glassy - there was a great still - and it was so much so he says to the disciples, "'where is your faith?' And they were afraid, and they marveled, to one another, 'who can this be? For even the wind and waters obey him!'" Now they're even more afraid after they see his power of speaking and turning the storm into a great calm. Who is this that even the wind and the waves obey him? You know, the Bible is filled with stories about boats and the sea. Matter of fact, the Bible begins with a story about a storm and a big boat.

You've heard of Noah. And then, as you go through the gospel stories, several stories with Jesus on the sea, the new testament ends - the gospel of - or the book of acts ends with a great storm where Paul ends up being shipwrecked. And, of course, we've got the story of Jonah. The Bible has a lot to say about storms. You maybe heard about king jehoshaphat - he had a whole fleet of ships that went down in a storm.

Just about a week ago, when hurricane Joaquin went through the Bahamas area - it's almost hard to comprehend that here we are in 2015 and you've got a vessel 790-feet long - the el faro - and it just disappeared with 33 lives. Even with our modern technology today, we have not learned how to completely tame the elements of nature. Probably one of the most amazing stories of maritime disasters is the Titanic because the Titanic represented, really, a change in a lot of things that were going on in the world. It was a change of an age. Now some of you may or may not know that there was a book written.

There's many movies and books about the Titanic, but there was one book written that was similar but it's really about a different ship and it was written by a merchant seaman by the name of morgan Robertson. Robertson wrote a book called the wreck of the Titan and he wrote his book the wreck of the Titan 14 years before the Titanic was built. Now listen to some of the very interesting things from morgan Robertson's book called the wreck of the Titan and you tell me if you don't think this is uncanny. First of all, the name - the book is called the 'Titan' - Titanic and Titan come from these ancient giant greek Gods - same name, really. His book - his fictional story - was written about the largest english ocean liner that had ever been built that was crossing the Atlantic in April, struck and iceberg and sank.

Had the most elite people of the age on the boat. The length of the Titan - in Robertson's book - was feet - the Titanic - 882 feet. The width of the Titan - 90 feet - Titanic 92. The Titan was the fastest ship that had ever been built, like the Titanic. It could go 25 knots, in reality the Titanic could only go 23.

They said that the Titan was unsinkable because it had 19 water tight compartments separating the sections of the ship. The Titanic actually had 16. Both the Titan and the Titanic had three propellers. The capacity of the Titan, in Robertson's book, was 3,000 people - Titanic 3,250. The number of people that were actually on board during the disaster? ,000 On the Titan - 2,228 on the Titanic.

They didn't have enough life boats on the Titan. They didn't have enough life boats on the Titanic - only 24 on the Titan - 20 on the Titanic - about half as many as they needed. They were both sailing in the north Atlantic and sank hitting a pyramid-shaped iceberg that overturned 400 miles from Newfoundland. And isn't it incredible that they were both encouraged to break speed records? Both happened in April - and the story the wreck of the Titan was written 14 years before the Titanic was built. The amazing thing is that Morgan Robertson took the book to several publishers and the editors said, 'we're not interested' and he kept saying, 'why not?' They said, 'what you've written about is too unbelievable.

It would never happen.' (Laughter) but we know what happened. The Titanic really did happen. You almost wonder, was this some unwitting prophecy? the Lord was trying to tell us about man's - the futility of his trust in his own technology. Well, when the Titanic sank, it reMained missing for 75 years. Then back in 1985 - the search, I think, began in - dr.

Robert Ballard was criss-crossing across the Atlantic in a grid pulling some sonar equipment to try to locate the wreck and they were dragging a camera across the bottom of the ocean when suddenly, into the view, came this picture. It wouldn't look too attractive to you and i, but they'd studied every facet of the Titanic and they all squealed and were jubilant because they knew right away this was a boiler - one of the many boilers on the Titanic - that they were looking at. And as they continued to pull the camera a little further, then the bow of this once-majestic ship came into view. These are some of the early photographs that were taken. Many have gone down to the site of the wreck - Ballard made several trips there.

