2012 04-15 A Night to Remember...or Forget - Not a Titanic Sermon


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100th Anniversary of Titanic message about permanence of salvation and impermanence of sin Delivered at Portland Friends Church April 15, 2012

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2012 04-15 A Night to Remember...or Forget - Not a Titanic Sermon

  1. 1. A Night toRemember…orForget?Not a TitanicSermon
  2. 2. I heard about someoneplanning to preach on theTitanic today. This is the100th anniversary of thesinking, April 15, 1912.
  3. 3. My first reaction was toblanche in disgust at thethought of falling intosuch a faddish pop-culture topical temptation
  4. 4. For one thing, I’m enoughof an old fogey that the1997 movie has not leftmy memory as fad popculture 15 years later.
  5. 5. …and I have not even seenthat movie except for clipsand commercials. I refuseto watch it.
  6. 6. For another thing, Ibelieve it is important tolet scripture and events inthe congregation decidewhat to preach about.
  7. 7. Then I read a couple ofarticles on the Titanic thatmade me think of God’spromise for our salvation,and I’ll preach on that.
  8. 8. The Titanic, the ship, it’ssinking, and the place ithas taken in our societyneeds a little explanationto use it as an illustration.
  9. 9. Some people have saidthat the 20th Centurybegan with the sinking ofthe Titanic, that it endedan era and began another.
  10. 10. For the first time allsegments of societyseemed to be togetherwith a disaster striking allalmost equally.
  11. 11. Astor, Strauss, andGuggenheim were namesof the dead, along withhundreds of unknownimmigrants.
  12. 12. The legend of Titanicbeing cursed because ofthe arrogant claim that itwas unsinkable was false,but not completely off.
  13. 13. There was a lot of pride,arrogance, andsuperficiality involved inthe design and use of theship, and…
  14. 14. Proverbs 11: 2When pride comes, then comesdisgrace, but with humilitycomes wisdom.
  15. 15. Proverbs 16: 18Pride goes before destruction, ahaughty spirit before a fall.
  16. 16. Isaiah 2: 11The eyes of the arrogant manwill be humbled and the prideof men brought low; the Lordalone will be exalted in thatday.
  17. 17. …and just in case youdidn’t catch that last one,7 verses later…
  18. 18. Isaiah 2: 18The arrogance of man will bebrought low and the pride ofmen humbled; the Lord alonewill be exalted in that day
  19. 19. The reason the ship struckan iceberg was pridefuldisregard of warnings inorder to break a speedrecord.
  20. 20. The reason the ship sankwas prideful disregard ofphysics in an effort toplease the rich and givethem more luxury.
  21. 21. The builders braggedabout the compartmentsthat divided the ship incase of a hull breach – theorigin of “unsinkability.”
  22. 22. They didn’t build thosecompartments all the wayto the top of the ship,though, so when one filledit made the others fill too.
  23. 23. They didn’t equip the shipwith enough lifeboats, justmore than the law required,Pridefully, they pretendedthey would not need them.
  24. 24. It was a trade magazinethat called the ship“unsinkable,” but talk wasthat the lifeboats would befor rescuing other ships.
  25. 25. The stories about thearrogance surroundingthe Titanic could take ushours to cover, but there’sno need for more.
  26. 26. Someone preached thenext Sunday that “TheTitanic…will stand for amonument and warningto human presumption.”
  27. 27. That’s the line that set meoff to decide to preach onthis today, because I readrecently that the wreck isactually disappearing.
  28. 28. Rust, bacteria, and sea lifeare destroying the wreck.Scientists say that in a fewdecades, nothing will beleft of it at all.
  29. 29. There was a neat articleabout the Titanic I read.It told of a priest whowent down with the ship.Survivors spoke of him.
  30. 30. They heard him refuse aninvitation to a lifeboatthree times to hear theconfessions of people whoknew they would die.
  31. 31. So let me ask you: what isthe permanentmonument? Is it thewreck at the bottom of theAtlantic? or men like him?
  32. 32. Much is made of the menwho ensured womensurvived, and of the wiveswho stayed with theirhusbands.
  33. 33. Much more is made of thesocietal impact, like thatwe see multiple moviesbeing made decades later.
