Thursday, August 5, 2010

Old Movies, Pirates, and Salvation

It was an old movie.
The pirates were on a sinking ship.
‘Captain! The ship is sinking. What shall we do?’ cried one of the pirates.
‘Do? Do?’ shouted the fearless captain. ‘We shall board a ship that is NOT sinking.’
The captain led the way onto the safe ship. His men followed after him.

THEN, because they were so bold as to board a ship that was not sinking, the pirates were pardoned by the captain of the safe ship and given a new life of freedom.

If only things could work out that simply in life today.
But wait! They can!

Is your ship sinking? (figuratively speaking of course)
Is there no hope?
Are you crying, ‘What shall I do? The ship is sinking!’
Listen! Can you hear the Captain of the Lord of Hosts saying,
‘Board a ship that is NOT sinking.’

‘Who?’ you might ask, ‘can board this ship that will never sink?’
The Captain of the ship says,
‘The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.’ 2 Peter 3:9

‘How?’ you might ask, ‘can I get on board?’
‘Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ John 14:6.

‘But, I don’t understand. How can I get to that ship of safety?’ you may be wondering.
‘For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:.’ Ephesians 2:8

‘When is a good time to board?’ you may be asking.
‘For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succored thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.’
2 Corinthians 6:2

‘Where is this ship going?’ you are probably asking yourself.
‘Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.’ 1 Thessalonians 4:17
‘And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.’ Luke 23:43

‘What will I find when I get there?’ is another question you may be asking.
‘But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.’ 1 Corinthians 2:9
‘Let not your hear be troubled. Ye believe in God, believe also in me.
In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive youunto myself; that where I am there ye may be also.
And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
‘Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ John 14: 1-6

Now, on the fictional ship at the beginning of this story, there were some pirates who weren’t interested in boarding a ship that was not sinking.
Some cried, ‘Well – it isn’t my fault the ship is sinking!’ (They drowned when the ship finally sank; and then they faced the judgment.)
Others cried, ‘Well – I am just going to avoid the issue of the sinking ship.’ (They also drowned when the ship sank; and then they faced eternal judgment.)
Still others cried, ‘Our ship is not really sinking. Why should we leave?’ (They also drowned when the ship sank, and then they faced eternal judgment.)
Others cried, ‘Well, yes the ship is sinking, but I think I can save the ship. I’ll just do a little work here, a little work there; put everyone else to work, and save the ship myself and everyone on board.’ (The ship was far too badly damaged to be saved. It sank. Those on board all drowned. Then they faced the judgment.)
Still others cried, ‘I’m not going over to that ship! There is a king on board who has authority to judge us. I’d rather drown than face the judgment.’ (After they drowned, they faced the judgment anyway.)

But some of the pirates:
Saw the danger they were in.
Saw the way to safety.
Stepped out on faith and made it to the safety of the better ship.
Then they threw themselves on the mercy of the Captain of the ship.
Were granted a pardon and new life.

That is pretty much where all of mankind stands today.
We are all on a sinking ship. (We are all going to die.)
We can make peace with God now while we live. (Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. Acts 16:31)
Or, we can face the judgment alone after we die. (And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: Hebrews 9:27)
The Old Ship of Zion

I was drifting away on life’s pitiless sea,
And the angry waves threatened my ruin to be,
When away at my side, there I dimly descried,
A stately old vessel, and loudly I cried:
“Ship ahoy! Ship ahoy!”
And loudly I cried: “Ship ahoy!”
’Twas the “old ship of Zion,” thus sailing along,
All aboard her seemed joyous, I heard their sweet song;
And the Captain’s kind ear, ever ready to hear,
Caught my wail of distress, as I cried out in fear:
“Ship ahoy! Ship ahoy!”
As I cried out in fear: “Ship ahoy!”

The good Captain commanded a boat to be low’red,
And with tender compassion He took me on board;
And I’m happy today, all my sins washed away
In the blood of my Savior, and now I can say:
“Bless the Lord! Bless the Lord!”
From my soul I can say: “Bless the Lord!”

O soul, sinking down ’neath sin’s merciless wave,
The strong arm of our Captain is mighty to save;
Then trust Him today, no longer delay,
Board the old ship of Zion, and shout on your way:
“Jesus saves! Jesus saves!”
Shout and sing on your way: “Jesus saves!”