Matter of fact, I've got a book signed by him at home. I think you've seen my presentation on this. And he went down in some submersibles 13,000 feet - two miles down - incredible pressure - very dangerous to go to - in preparation for the movie the Titanic, James cameron made 30 trips going down ,000 feet to the actual wreck, taking pictures and preparing for that epic film. I started actually preaching about the Titanic before they discovered it. I was always sort of interested in, as I said, not only flying but the ocean.

I lived on an ocean when I was a teenager, in the mediterranean and another one in the caribbean and I've just always been very interested in the sea. But the - they wanted to find out exactly if they could confirm what had happened with the iceberg by looking at the wreck, and they found that the boat had broken in two and the sections were separated by 1900 feet. It had actually totally split in two, which is interesting when you think about it, because when the Titanic was built in belfast, ireland, it was built in record time and it was deemed to be unsinkable. ,000 Men were involved in building the Titanic. It was actually built by white star lines - it was part of three ships that were built - the Titanic, the Britannic, and the Olympic and when it finally made its maiden voyage, that April in 1912 - a little more than a hundred years ago now - it was called the millionaire special because a lot of the leading millionaires and stock brokers were on the ship.

You've heard of the Waldorf-Astoria hotel built by the Astor family - John Jacob Astor was on the ship. And you've maybe heard about the unsinkable Molly Brown - they made a movie about her - Molly Brown, the silver-mine heiress from Colorado was on the ship. Astor perished; Molly Brown survived. They had all of the most beautiful design and elegance, for the age, put into the Titanic. This is the grand ballroom; it was the central piece of the ship and beautiful dining rooms and they had some of the best wood engraved, from all over the world.

It was a piece of art. It was like just the greatest artisans and all of the elegance of an era were incorporated, yet they had some of the most modern technology. If you were to imagine today a ship that incorporated all of the technology of the u.s. Space station. They had all of the most modern technology that had been poured into this one vessel.

They had swimming pools and they had a beauty salon and they had a barber shop and they had a gymnasium. And now, that's sort of state affair for any cruise ship, but it wasn't back then. These things were considered luxury of the luxury back then. And so there was a great bit of fanfare that gathered at the port when the Titanic took off on its maiden voyage. Reporters were all there.

The ship had been advertised as being unsinkable. Now there's - you have to go into history and you'll find different myths that are written about the Titanic. One person said that the captain of the ship, who was John Smith, that he was overheard saying, when someone asked - a lady asked - 'is it true that the ship is unsinkable?' That he had said, 'madame, God himself could not sink this ship.' And other versions say 'the good lord himself could not sink this ship.' So there's been some ambiguity about what was said, but one thing is certain, that white star line wrote "we place absolute confidence in the Titanic. We believe that the boat is unsinkable." Hence, the title for the message. A white start promotional flyer for the Titanic claimed, "as far as it is possible to do, these two wonderful vessels" - then it was the Titanic and its sister ship the Olympic - "are designed to be unsinkable.

" And in another quote Captain Smith said, 'madame, you could cut this ship in half and both sections would float.' Because it was designed with these water-tight compartments that spread across the ship - sixteen of them - and there were electric doors. They would press a button if there was an emergency and one or two or three of the different sides of the ship had been punctured by a mine or a torpedo, they would press a button and close off these massive gates, seal the leak to one section of the ship, the remaining buoyancy would keep the ship afloat until it could limp off into port and be repaired. Captain Smith said, 'I cannot imagine a scenario where this ship would flounder.' There was one lady, she was actually the mother of one of the last survivors of the Titanic - they've all perished now, everybody that had been on the Titanic - some lived to be over a hundred - last name was wolf. She overheard the interview and she thought this was a very bad omen. She had trouble sleeping.

She felt like that the builders of the Titanic were shaking their fist in the face of God and daring him to sink the ship and it made her very uncomfortable - she and her infant daughter survived - but she couldn't sleep. She just felt like something ominous was going to happen. Titanic was also a boat, for some reason, you know, they often name and Christen a ship. They never Christened it - not that there's any special value or religious significance to that, but it was just unusual. Usually when they launch a ship they Christen the ship but white star lines did not do that with the Titanic, so off it went - beautiful weather - making its maiden voyage travelling from england.