  34. 34. For nearly 40 years thedefinitive movie wasentitled A Night ToRemember, and societywants to remember it.
  35. 35. Within our frame ofreference people want tomake fame in the futurebe the greatest thing aperson can achieve.
  36. 36. Lots of people rememberthose rich people whoseclaim to fame is that Mrs.So-and-So stayed withMr. So-and-So to die.
  37. 37. The idea was that theywere rich, and the thoughtwas that they should beimmune to tragedy likethat, but they weren’t.
  38. 38. That priest who wentdown with the ship wasremembered, but not byname, except for hisfamily who knew him.
  39. 39. His great-nephew wroteabout him, not to keep hisfame alive, but to enrichour lives with the story ofhis life and his choice.
  40. 40. He wasn’t like the olderfamous rich people who tosome degree said that theyhad lived their lives anddidn’t want to separate.
  41. 41. He was on the Titanic toofficiate his brother’swedding. Like theimmigrants in steerage hehad something to live for.
  42. 42. Instead of heeding theadvice of the crew to get inthe lifeboat, though, hestayed on board to helpthe people who were left.
  43. 43. The last people off theship recalled hearing himleading others in recitingThe Lord’s Prayer.
  44. 44. During the voyage hepreached to people usingthe setting of the hugeship as part of his sermonillustration.
  45. 45. Survivors say he toldpeople to “prepare aspiritual lifeboat for timesof trouble.”
  46. 46. Since there were notenough spots in the lifeboats on the ship foreveryone, think about themeaning in his words.
  47. 47. Talk about a time oftrouble, and a neededlifeboat!
  48. 48. You never know how soongood advice the HolySpirit lays on your heartwill come in handy, doyou?
  49. 49. He died helping otherpeople to find peace withGod as the horror of theapproaching inevitabilitycame upon them.
  50. 50. There is some certaintythat this man knew theLord and lives today inHis presence, among theothers he led to Him.
  51. 51. Long after the last bits ofthe Titanic have decayedand vanished, there willstill be people telling thestory.
  52. 52. Those stories will last along time, but they toowill fade away as otherevents overtake them inlegend.
  53. 53. The monument to humanpride, the warning againstthe folly people engage in,the memory of tragedyand sorrow will disappear.
  54. 54. That priest is in Heaven,and there may be peoplethere who wouldn’t bethere if he had gotten intothat lifeboat.
  55. 55. That isn’t a memorial, butit’s permanent, a differentway of looking at thingsthan the earthly one, Ithink – God’s perspective.
  56. 56. The Titanic is a shame onits crew and builders, butalso on the society thatlooked on it with pride,but God says this:
  57. 57. Isaiah 43: 25I, even I, am he who blots outyour transgressions, for myown sake, and remembers yoursins no more.
  58. 58. Jeremiah 31: 34“…I will forgive theirwickedness and will remembertheir sins no more.”
  59. 59. Psalm 103: 11-12…as high as the heavens areabove the earth, so great is hislove for those who fear him; …
  60. 60. Psalm 103: 11-12…as far as the east is from thewest, so far has he removed ourtransgressions from us.
  61. 61. Romans 8: 1Therefore, there is now nocondemnation for those whoare in Christ Jesus.
  62. 62. Think about the incredibleweight of the Titanic,plunging through thewater, taking a thousandpeople to the bottom.
  63. 63. There were people whowere responsible for thatterrible calamity. Thinkabout the weight of thaton their consciences.
  64. 64. Which is heavier, the84,000 tons of steel,water, and flesh headingdown through the water…
  65. 65. …or the guilt and shameborn by the people whosemistakes of pride andcarelessness made ithappen?
  66. 66. Whatever weight you arecarrying as a burden, I’msure, is less than that, butthat doesn’t make itbearable, does it?
  67. 67. …but just as all of theTitanic and its passengersand cargo will be gonesoon, so will the shameand guilt of those people,
  68. 68. …and it is just as easy foryour burdens to go awayas well. Your sins havebeen atoned for, and theeffects will fade away.
  69. 69. The only question iswhether you will get in thelifeboat Father ThomasRoussel Byles spoke aboutand rode in himself once.