Dear Doves,To get into heaven it is helpful if we pray and help other achieve that goal. Unselfish works done after salvation of our spirit will be counted towards rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Our attitude toward our moral responsibility as saved souls filled with the Holy Spirit make us pause to consider the fate of many who do not know Jesus and are headed for eternal punishment.A book I read tells the story of a person, John Harper that exemplifies the importance of this advice for the lives of many that he served in his church and elsewhere, too. This book is about the sinking of the Titanic and is entitled The Titanic’s Last Hero by Moody Adams (Olive Press S. Carolina, 1997. originally published in Scotland 1912).
John was a Christian pastor and the heroism he displayed at the sinking of the Titanic was not just one shining moment. He worked and prayed unselfishly for others throughout his life, he helped drunkards, gamblers and prize fighters sometimes spending the whole night in his church praying for hundreds of his church members by name. He burned with zeal to bring souls to Christ and demonstrated that zeal in his actions.
He decided to travel on the Titanic to lead a revival meeting in Chicago’s Moody Memorial Church. He could have traveled on another ship but declined, after originally being scheduled to travel on the Lusitania. A Mr. Robert English in a meeting at the Seaman’s Center begged him not to make the trip, and even offered to pay for his ticket, since he had an ominous feeling that disaster awaited him on the Titanic.
Just like St. Paul’s warning in Acts 21:10-13, Harper responded with a sense of duty and moral responsibility to honor God’s purpose for his life. He, like Paul, was willing to sacrifice his life to fulfill God’s purpose in the service to others who would otherwise miss out on heaven, if he were to act selfishly by delaying his trip or boarding the Lusitania based on the warning of Mr. English.
To the eternal benefit of many, he boarded the Titanic and set sail for New York. John Harper’s goal of winning souls to Jesus Christ became more urgent during that trip. As he breathed his last breaths in the cold water of the Atlantic on the night of April 14 and early morning hours of April 15, 1912, he and about 1522 other persons struggled in the water and finally drowned as the mighty Titanic sank to the bottom of the Atlantic.
As the ship sank, he swam from one survivor to another in the water calling out “Are you saved?” If the answer was “No” he shouted the words from Acts 16:31 “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” Many were saved that night and are in heaven as a result of his selfless efforts. We can do worse than to emulate his example in our lives during these last days of this dispensation, as the world sinks into the disaster of the Tribulation.
Lord Mercer expressed Harper’s attitude toward death exactly:
“In a single night, between sunset and sunrise, during a few short hours of oblivion to many unconscious slumbers, there had passed away from this earth hundreds of lives, some rich in promise with apparent happy futures, carrying with the hopes of others lives.
But the Christian constancy and courage, the absolute self-renunciation and unflinching heroism with which so many met their doom, help us to realize that death is not the end of all things and that this life is but the entrance into true life, that it is but the portal of eternity.”