It made one stop up in Scotland and then headed across. Some of the only surviving photographs are people who took the short trip from england to Scotland. They got off and they had taken some pictures and that film has been recovered from some of the tourists then. And as they were making their way across, captain Smith, because he was planning to retire - he had served white star lines 40 years, he had never had an emergency at sea. Matter of fact, he described his career as a very uneventful one.

He wanted to go out with glory and they gave him the honor of captaining the ship on its first voyage - was going to be his last voyage. He wanted to break a record. He wanted to break the record for crossing the Atlantic and go out with a blaze of glory. And right there, when you're trying to make a name for yourself, pride often goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. This boat sort of symbolized the arrogance of the age.

They had put so much trust in the industrial age that they thought that they had gotten beyond the point where even nature could bring down the ship - and especially in such beautiful weather. I'll share with you a few Amazing Facts as we proceed, but one that's interesting: Titanic was the only ship in recorded history that was actually on fire the entire time it was in service. Just before they launched a fire broke out in one of the electric rooms and every time they tried to open it to attend to it, it just flared up again and so they just closed the door to rob it of oxygen and they never did get the fire out. It was small enough they could isolate it and still operate all the electric needs throughout the ship, but it was on fire the whole time that it was in service. Now, today, they wouldn't let it continue operating like that.

Another interesting fact, and you can look at the picture - I think it's on the screen - is while it had four smoke stacks, the last one in the rear was a dummy. They wanted the ship to look symmetrical. They were so consumed with making a statement that they built - it did have a little air vent in it, but it was - it had no smoke going out - it was a big dummy stack to try to make it look even. So if you ever see movies and stories where you've got smoke coming out of all four stacks of the Titanic, they haven't done their research. They also had a modern communications system - it was a marconi wireless and that was how the ships would talk back then.

They couldn't talk, but they used a type of morse code to communicate. And as they were making their way across, the wireless operators were very busy because all of the millionaires and all these wealthy people in the first class section were sending greetings to all of their friends and they would relay them through the different ships or as they went by Newfoundland, they would relay it to the station there and they would check their stocks and 'please send greetings' and, you know, this was a first-class vessel, they had to try and get it all out and there were stacks and stacks of messages that the wireless operators were using trying to tap them out to accommodate all of the millionaires. Well, the man who was at the station during the fateful hours on the 14th of April was jack philips and he was frantically tapping out those messages and some of the operators from other ships, like a ship by the name of the California, said 'we have encountered icebergs. Matter of fact, we have stopped for the evening - the captain told us to stop because we've run into a field of ice.' Another russian boat wired the Titanic and they would wire their location periodically and they said, 'based upon your location, you are moving way too fast for the ice that's ahead of you. You need to slow down.

' And so they received several messages that were saying, 'you know, we know you guys are rip snorting across the ocean trying to break a record, but you need to be aware that there's a field of ice.' And the russian freighter said, 'there are two very significant icebergs' - so it wasn't just the small broken ice that they could plow through, there were some big icebergs that could seriously damage the ship. So they had received these warnings. At about 11:40 that evening, the radio operator on the California - they could see a faint light of the Titanic off in the distance. He radioed and said it was the sixth message that they had received that day about ice ahead. He radioed and said, 'you guys better slow down because there's ice ahead.

' And jack phelps radioed back to cyril, who was the radio operator - cyril evans - on the California and he said, 'please shut up. Shut up. I'm busy.' Well he thought that was so rude, even though he was supposed to stay on duty until midnight, at 11:40 he turned off his wireless and took off his headphones. Moments later the Titanic struck the iceberg and they began to radio for help and nobody was listening. You know, there's a message in there.

God, often, through our lives sends us warnings, but we're often so preoccupied with doing our own thing and our agenda, we're not listening to the voice of God. And it's possible that you can grieve away the Holy Spirit. Little by little the volume goes down. God is calling us and we ignore him. The Bible says if we turn away our ear from hearing the law of God, even our prayer becomes an abomination.

And finally, when they were radioing back, there was no response. Well, Frederick Fleet, who was on the lookout that night, they were watching for ice. The captain had gotten a couple of messages there was ice, but he said, 'well, we've got two lookouts. They'll let us know.' The lookouts said, 'the water is very calm' - they asked the bridge - 'could you send us the binoculars?' - There was only one set of binoculars - and the bridge says, 'no, we want the binoculars.' And they said, 'we need them in the crow's nest because the water is so calm that if there is no activity on the water - if there are no waves - it's usually the waves hitting the bottom of the iceberg at night that created this bioluminescent white line that helped them see the iceberg, but it was so calm there was no disturbance. And they said, 'we're going to need the binoculars.

