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Unleavened Bread Ministries with David Eells

Lessons from the Titanic

Don McAlvany

The gigantic luxury liner, RMS Titanic, steaming from Southampton, England, to New York City on her maiden voyage with 2,300 passengers, struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic and sank to a watery grave two miles down.

Built at the height of the Industrial Age as a symbol of wealth, luxury, power, and the high technology of the day, this White Star luxury liner (the largest and most opulent of any ship ever built) which carried as passengers some of the world's most wealthy, powerful, and affluent people was widely heralded as "unsinkable". With its 16 watertight compartments, its mammoth size and great speed, some passengers were overheard to say that "even God couldn't sink this ship".

So safe and secure was the Titanic believed to be by its White Star owners, its passengers, and the conventional wisdom of the day, so "unsinkable" was this floating city that it only carried 20 lifeboats, enough for only 800 of its 2,300 passengers and crew. But no matter--it was "unsinkable"!

Or so everyone thought, until 11 p.m. on Sunday, April 14. While steaming too fast for a ship of her tonnage as her owners tried to set an Atlantic crossing speed record, the Titanic hit a submerged iceberg which tore a 300-foot long quarter-inch wide gash in her hull. While her affluent passengers gambled, danced, and partied into the night, or slept securely in their luxury boardrooms, six watertight compartments in the bowels of the giant mortally wounded ship were filling with water as huge metal plates began to crumble from the incredible pressure of the incoming sea water.

Even when the loudspeakers announced that passengers should don their life jackets and begin to enter the lifeboats, many passengers believed it was a joke; others thought it was an impossible dream, a nightmare from which they would quickly and safely awaken. After all, the Titanic was "unsinkable". But by the time the 20 lifeboats had been launched, with only 800 women and children aboard, with rocket flares eerily lighting the decks of the now listing, doomed and sinking luxury liner, the 1,500 passengers and crew left on board waited to slip with the giant ship into their watery grave.

Bob Gardner (writing in the April, '97, Focus on the Family magazine) has interviewed a number of survivors in recent years who have described how the men an teenage boys placed the women and children in the lifeboats and stood bravely on the decks with the band playing, with screams of horror from the lifeboats and from the ill-fated Titanic as the luxury liner rose up and made her final plunge into the freezing North Atlantic waters. Fifteen hundred souls, 65% of all those on board, went to meet their Maker on that tragic April night in the North Atlantic in the worst peacetime maritime disaster in history.

What lessons can we learn from the sinking of the Titanic? First, we all live only a heartbeat from eternity and had better know the Lord through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. As JOHN 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life". Many of those passengers, crew, and survivors were Christians who stood bravely on the deck (or in the lifeboats) singing hymns (as the band played) and praying. None of their money, wealth, or affluence saved those passengers. Some of the wealthiest, most powerful people in the world perished in the icy waters of the North Atlantic that night. Are we spiritually prepared for sudden tragedy or death--like the downing of TWA 800 or the destruction at the Oklahoma City Murrah Building? Many of those passengers on the Titanic were--and many were not!

Second, in our day, most Americans believe (like the passengers on the Titanic) that America is unsinkable. We have our high technology, affluence, and material wealth, our roaring stock market; and we sit safely, securely and smugly in fortress America where "no one or thing can attack or harm us".

The people of South Africa felt that way before their country suddenly collapsed into chaos. Many Israelis probably feel that way today. It's called "denial". Most Americans today feel that "it can't happen here"--war, terrorist destruction, financial collapse, depression--happen to other peoples or nations, but not to us in the safe, secure confines of America in the 1990s; and, hence, we as a people are by and large as unprepared for tragedy, disaster, or crisis as the passengers and crew on the Titanic.

Third, in our day, when chivalry, character, bravery, and respect for women, babies, and children have been badly eroded, it is difficult to see the great majority of the men sacrificially saying "women and children first", and stepping back from the lifeboats to give them their seats. In our "me" centered culture of today, there could well be a pitched battle on the deck of the sinking ship for the few spaces in the lifeboats.

The publications of the day (in 1912) wrote of the great courage and cowardice (on the part of some) of the Titanic passengers--but they especially wrote of their great faith; and survivors talked of same. A great many of the 1,500 passengers who died that night were said to have had a strong faith in Jesus Christ and were resolved to meet their Maker calmly, in prayer, and with a great confidence in their imminent entrance into God's kingdom.

People in our day need to be prepared for sudden tragedy, disaster, financial crisis, or destructions. Most are not! Most people in most of the affluent, industrial West believe that they, their country, their culture are indestructible--"unsinkable". The people of falling Rome felt that way. The people of Germany in the 1930s felt that way. The people on the Titanic (before it hit the iceberg) felt that way. And most Americans feel that way today.

The message of this newsletter has long been that convulsive times are approaching--economically, politically, socially, culturally--and that people who understand the times need to be preparing financially, physically, and spiritually. That is an unpopular message. But PROVERBS 27:12 says, "The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it".

This writer has a strong sense of urgency that MIA readers need to be quickly preparing for very difficult times. We will all need the Lord's wisdom, guidance, and strength in the months and years which lie ahead. As ISAIAH 58:11 says, "And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat they bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not". Like those people on the decks of the sinking Titanic, we may find in the days which lie ahead that our only answer is the Lord. As the Lord said in II CORINTHIANS 12:9, "My grace is sufficient for thee, for my strength is made perfect in weakness".

And that is the bottom line!

Note from David: It appears the Titanic sunk for lack of eyes and ears, which is a pretty good warning to us. Second Officer David Blair was removed from the crew at the last minute. In his rush to leave the ship he forgot to hand to his replacement the key to the binoculars and crows nest telephone to the bridge. It appears those who guided the ship were both blind and deaf after Mr. Blair left the ship.

The ship was on its way from Southampton, England, to New York City (U.S.). These nations are represented by the Lion and the Eagle, which is identified in Daniel 7 as Babylon, which was conquered by the bear. I would say another warning is that the Second Officer on this ship was Tony Blair who left his position June 27, 2007. It is probable that because the leadership of this ship has been cut off from its eyes (the true prophets) and its ears (the true teachers) it is on a collision course with judgment that will eventually bring it to the bottom with few survivors. I believe that America is about to be attacked again which will bring down the already limping economy. God also will show His displeasure with America turning from all righteousness with natural disasters. And so the ship will be ripped down the side and the enemy will come in like a flood. We will see warfare in American streets, something she is not expecting.

My advice is that we head for the life boats. Those who abide in Christ as the secret place of the Most High have nothing to fear.

(Another sign is that the last American Survivor of the Titanic has died.)

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