Think of life as a voyage on a luxury ocean liner. Let’s say the captain of the ship and the crew manning the engines are a type for Jesus and His angels, but the people of Earth are the guests on the ship.
A few of us have all the benefits of a first class cabin, complete with ocean views and rose petals on our pillows every evening. Others enjoy a comfortable but cramped stateroom. We’re not pampered, but we have all we need and are free to enjoy the amenities on board. Many of us wonder if we’ve been given the role of the serving staff or those hired to entertain. We wait on the guests, we fulfill their every need, we clean, we cook, we sing, we dance.
Some of us have jumped off the ship. Those are the ones I want to zero in on.
What happens when a person falls into the sea? The alarm goes off: “Man overboard.” The captain brings the ship around, sends out a lifeboat to rescue the unhappy guest. Having escaped death by drowning, he is beyond grateful for the return to safety.
But what if it was a suicide attempt? How would he respond to his saviors? He’d push them away, beg them to leave him be.
Is that what people are trying to do who reject Christ? Commit eternal suicide?
Jesus provides this beautiful world – this luxury ship – for every person born on earth. There are times of a calm sea and beautiful sunsets. We marvel at His wonders. However, it’s a fallen world, and there are seasons of storms and rough water. We get seasick.
Most of us don’t win the “good life” of million dollar incomes and unlimited budgets. Many struggle on the lower decks, constantly performing backbreaking work, never thanked for it by our fellow passengers, but WE’RE STILL ON THE BOAT! And we’re safe. And some day we will reach port where we all celebrate in heaven together.
Yet people continually leap from the ship. They flounder in raging seas, close to drowning as wave after wave crashes over them. Jesus throws them a life preserver and drops the lifeboat to come after them. If He tries to lift them over the side to safety, they push Him away. “Get away! I don’t need You. I’m going to keep swimming.”
So Jesus waits. The ocean liner of faith hovers nearby as the rebel continues to exhaust himself in the hostile currents. If he never changes his mind, he’ll eventually go under and not break the surface again. But as soon as he reaches out a finger and whispers for help from the Savior, he will be safe in the arms of Jesus forever.