' 'No, we'll keep the binoculars here.' And they knew that wasn't going to give them very much warning. Finally they saw an iceberg dead ahead and frederick fleet, he rang the bell and he whistled down he said, 'iceberg dead ahead!' That was the warning. Well, by the time they got the message in the bridge and the - the pilot was in the smoking lounge with the millionaires, entertaining - the captain was not there. The pilot on the bridge, he got the message. He hesitated too long before he responded and, you know, when the Titanic was going 20 knots - you've heard about stopping a train? When the Titanic was going at 20 knots, they had to put it in full reverse and it still took half a mile to stop it.

And so that wasn't nearly enough warning. And the pilot made a couple of grave errors. One is he put it in full reverse and then he turned it. What, actually, that did is it slowed the turn and so, as you know, they came up alongside the iceberg and they scraped the iceberg in a very significant way and it cut an opening, under the side of the ship, 300 feet long, which meant that it not only peeled open the hull - and they also found that some of the metal, they felt, was brittle, that they used in building the ship, so when it was cold it did not bend as it should. It basically unzipped the opening.

Now, you know, after all the expeditions that have been made into the Titanic - I've even got a little piece of coal that came from the Titanic. I've got a whole little collection of artifacts - that they've never been able to look at the tear in the bow because it sank with such force it drove the bow right into the mud and they've never really had the technology to find out what it looked like. But they estimated that it just peeled open the rivets like a zipper - it just popped the rivets out and it opened up a gash. Well water began to pour in porthole 1, 2, 3 - section 4 - and as the reports began to come back to the bridge - the people on the boat, they didn't even really know what had happened. They just - the boat kept moving forward because it kind of side-swiped it and it cut it below the waterline - people felt this large shake and they thought maybe one of the engines was out of center and they heard this grinding noise.

Some of those who were on deck saw the iceberg and some of the ice actually snapped and popped up in the air and landed on the deck and a few of the young people thought this was great fun. They were going to make a memory and have an adventure and they were playing soccer with a piece of ice on the deck. But word began to reach the captain. He ran to the bridge and he called - the ship's designer, Thomas Andrews, also happened to be on the ship that day and he heard 'water is coming in section 1, section 2, section 3, section 4, section 5.' And when Andrews did some calculating he said to the captain, 'you'd better man the lifeboats.' He said, 'the ship is going down.' And the captain said, 'well, it can't be going down.' He said, 'we've got the water-tight compartments he said, 'this ship was designed to stay afloat if up to four of them were punctured, but not five. What will happen is the bow will go down far enough where water will then start to pour over the different sections, gradually filling the remaining ones and you better call for help.

You better man - get the lifeboats out.' And he knew they did not have enough lifeboats. Now you might find it strange. They had the legal amount of lifeboats, but it was only enough for half the passengers. Don't ask me why. They just figured that it was sort of a precaution so that if a few people needed to get into the lifeboats, they'd have another ship come along.

These were very busy shipping lanes - someone would come and help them before it went down. Only 20 lifeboats - enough for a little more than a thousand people and there were over 2,000 on board. One interesting story is there was a young man who overheard the captain talking with andrews, because at this point the boat had stopped in the water and they were all wondering, 'what does this mean?' And he heard him say, 'we don't have enough lifeboats. We better do women and children first.' This young man went back to the room, he put on some of his sister's clothes, and he managed to survive by getting in a boat dressed up as a woman. I'm not recommending that, I'm just telling you what happened.

Well now they were sending out radio distress calls asking for anybody who might be listening to come to their aid, but nobody was listening and there was no response. They took too long before the captain actually - andrews told him 'the boat's going to sink.' They knew they didn't have enough lifeboats, but the captain was sure that in these shipping lanes someone would come to their aid and andrews was still calculating. The captain said, 'well how long do we have?' He said, 'maybe two hours.' And so they were desperately calling for help but nobody was answering. It's amazing that it was an hour after they hit the iceberg before they fired the first flare. At that point it's after midnight and the other ships were hearing about all the parties on the Titanic and the celebrations on the the Titanic and the feasting.

