[forthright] Titanic and How We Leave the Lord (2)

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From: "Forthright Magazine" <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2008 16:50:37 -0300
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross

A Christian wife and mother on vacation dies from
injuries after being run down by a van.
http://brotherhoodnews.com/2008/04/15/heather-whalley-dies-from-accident/


COLUMN: SQUARE ONE

Titanic and How We Leave the Lord (2)
 by Richard Mansel

The builders of the Titanic were remiss in several
areas and doomed the mighty vessel to the bottom of the
ocean. Their failures mimic our steps to apostasy.
Their lessons are ours as we discover how Christians
leave the Lord (Hebrews 6:4-6; Hebrews 10:26-31).

First, their pride doomed the ship because they failed
to develop contingency plans since they falsely
believed it was unsinkable. We face equal peril when we
believe we are immune from apostasy.

Second, the self-righteous pride of the owners of the
Titanic led them to seek the minimum in safety
standards. They did the least or less in every area of
safety. Their malfeasance had no justification.

Five decades before the construction of the Titanic,
the Great Eastern had scraped on an uncharted rock off
the coast of Long Island. It had torn a hole in her
skin nine feet wide and 83 feet long. However, she had
an inner hull and was able to limp into port. No one
was hurt. Inner hulls became more popular but the
builders of the Titanic apparently saw it as
unnecessary.

They cut many other safety standards. The most famous
were the lifeboats. Regulations called for a ship of
Titanic's size to carry enough lifeboats for 962 even
though she could carry over 3,500 passengers and crew.
They should have been prepared to offer everyone a seat
on the lifeboats.

"The owners and operators of steamships had for five
decades taken larger and larger risks to save money --
risks to which they had methodically blinded
themselves."/1 This carelessness exacted a heavy price.

Do we trim or skirt safety standards in our Christian
lives? Do we try to get by on the minimum? People do
this without realizing it.

We reason there is a minimum that we can do and be
pleasing to God. We rationalize that attending Sunday
morning services and living a moral life are enough.
While everyone else are just "super Christians," they
are just fine with what they are doing. Their delusion
is disheartening.

The army that seeks the minimum in arming its soldiers
will soon find their enemy raining the maximum in
destruction upon them. The soldier who fails to
properly arm himself because the gear is too heavy,
faces grave danger in the battle. Good soldiers are
very careful not to cut corners in their battle
preparation because they know their lives depend on it.

Discipleship is not about maximums and minimums.
Salvation is not meritorious./2 We require the blood of
Christ on our souls in order to be justified before God
(Romans 5). We must "walk in the light as He is in the
light" (1 John 1:7, NKJV). We are commanded to walk
worthy of the "calling with which you were called"
(Ephesians 4:1).

Trying to find a minimum, we seek salvation by works,
rather than by grace (Ephesians 2:8-9). It is not about
attaining the minimum we can accomplish, it is about
finding a way to do all we can for Christ (Matthew
22:37).

We cannot attend enough worship services, read our
Bibles enough or be moral enough to merit salvation.
However, seeking the minimum in the Christian life
illustrates that we have little interest in Christ
being the Lord of our lives. We can easily slip into
the mindset that we want to be a Christian but that we
do not want it to change our lives. However, if Christ
is not on the throne of our hearts, Satan will fill the
vacuum (1 Peter 5:8).

"Disinterested Christians reach the point where they
are no longer bearing fruit and will be cut off from
the vine (John 15:1-8). Faithfulness indicates
allegiance, attitude, and direction in a life filled
and flooded with God (Ephesians 3:19). Unfaithfulness
leads to apostasy."/3

Let us seek the maximum for Christ because he deserves
it.
_______
1/ http://www.cuug.ab.ca/~branderr/risk_essay/titanic.html
2/ http://tinyurl.com/yrtthj
3/ http://tinyurl.com/3m69ow

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