by Richard Mansel
The builders of the Titanic were remiss in several areas and doomed the mighty vessel to the bottom of the ocean. Their failures mimic our steps to apostasy. Their lessons are ours as we discover how Christians leave the Lord (Hebrews 6:4-6; Hebrews 10:26-31).
First, their pride doomed the ship because they failed to develop contingency plans since they falsely believed it was unsinkable. We face equal peril when we believe we are immune from apostasy.
Second, the self-righteous pride of the owners of the Titanic led them to seek the minimum in safety standards. They did the least or less in every area of safety. Their malfeasance had no justification.
Five decades before the construction of the Titanic, the Great Eastern had scraped on an uncharted rock off the coast of Long Island. It had torn a hole in her skin nine feet wide and 83 feet long. However, she had an inner hull and was able to limp into port. No one was hurt. Inner hulls became more popular but the builders of the Titanic apparently saw it as unnecessary.
They cut many other safety standards. The most famous were the lifeboats. Regulations called for a ship of Titanic’s size to carry enough lifeboats for 962 even though she could carry over 3,500 passengers and crew. They should have been prepared to offer everyone a seat on the lifeboats.
“The owners and operators of steamships had for five decades taken larger and larger risks to save money – risks to which they had methodically blinded themselves.” 1/ This carelessness exacted a heavy price.
Do we trim or skirt safety standards in our Christian lives? Do we try to get by on the minimum? People do this without realizing it.
We reason there is a minimum that we can do and be pleasing to God. We rationalize that attending Sunday morning services and living a moral life are enough. While everyone else are just “super Christians,” they are just fine with what they are doing. Their delusion is disheartening.
The army that seeks the minimum in arming its soldiers will soon find their enemy raining the maximum in destruction upon them. The soldier who fails to properly arm himself because the gear is too heavy, faces grave danger in the battle. Good soldiers are very careful not to cut corners in their battle preparation because they know their lives depend on it.
Discipleship is not about maximums and minimums. Salvation is not meritorious. /2 We require the blood of Christ on our souls in order to be justified before God (Romans 5). We must “walk in the light as He is in the light” (1 John 1:7, NKJV). We are commanded to walk worthy of the “calling with which you were called” (Ephesians 4:1).
Trying to find a minimum, we seek salvation by works, rather than by grace (Ephesians 2:8-9). It is not about attaining the minimum we can accomplish, it is about finding a way to do all we can for Christ (Matthew 22:37).
We cannot attend enough worship services, read our Bibles enough or be moral enough to merit salvation. However, seeking the minimum in the Christian life illustrates that we have little interest in Christ being the Lord of our lives. We can easily slip into the mindset that we want to be a Christian but that we do not want it to change our lives. However, if Christ is not on the throne of our hearts, Satan will fill the vacuum (1 Peter 5:8).
“Disinterested Christians reach the point where they are no longer bearing fruit and will be cut off from the vine (John 15:1-8). Faithfulness indicates allegiance, attitude, and direction in a life filled and flooded with God (Ephesians 3:19). Unfaithfulness leads to apostasy.” /3
Let us seek the maximum for Christ because he deserves it.