You know, it cost over $4,000 for a first class ticket on the Titanic back then? Well, that was for the pent- house room - over $4,000. But you had, you know, the founder of macy's was on the Titanic and you had mine owners and you had John Jacob astor millionaires - billionaires by today's standards. There were only about 20 millionaires in the world back then and 11 of them were on the Titanic. Can you imagine that? And so, when they fired the flare, they hadn't been trained and they fired the wrong color flare and they fired the flare for celebration. And some of the people on the California thought 'oh, they're having a party.

' Someone else said, 'what was that, a shooting star?' It was a faint light off in the distance is all they could see, but they didn't realize why they had stopped in the water. They were radioing for help and nobody was listening at that point because they had not listened to the previous messages. Then another problem they had is because they waited so long - they knew they didn't have enough lifeboats and so the captain, the last thing he wanted was a panic because if you get all these people thinking they're going to die trying to get ,000 people - trying to climb into lifeboats that can only hold 1,000, you can swamp and overturn the lifeboats that remained and you could have had a very desperate panic. And so the captain, he wanted to have everyone remain calm and mustered the crew very quick. He says, 'we need to man the lifeboats and he said, 'make sure and let everybody know we're having a problem.

They don't need to worry. Be very calm. When you wake them up' - because some had already gone to sleep - 'when you wake them up say, 'can you please come up to the deck?'' - He said - 'keep calm. Keep calm. Keep calm.

' And the problem was - matter of fact, there was a band - captain told the band to come out on the deck and he said, 'look, we want to keep everybody calm. Play something cheerful. And so the band, they were playing just very light, cheerful music. You know, some nice elevator music. They even played a little bit of what was called 'ragtime' back then - like the charleston or something - dance music.

And, because there was no urgency, the people didn't realize how dangerous the situation was and, as the stewards were coming - 'ma'am, sir, please, if you you don't mind, could you please put on this life jacket?' Well the life jackets on the Titanic were not a fashion statement, they were canvas covering cork - great big squares of cork. And so they were going up - they had enough life jackets for everybody - they were going up to these people that were in their evening gowns and in their tuxedos and they're saying, 'could you please put this on?' They said 'no, I will not.' And they didn't want to put them on. Well, not at first anyway. People started looking for the lifejackets a little later in the night. But they - they didn't understand the urgency of the situation and so a lot of people were lost.

Some of the first lifeboats that went out, went out less than half full. One lifeboat - lifeboat #1 had 20 people in it. That might sound like a lot, but it could carry over 40. And there weren't enough life boats. Matter of fact, I've got just a number of interesting facts that I could share with you about the Titanic: there were 13 couples on board celebrating their honeymoon.

Titanic had four elevators, three in first class, one in second class, none in third class. At the time the Titanic whistles were made, they were the largest that could ever be heard - from miles away. The California was 14 miles away. Isadore strauss, the founder of macy's, was with his wife on the boat. They asked ida to get into the boat and she said, 'I've been married to him 50 years' - she said - 'I'm going to die with him.

' And she would not get in. I asked Karen about that last night and she said, 'well, that was stupid.' (Laughter) I thought she was going to be gallant and romantic and say, 'yes, doug, I'd go down with you.' (Laughter) but she said, 'who's going to take care of grandchildren?' The young man who dressed up like a woman, his name was Daniel buckley. Very few people actually went down with the Titanic. Most drifted away in their life jackets and they died from exposure. The boat sank slowly when it sank.

They figure, as it drifted to the bottom, it took 15 minutes from the time it sank to reach two miles below because it sank at about 10 miles an hour so most people were able to swim away from the boat or they bobbed to the surface. But because they did not communicate the urgency of the situation, there were only 700 people in the lifeboats that could hold over a thousand people - meaning over 400 empty seats in the lifeboats. People didn't want to get in. But it's interesting, one of the owners of the Titanic, isme, he managed to get one of the seats that were supposed to be reserved for the women and for the children. As the last few lifeboats were launched, they had waited so long, one or two of them capsized and some people were recovered who were clinging to the outside of the boat.

