“Robert E. Lee”, nicknamed the “Monarch of the Mississippi” was a steamboat that held the speed record at the time, and continues to hold the record until today.
At 3:30 am on Saturday, 30th September 1882 as the boat was heading for New Orleans carrying hundreds of passengers, a fire started in the pantry and started to spread, destroying nearly everything on board.
As soon as the fire was discovered the crew members quickly proceeded to wake up the hundreds of passengers across the steamboat, alerting them to the danger. Strangely some of the passengers had become very angry for being woken up so rudely, thinking the disturbance was caused by a drunkard. They had paid good money to be on board, and they certainly weren’t going to be disturbed for anything or by anyone. Some passengers didn’t take the alarm very seriously at all, and found it all quite amusing. They were overcome with laughter until the point they were overcome by the consuming flames spreading across the steamboat. Other passengers heard the warning, but were very doubtful. They just couldn’t believe it could happen to them on such a prestigious boat as the “Robert E. Lee”, and so they waited a little longer to hear the alarm more clearly. Sadly as the crew members made their way down the corridors their message was harder to hear as the flames engulfed the corridors.
There were other people who heard the warning and believed it to be true. They awakened from their sleep and made a swift and scary escape to safety. The captain of the “Monarch of the Mississippi” was W.S. Cannon, and the pilot, John Stout, was credited for saving many lives on that treacherous night on board the steamboat.
It’s alarming that the same response can be seen today, in the way people across the world treat the warnings of God. Many people can become angry to hear the Gospel, and look down on you with disgust and disdain considering the messenger to be nothing more than a foolish drunkard. Other people find it positively amusing, almost as a form of entertainment, to think that anyone could even believe in God. One person joked with me about the afterlife, saying “If there’s a hell, then I’ll be down there with my mates having a party!” Then there are the people that hear the Gospel, and then they gradually cease to hear it. They are waiting for a more convenient moment or season to set things straight with God.
There are of course some people though, who hear God’s warning and accept Jesus Christ into their lives, repenting of their wrong doings and daily surrendering their lives to God – and in so doing receive salvation and escape an eternal burning hell.
While we may know some of the different responses to the Gospel, we will not know who might or might not respond to the Gospel. So, it is for the sake of those precious people that we must keep on proclaiming the Gospel to as many people as we possibly can, for the boat is on fire and time is running out!
We should make every effort to call together large congregations of people to hear the Gospel message preached with such faith and earnestness that an interest will be awakened. We should also go further, and leave the comfort of our congregations and go out into the world to find people to share the Gospel with – for they may never come into our gatherings. Use any and every means possible to share the Gospel – and remember that by the words that we speak, the prayers that we offer, the influence that we exert, we must sow seeds that will bear fruit to the glory of God. There is to be no wavering.
Let’s do everything we can to sound the alarm, and use as many methods as we possibly can to share the Gospel message.
Sound the alarm!
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.
2 Timothy 4:2
Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage with great patience and careful instruction.
God bless you and keep on keeping on…