Today’s posting is our meager attempt at a modern parable about the gospel. Don’t analyze it too much — the closer you look the more holes you’ll find. But maybe…just maybe…it might get someone thinking about much more weighty matters.——————————————————–
Thousands of people excitedly embarked on the cruise ship CAREFREE on a delightfully sunny day, one similar to many before and seemingly a prelude for many to come. On that first day at sea most of the passengers paid little attention to the mandatory evacuation training…they were too busy eating, drinking and being merry.
One afternoon an alarm was suddenly sounded. Crewmembers said the ship was sinking. Some passengers joined in with them and began proclaiming the news to everyone on board that the time was short.
Some travelers refused to believe these warnings. They looked about and everything seemed just fine. The ship wasn’t listing, there was no evidence of water leaking into the lower decks, no rogue icebergs were spotted…their instincts, experience and intelligence collectively told them all was well. They laughed at the poor fools wasting their time thinking they were in danger.
Some deliberately opposed the warning by shouting, “All is well!”
Some heard the warnings and casually went about putting on the lifejackets before quickly returning to their leisurely activities. Scant attention was given to the continued warnings. They reasoned since they had their lifejackets on, they were protected. If the warnings turned out to be true, which most of them doubted, then they would simply jump into the ocean and trust in their lifejackets.
Others listened to the warnings and, after donning their lifejackets, searched for a lifeboat. They saw some conveniently located by wide aisle ways that were especially appealing. When crewmen instructed them to move to other lifeboats due to the condition of the hulls, no one paid attention. “Why leave this one,” one figured. “The hull looks fine to me – freshly painted as a matter of fact. All lifeboats are pretty much the same anyway, so what difference could it possibly make which one is holding me? My friends are already here and I’m not going to leave them. I’m staying put!”
But there were a few who, after hearing and heeding the warnings, put on their lifejackets and searched for a lifeboat. Asking the crewmen which ones were seaworthy, they searched specifically for those lifeboats. Seeing the hulls on the others were rotting, they entreated the passengers in them to leave. Most dismissed this with, “Everyone has a right to their own opinions. We’re happy where we are. We’re all going to get to the same place when this over – it doesn’t matter how we get there.”
The warnings of impending disaster were true. The ship indeed sank.
When those who had purposefully ignored the warnings realized they were sinking, it was too late. Every one of them perished.
When those wearing their lifejackets realized they were sinking, they blithely jumped into the ocean fully expecting their lifejackets to save them. They hadn’t counted on the water temperature being 40 degrees. All of them perished as well.
Those trusting in the comfortable, appealing lifeboats confidently set out to sea awaiting their sure rescue. How surprised they were to discover only too late that the rotting hulls made their lifeboats no more capable of saving them than the doomed ship they had just abandoned. Every individual in these lifeboats perished.
But those who had diligently listened to the evacuation orders, who had carefully put on their lifejackets, who had heeded the crewmen by making their way through the narrow aisles to board the outwardly unappealing lifeboats – every last one of them was saved. Not a single soul was lost.
With God’s help, may all of us trust completely and solely in what Jesus Christ has already accomplished for our salvation. Trusting in anything else – whether it’s family, infant baptism, church tradition – leads us to the same end: we will perish!
He who has ears to hear let him hear.
Will you join with us in sounding the clarion call to a world that is eating, drinking, and making merry oblivious to any thoughts of God’s impending judgment? Don’t delay. The time is short!
To God Be The Glory!