Another interesting fact is the witnesses, they rowed the boats away because they were so afraid, knowing there weren't enough lifeboats, that the remaining passengers that would bob up in their life jackets, they would all swim and swamp and overturn the existing lifeboats and the water was - water freezes at 32 degrees, but the water was 31 degrees because salt water does not freeze at 32 degrees, so the water, technically, was below freezing and your time surviving in the water would be very short, depending on your metabolism. I'd be dead in 30 seconds in that water because I'm cold all the time. Well, some of the witnesses said that, as the Titanic was sinking, that when the boat - bow went down, it actually broke in half and the stern flattened out. When they found the two parts of the ship at the bottom, they realized that that was true. And then, when it got to the point where they could no longer stand very securely, the captain went up to the band - the people were now gathering in the midst of the deck because the lifeboats had launched and one had capsized and some people were now jumping off into the water and the captain told the band, 'could you play something more reverent?' And they switched from the cheerful music and they started playing nearer my God to thee.

Now that comes up a little later in the story. That's still in many hymnals - nearer my God to thee - nearer to thee - you know The Song? People were going around, priests were there giving last rites and folks realized that no help was going to come in time and it just seemed so unbelievable. Everybody said, 'but it's unsinkable. We were told it's unsinkable. You promised it was safe.

We paid so much for our fare. What are you telling us?' This morning at our hotel there was no hot water. Isn't that terrible? (Laughter) and I was indignant. If I want anything at a hotel, I want a hot shower. But I - I realized, you know, I don't have it so bad.

A lot of people don't have hotel rooms. And so some of the people, they were saying, 'if I live through this, I want my money back.' All kinds of interesting stories that I could share, but eventually the - the boat began to crack in two and there was a tremendous roaring noise. People sounded like - they said it sounded like a train - a long train wreck - because there was creaking and groaning and exploding as hundreds of thousands of dishes and supplies began to shift and fall and crash and pianos were flying across the room and some people, when it got to where it was leaning very far, they couldn't hold on and they actually began to fall over or slide down the deck. I had a church member that was on the boat - actually, he was a pastor's son - and he was on the ship the Andrea Doria - any of you remember that? Another luxury liner that sank when it had a sea collision - and he was actually out drinking and dancing and he had kind of wandered from the Lord and this experience brought him back. But he said he remembered when the ship began to list and people started sliding down the deck - this is on the Andrea Doria.

He said he could never forget the sound of people's bones breaking. And when he tells you the story, he says, 'I was dancing and drinking. I thought that life was grand. And then I realized I was facing death and I wasn't ready and I had no idea it would come like that.' He turned back to the Lord. He was rescued from the water and that experience.

And I share this story with you because it helps us illustrate that nobody thought that would happen. You know, Jesus said of the second coming, 'in such an hour as you think not.' Do we all think that God's going to text us in advance when the end, for us, is going to come? We don't all have that warning. That's why the Bible says, 'today, if you hear his voice don't harden your heart.' It's a dangerous thing to slowly grieve away the Holy Spirit. And so the ship tipped up in the water and people were jumping off and they were falling and - there was some accuracy to the film that was made. It began to crumple and explode.

And, you know, there's a number of interesting stories that are connected with the Titanic, most of the boats had rowed away - they had to row because there was no wind that night. The boat - the Carpathia - was the first ship that came by the next morning to pick up some of the - the passengers. And this is actually a photograph of two of the lifeboats that came in. Notice how few people are in those boats. Those boats were designed to hold up to 60 people.

They had like 14 regular wooden boats and then they had these what they called - they were kind of collapsible boats that had canvas sides that could hold a number of people - I think they could hold over 60 people - and people just did not get in the boats. Now you can understand some of their hesitancy. Here the music's playing, the lights are on, it's warm, and the crew is saying, 'will you please get off this big, warm, festive vessel and get into that dark, cold, small vessel and push off into the ocean?' Could you understand their reluctance? The crowd is here on the boat. The majority is going to be here on the boat. 'We want you to be the minority and push off.

' And people are going, 'I'm not doing that.' You know, to be a Christian, you have to be willing to be different. Amen. You can't let the crowd think for you. You can't do that which you think is comfortable. You can't say, 'what is everyone else going to do?' Because the Bible says it's usually the multitude that makes the wrong decision.

