February 21, 2013

“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

English: (ship) half-submerged and sinking.It is a peaceful night aboard a comfortable ship, sailing through calm waters.  You rest in  peaceful sleep in a warm bunk after a long day of leisure.  Dreams of adventures and loves fill your head as your mind is freed to follow its own meandering course of conscious-less bliss.

This state of peacefulness is suddenly shattered by an unnatural jerk, a shutter, and a metallic groan of a mechanized beast that knows it has just been slashed by a death blow.  You jerk up in your bed, fully alert but swimming through the confusion of panicked shouts, faint emergency lights, warning alarms, and an incessant trampling of feet.

You place your stocking feet to the cold floor and move with no clear directions but certain that movement is the only response to this unknown danger.  Upon leaving your room, the fleeing crowd grabs you.  It pulls you.  It pushes you. It assaults you.  Up and up the crowd of massed fear flows.  There is no fighting it.  It is impossible to resist the blind energy being release by those desperate to be saved.

The crowd spills onto the deck. A cruel and stinging wind bites your face.  The air is filled with panic.  You are surrounded by tears, anger, rage, desperation, wailing, and anguish. They are all seeking an expression, an answer, to what appears inevitable. This is not a respite.  This is not the expected calm that you sought when fleeing the metal walls of luxury that has turned into a tomb.    You try to calm yourself.  You try to think and get your bearings.

At the moment your brain begins to cope with this reality, a man with hands hardened by years at sea grabs you.  He pulls you close and screams in your ear so that he can be heard above the din of confusion.  “You have to jump.  We are going down.  There is not time,” he says these words and forcefully pulls you to the rail and with a push you are falling free from the only thing that feels safe.

You hit the water with the force of a heavy-weight’s upper-cut.  The cold momentarily blinds you.  It stuns you into a new reality.  You have 15 minutes.  You must be saved in 15 minutes or hypothermia with drag you to the depths.  “Think,” your brain screams!  You must think.  You must grab something that will be secure.  You must find the answer in all of this floating debris.  What will you place your trust in?  Deck chairs float past. A wooden pallet bobs precariously.  A person-less life jacket eases past, shocking you to the reality of the sharp-edge that you are standing upon. Death can just as easily slip you from your mortal restrains.

There are so many choices  you have to think through.  You grab one but it sinks.  You try another but it won’t hold you out of the water.  15 minutes.  Your time is passing.  It is hopeless.

English: Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class J...
English: Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Joshua McGowan throws a life ring to a victim of a Rogue Wave kicked up by Hurricane Bill (2009) in Maine that killed a 7yr-old girl. (Image Credit – US Coast Guard) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That is when you see the white ring.  A life-ring and it has rope on it!  Where did that come from? It wasn’t there a moment ago.  It doesn’t matter.  You flail your numb arms toward your only hope.  You must make it.  Swim; your life depends upon it.  Swim; even though you are feeling warm.  Swim; where did it go – focus; there it is; the white ring of hope.  One more stroke and you grasp it.  The moment you slip the ring under your shoulder, you feel the powerful tug of your salvation.  You hear the words, “I’ve got you.  You’re safe now.”

You’re safe now.  You are in the cradle of the only means by which you could be saved.

We are all in this position of being aboard a sinking ship.  Mortal death is a cruel, inevitability for every person walking the face of this earth.  However, we are all spiritual beings, so death is not an end for any of us.  We all will face God at our death.  We all will be judged.  We have all earned a judgment of eternal punishment – hell.

There is an escape from God’s judgment.  Jesus Christ came to save us from the punishment that we have earned.  He came and paid the price for your sin and my sin.

Jesus did not come to make our lives better.  He did not come to make our cruise-ship a little more luxurious.  He did not come for us to sit on a sun-deck to be served mojitos and fried shrimp.  He came to be our life-ring.  He came to drag us away from certain destruction.  He came to save us because there is no other way.

There are many who will point to other ways to be saved.  There are even some Christians who shrug to the possibility of other ways for us to be saved.  There is no scriptural basis for that indifference.  Jesus is as clear as He can be:

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” (John 3:17-18)

Causally conceding multi-ways to God to a seeking person is like directing a drowning person to a floating deck chair or bobbing pallet.  There is no salvation in those.  They will perish in their delusional hope.  To suggest that there are paths to salvation other than Christ is a cruel hoax draped in the illusion of compassion.

There is salvation in no one else.  Jesus is our life-ring.  Grab Him with all of your mind, heart, and soul.  Cling to Him because your eternal life does depend upon it.  Let’s shout at the top of our lungs to our fellow ship mates and direct them to the only thing that will save them as we are being pulled to our salvation.  We only have a short time until we are gone.

Let’s get as many as we can into the arms of our Savior.  He is their only hope.

PRAYER: Father, thank you for saving me.  Thank you for reaching out and pulling me to yourself.  Lord, I know that my salvation is in you alone.  There is no hope in any other god or religion.  You are the only way.  Father, may I never proclaim a false gospel of multi-paths to you.  May I never soften the truth of your saving grace for fear of a confrontation of awkward discussion.  Lord, grant to me the strength and courage to speak your word with all boldness.  May your Spirit work in the hearts of all those who are lost and draw them to yourself.     Amen


  1. A compelling read, JD. Very well written. With you I pray, .”Lord, grant to me the strength and courage to speak your word with all boldness. May your Spirit work in the hearts of all those who are lost and draw them to yourself. Amen.”

  2. Reblogged this on A DEVOTED LIFE.

  3. […] “A LIFE-RING ON A SINKING SHIP” – Feb. 21 | A DEVOTED LIFE. […]

  4. Hi JD,
    Part of my testimony has to do with being kept from drowning. The post is in segments. It starts here:
    love to you my blogging buddy,

    • That you for the link. Praise God for his awesome work in your like. Thank you for your testimony.

  5. What a great picture! It made it all come to life… SO glad to have been found by Jesus!! Thank you.

  6. May our faith rope never fail.

  7. The Bible is clear… salvation is only by faith in Jesus Christ and the work He did on the cross in our place. Those who suggest otherwise generally point to ways they would feel more comfortable with.

  8. And oh, the JOY that fills my soul!

  9. Awesome.How thankful I am for the salvation that is Christ. I am also thankful for your taking the time to speak the word with such talent and sincerity. God bless you brother!

  10. I felt onboard the ship as I read (great post). But find myself on another ship at sail.
    My hope began but did not end, I found my love calm, soon gave me more hope on which to stand not turn away, but still continues to grow within hope, within love, as my faith is growing. A given place to those who believe in the Almighty, who gave His only Son for our salvation. No matter which way the road twists and turns there is only one small key hole, knowing Christ is the one.

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