Imagine for a moment that we are in a lifeboat.
My parents navigated to the lifeboat while I was very young. They brought me in with them before I ever had to struggle on my own.
You found the ladder draped off the side of the vessel. It was your neighbor who reached into the murky depths, gently clasping your hand, and led you aboard.
Though safely within since my youth, I often played on the deck, dangerously close to the edge. Many times – more than I would like to admit – I dangled over the railing. Ocean spray tickled my toes. The swell engulfed me with intrigued and wonder.
‘What is beyond the edge of the boat?’ I pondered, ‘what causes us to list?’ The wily depths alluring with their melodious lorelei, a siren of mystery called to me.
Fully submerged on many occasions, I fell victim to its enchantment, diving headfirst into the depths of unknown. Familiar with the point of entry coupled with my parent’s consistent instruction served aid to my re-embarkment. Safely stowed again amidst the saving grace of its shelter.
The vantage point from inside the boat is revealing. Far better a view than eye-level with the watery brim below. Bobbing along at the surface, the waves tossed me in perpetual uncertainty. The eddy of unpredictability kept me grasping at each rotting driftwood splinter that swept my way. While in the deep, the tidewaters lassoed my ankles leading me further from the boat, often anchoring me just below the surface. The light danced above me atop the raging white capped billows as my lungs momentarily suffocated, desperate for air. The muffled echoes of the vibrant world above were made faint in my water tomb.
Oscillating between the tide, I could hear voices shouting from the vessel. Instructions perhaps? I listened closely as the liquid salt surged challenging my hearing.
“wear a mask” I heard, “you’ll surely die without a mask!”
“no, no mask! Do not where a mask – there is no need!”
Conflicted in these directions and confused as to what resolve a mask would have amidst my flooded grave, I struggled to reach for the big plank floating by marked ‘DEMOCRAT’.
Shouting now heard from the boat, grew angry in their persuasion, “let go of that plank! It will surely take you down! Grab the log marked ‘REPUBLICAN’!”
From my vantage, I could hardly see over the swell. Desperate to find the saving float the ‘REPUBLICAN’ log promised, I thrashed about.
Exhausted from my fight, my vigor waned. Draping myself over the dilapidated pallet floating by promising respite. The floating haven offered a place to rest and a flask tucked within its grates. Surly a stiff drink and nap is what will save me from my pain.
The shouts continued, heard muffled over the crashing waves around me, “My way!”, “NO! My way!” I could see them wrestling within the boat as they nearly screamed at me now, at each other, then back at me. I drifted off to sleep as the arguments grew faint in the distance and waves washed my tears in their salty bath.
The lifeboat is the saving grace of Jesus.
The miry breaking throes is life without Him.
The lifeboat is free and eternal salvation for all – no ticket required. In fact, there is no ticket accepted. In order to board the lifeboat, you must receive the ticket at no charge to you. You simply must believe the boat exists and is there to save you.
However, in order to receive the treasured ticket, you must know of its existence – someone must tell you about the free ticket and access to embark upon the lifeboat.
My parents told me.
Your neighbor told you.
But who are you telling?
Are you ensuring your neighbors know your political party – democrat or republican?
Do you make a stink sharing your stance on COVID – hoax or pandemic?
Or are you proudly standing on your soapbox to proclaim your opinion about climate change, women’s lib, the world is flat, apples or oranges, up or down?
Maybe you’re different, you do not get involved. You cozy into the great vessel, nestled in its silent security. Cowering deep within its bow. There you can stay hidden, quiet, and safe. ‘Don’t rock the boat’ you might say.
You watch from within through the tiny portal as the vast majority grasp at the false hope of the next passing float. You gaze upon them as they reach for the empty promise each drifting harbor falsely assures.
Imagine at your call Home to Heaven. The day you stand before the Lord and account for your life.
“What have you done with the life I have given you?” Jesus asks, standing just outside the Gates, arms outstretched to receive you.
You begin, “I made sure everyone knew where I stood on the political issues! No one within earshot had any doubt!” adding, “I told everyone my opinion too! I shared openly and honestly my thoughts on the pandemic, climate change and the social and racial unrest. I had strong opinions on many things, and I made sure everyone knew! Are you proud of me Jesus!? I stood up for the things I believed in. Are you proud?”
Tears running down His beautiful face, Jesus speaks softly, “Oh, beloved child, you have deeply grieved my heart. Did you tell them how to get into the lifeboat? Who did you tell about the free ticket? Did you direct anyone to the ladder draped over its’ edge? Please dear child, please tell Me you told them. You told them about Me, right? That they could be saved simply by receiving the free ticket. You told them, right?”
And there we stand before the Lord our Savior, head shaking – no. No, we did not tell everyone within earshot about the saving Blood of Jesus, the free ticket Home to a life of peace, joy, and hope. We told no one. Instead, we smugly and arrogantly boasted of our opinions about this or that. Pausing only to take a shallow breath before airing our next emphatic slant. Even if based in Biblical truth, your opinion is not more valuable than the love of Christ.
Do they know? Are you telling them?
The Bible says that only a fool delights in airing their own opinions. [Proverbs 18:2] Further telling us not to let any unwholesome, worthless, ugly or hateful talk come from our mouths. Instead, speaking only what is useful for building people up, good, edifying and encouraging to the hearer. [Ephesians 4:29]
The gospel [good news – lifeboat’s free ticket] is veiled to those who are perishing [in the deep tumultuous ocean], the god of this age [false hope in anything other than Jesus] has blinded the minds of those who do not believe in Him. It is only the God of creation who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who can give the light of knowledge of Gods Glory in the face of Jesus Christ. [2 Corinthians 4:3-6]
He tells us that He is the Light of the World. Anyone who follows Him will never walk in darkness but have the Light of Life. [John 8:12]
So, do you love Him, the God of the Universe? He tells us that if we love Him, we will feed His sheep. [John 21:17] Offer them the Bread of Life, for whoever feeds on this Bread will live forever. [John 6:58] and offer the drink, for those who drink the water He gives them will never thirst. His water becomes a spring welling up to give him eternal life. [John 4:14]
Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, only he who does the will of My Father in Heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, but I have done so much in Your name?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you.’ [Matthew 7:21-23]