Jesus said, 'straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life and few there be that find it. Broad is the way that leads to destruction. Everybody wants to stay with the festive crowd in the city of destruction, as it tells us in pilgrim's progress. Another little interesting story about the Titanic, I mentioned that it had a sister ship called the Brittanic and the Olympic - they actually were three ships that were almost identical. The amazing thing is - and they were all owned by white star lines - on the Titanic, the night that it sank, was a nurse by the name of Violet Jessup.

Violet Jessup was instrumental in directing a lot of people to the life boats and helping rescue people and they actually placed some babies in her arms from third class - they didn't even know who the mother was. When she got on the boat. I think they stole that story from the movie - it was actually Violet Jessup - they just handed her a baby. She had to later find the mother that did survive. Well after the Titanic sank and she survived, she was then put on the Olympic.

The Olympic had an accident at sea, it struck a warship called the hawk and Violet Jessup survived. And then they turned the Brittanic into a war ship during world war I and Violet Jessup was on the Brittanic as a nurse. It struck a mine. She had to jump in the water. She actually - the hull of the ship hit her head as it was sinking.

She said if she didn't have such thick brown-auburn hair it probably would have killed her, but she managed to make her way to the surface. Matter of fact, when the Brittanic was struck with the mine, she thought about going back to her room and getting her toothbrush but she remembered how some people went back to their rooms on the Titanic and had waited too long. She survived the sinking of the Brittanic. Can you imagine that? Being on all three vessels? You know what that tells me? She was a Christian. Amen.

If the Lord is with you, you're secure. It's like John whitfield, the preacher, used to say, 'I am immortal until my work is done.' You don't need to be afraid. And in all three cases she was working to help save other people. Another interesting story about the Titanic is relating to a preacher - a famous preacher named John Harper. He had taken a church in glasgow with 25 people and built it up to 500.

He was an incredible evangelist - much sought after. He had already been over to Chicago and spoken at the moody Bible church. They were inviting him back. So he, with his daughter ann and his sister, were making the trip and he was a fairly well known evangelist. Well, when they realized that there were not enough lifeboats, he managed to get his daughter and his sister into one of the lifeboats - he then, knowing that no help was coming, he went from one person to another and said, 'do you know the lord? Are you saved?' And he was leading people to the Lord in the closing hours of the Titanic and many witnesses that survived said that 'pastor Harper was praying with me and praying with the people on the deck and leading people to Christ and he was just consumed with making sure these people did not enter eternity unprepared.

' And it became a famous story for years after about Pastor Harper was leading souls to Christ. A preacher was actually sharing this story in church one day and an old scotsman stood up and he interrupted him - in Canada - a preacher in Canada - protestant church - was sharing this story - and the old scotsman said, 'you're not getting the story exactly right.' - He said - 'I want you to know I was on the Titanic' - and he said - 'when we struck the iceberg and we realized there were not enough lifeboats' - he said - 'I knew I wouldn't last long in the water - he said, 'I went to the bar and I drank a healthy dose of whiskey and then I jumped away from the ship just before it went down and swam away to avoid the suction.' - This man, by the way, was the only man who survived in the water, clinging to the keel of one of the overturned lifeboats that was recovered. I'm not recommending you drink, I'm just telling you what happened. (Laughter) and he said but when he was first in the water, he said, 'when I bobbed to the surface' - he said - 'gradually more and more people came up' - and he said - 'I felt like I was in hell' - he said - 'because everybody' - he said - 'it was very quiet for a moment, but then as the different people began to come up and they were all shaking and they were looking for their loved ones and they're calling for the life boats' - he said - 'it was like being in hell because the cold water had the opposite sensation. I felt like I was burning.

' And then he said, 'I heard people crying. I heard children crying. I heard wives calling for their husbands. People were cursing. People were praying.

