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).
We examined how their pride and inattentive safety measures felled the great ship.
Third, they had a weak foundation. Experts who study the Titanic’s hull tell us that it was excessively brittle. It was very high in
sulfur content, which means that today, the Titanic “would never get out of the yard.”
While the shipbuilders constructed the Titanic out of the best materials available to them, it was still insufficient for the impact of the iceberg. While they were not negligent in the utilization of the steel, the point remains that when it faced the dangers before them, it failed to protect them.
Christians often fail to establish a firm foundation so when the storms arise their defenses are inadequate. By their standards, their armor is sufficient. However, the spiritual condition of our lives invalidates our standards.
Paul discusses the spiritual armor in Ephesians 6:11-17. However, he begins in the previous verse laying the foundation of what would follow. “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Ephesians 6:10). We “gird our waists with truth,” put on a “breastplate of righteousness” and the “helmet of salvation” and take up the “shield of faith” and the “sword of the spirit” (Ephesians 6:11-17).
Inadequately suited, we render useless the armor of God. When we go into battle with a lackluster faith, knowledge and Christian walk, we cannot expect our armor to protect us. Our own abilities will be insufficient to make up the difference. Therefore, we must be secure in the Lord’s armor or our best intentions or abilities will be futile. Rationalizations are useless to stop the “fiery darts of the wicked” (Ephesians 6:16).
Fourth, they ignored the warnings. The Titanic crew had received several transmitted warnings about icebergs in the North Atlantic. They failed to heed them./1
When we are weakening spiritually, we hear warnings from Scripture, sermons and other Christians, but we rationalize them away because we can handle it alone.
Fifth, small leaks sunk the Titanic. Six small slits that totaled less than twelve square feet sunk the mighty vessel./2
Likewise, no one leaves the Lord in one motion. Instead, we leave incrementally. The tears in our armor are small but Satan’s arrows still find their openings (Hebrews 3:12). Remember, small steps soon become miles.
Sixth, the pleas of the Titanic failed to bring help. The nearest ship had her radio off. Later, the Carpathia came after the ship had sunk.
When people are wasting away spiritually, we must be attentive to their needs. Their cries for help, often silent, are there for those who will listen and perceive (Philippians 2:4).
Seventh, the series of failures of the owners and crew of the Titanic led to the death of 1,523 people. When we apostatize, we lead others away from God. In truth, no one goes to heaven or hell alone. Our examples speak volumes to others following our steps (1 Corinthians 11:1; Ephesians 4:17-24).
Christians can leave God and be lost. Nothing sadder can occur in the life of a Christian. The loss is staggering. However, it never happens in a vacuum. We consciously cause the apostasy through neglect and sin. May we always remain attentive to prevent faith decay.