Final Voyage

Sunday, April 15, 2012

“Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away” (Psalm 144:4 KJV).

On 10 April 1912, a massive British passenger liner left Southhampton, England to embark on its maiden voyage. Its destination was New York. The ship, 882 feet (269 m) long, held over 2,400 passengers and nearly 900 crewmembers. On 14 April, just shortly before midnight, she struck an iceberg. Exactly 100 years ago today, RMS Titanic plunged into the frigid waters of the North Atlantic, taking with her 1,500-plus persons….

Some of the wealthiest people in the world boarded Titanic for her maiden voyage, oblivious to the fact that it would actually be Titanic’s final voyage. Millionaire John Jacob Astor IV, who would be worth nearly US$12 billion today, lost every last cent he had on that cold, April night 100 years ago today. Although he was the richest person aboard Titanic, death took his fortune just as much as it took the poorest victims’.

As the psalmist expressed in today’s Scripture, this earthly life is ever so brief. Life on earth is but a “shadow that passeth away,” “even a vapour that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (James 4:14).

One day, short of the rapture, death will steal from us every last material possession we own. Large bank accounts, although nice, are not permanent because economic recessions and depressions can empty them quickly. Although we are expected to have jobs so we can eat and buy goods (2 Thessalonians 3:10; cf. 2 Corinthians 12:14), our priority is not seeing how much worldly possessions and “wealth” we can amass.

Our primary focus is to trust in Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour now, while we still have breath. Then, as Christians, we desire to store up a treasure of sound doctrine in the inner man (studying and believing the Bible dispensationally). Although our “uncertain [material] riches” (1 Timothy 6:17) will eventually vanish, we are spiritually rich in Christ (2 Corinthians 8:9), “blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3).

Praise the Lord—we can never lose our spiritual wealth in Christ!

By the way, our past two devotionals about Judas’ replacement have recently been combined and expanded to form the study “Judas’ Replacement: Matthias or Paul?