' And he said it was the most awful thing you can imagine. He said, 'but gradually, the voices grew silent.' And he said, 'though the water was calm, there's always a small swell on the ocean.' And he said, 'this swell brought over somebody who was clinging to a deck chair.' And he said it was the famous evangelist Harper - he had given away his life jacket and he was clinging to a deck chair. And he said, 'I recognized him.' And he said, 'Harper said to me, he said, 'man, are you saved?'' His voice was shaking from the cold water and this Scotsman said, 'I don't know.' And he quoted acts 16 - he said, 'believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you'll be saved.' He said, 'then another swell came by and just kind of just pulled them apart again.' He said a few minutes later, he said, 'this rolling swell came by and' - he said - 'it brought them back together again.' And he said 'with his last breath he said 'are you saved yet?'' 'And he said, 'after that' - he said - 'he sank.' And he said 'there, with 13,000 feet of water beneath me' - he said - 'I asked Jesus to save me.' And he said, 'one of the boats picked me up.' When the Titanic sank - I'm sorry - I like history; it's still very real for me - it's a true story. Amen. When the Titanic sank, the grief in New York and Ireland was so great - first they said 'everybody's safe - the boat's unsinkable.

' It's amazing, some of the first reports came in and said, 'no, no, it's a rumor. The boat's fine.' But when word finally reached that they had lost 1,500 people - 1,503 - and it was devastating, especially in Belfast, and I'll tell you why. They had extra room on the Titanic and they invited - of the workers were given an award to be on the maiden voyage. All of them were in third class and they all perished. All of them went to the same protestant church in Belfast.

And that week, that they were having the funeral, they had already invited an American evangelist to preach in this church in Belfast and he wasn't sure what he was going to preach about because he has to stand before this congregation now where there's all of these widows and all of these orphans and dignitaries from the British Empire had come to mourn with the people there in Belfast and - I thought it was bad taste when I first heard that the sermon that the pastor chose was the unsinkable ship. I thought, 'oh man, he's going to rub it in' - when I was reading about this - that's not very nice. But as I read on in the story I found that he wasn't talking about that -story vessel that was supposed to be the - the crown jewel of the history of shipping that went down in two miles of water on its maiden voyage. He was talking about another boat out in the middle of the sea of Galilee that was swamped with waves and the desperate disciples thought, 'we're sinking.' And they woke up Jesus and Jesus said, 'why are you afraid? This boat is unsinkable because I'm in the boat.' Amen. Friends, every other ship in this world is going to sink.

If you're trusting in anything but Jesus, it won't last. But if Christ is in your boat, he can do for you what Jesus did for the sailors that day and he can declare "peace be still." You don't have to be afraid. It doesn't matter what goes on. John Harper - he wasn't afraid to drown because he realized he had eternal life. Christians don't die, they just go to sleep and they wake up in the resurrection.

Amen. So you don't have to be afraid of anything. 'A thousand might fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand' - like Violet Jessup - you don't have to be afraid because God says, 'I am with you and I will never forsake you.' The question is, is Jesus in your boat? You know, there's actually two stories about Jesus on the sea, in the Bible. One story they're overwhelmed with the storm and Jesus is in the boat and they don't even know it and they need to wake him up. Their boat was unsinkable as Christ was in the boat.

And I hope that Jesus is the captain of your ship. But there's actually another story where the disciples are sent across the sea by Jesus and they see him walking on the water. They're in another wind storm and they're rowing, but they can't get to their destination. They're rowing with all their strength. At first they're scared and after Peter walks on the water, then they come back to the boat together and it says something very interesting.

When they invited Jesus into the boat - John chapter 6 - the boat was at the destination where they were going. You might be wondering what's the most important direction for your life. The single most important decision you can make to fulfill God's will for your life, is to receive your creator and your redeemer into your heart. (Soft piano music) if you want your boat to be unsinkable, you need to invite Jesus into your boat. You know, there are dangerous times coming in the world.

I believe we're not far from the day when Jesus is going to return. And like the passengers on the Titanic, the devil is trying to preoccupy the world with the gayety and the festivities and the love of the world, the love of the entertainment, the love of possessions, the pride of life. And we're so preoccupied with those things, that we forget about eternity. This world is very short. You know, one of the problems with life is it's terminal.

These bodies do not inherit eternity, it's only through Christ that we can have everlasting life. Would you like to join me, as we close, in praying now that we can have that gift? Father in Heaven, thank you for your love. I pray that each person will make that decision this morning, to accept Jesus as their personal Savior, that their boat may be unsinkable and survive the storm. We pray in his name, amen.

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