“And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that Therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak” Ephesians 6:19,20
One of the great American ships that dominated the high seas in the heyday of transatlantic travel was the SS United States, better known as the “Big U." The Big U was a passenger liner that was not only built for comfort, but for speed, setting and retaining the fastest transatlantic crossing for an ocean liner at 3 days, 10hrs and 40min. She was the last of her kind in the grand age of ocean travel as the celebrated days of crossing the Atlantic by liner would come to a close. The convenience and speed of air travel would quickly usher in the end of that era.
Today the ‘’Big U” has long been out of service and is only a shadow of what it used to be. As She sits idly tied to her moors in the city of Philadelphia, time and the elements have had their way, bathing her steel with rust and corrosion.
In comparison, as you look at the current state of that grand ship, it somewhat resembles that of a once vibrant and active Christian or Church, one that was on the move, bold, committed, serving; setting records with the Lord if you will.
But now it seems we have entered into a new era as well.
Door to door evangelism and Soul-Winning efforts have been replaced with live stream services and casual Christianity. That ‘grand ship’ now finds itself moored to the docks of silence and stillness; weather beaten by the cares of life and the rudiments of the world. So many of us in the Lord seem to be aimlessly adrift in the seas of distractions, doubt and discouragement.
Yet, Praise the Lord, in both cases there is cause for hope.
As for the “Big U”, it’s encouraging to know that a conservatory group has dedicated itself to one day seeing their beloved ship restored and returned to service on the high seas; to once again fulfill her role as the world’s “flagship” in ocean travel. They envision a day when her powerful engines would again stir the waters beneath her decks and those decks would be filled with happy passengers. Nevertheless, with this vision comes the reality that it takes willing resources, unyielding determination and great sacrifice to see it come to pass.
And for the idle Christian, the still Church, you are not without hope nor without an Advocate. No matter what era or state we find ourselves in, or however far we may have drifted from the Lord and His Great Commission, we can know, with all certainty, that Jesus is still in the business of ‘restoration’. We can know again the joy of serving Christ in sharing the good news of the word of God with a lost and dying world. And Just as that great ship has it’s hope in those that love her, so do we have the sure mercies of God, with rest and hope in the one that Loves us to the uttermost, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Be assured dear Christian, your Savior is far more willing, far more determined and far more capable in the work of restoration than any human or earthly effort could ever be. Jesus promises that He will “never leave nor foresake thee”. He also says, “Behold I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me”. The seasons may change; the times may change, yet the Lord declares, “I change not”! “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to day, and forever”
What a comfort to know God’s promises!
So along with those that would love to see that great ship cast off her lines and set sail again, let us pray as God’s people, that His servants, His Church and all those that labor and have labored for the cause of Christ, would likewise cast off their lines from the bounds of idleness and complacency to once again serve the Lord to the fullest, realizing again their call and purpose in the Lord; to be the “flagship” of the Gospel as the Ambassadors of the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Spencer Close, Bus Director, Sharon Baptist Church
Sharon Baptist church is an independent, fundamental Baptist church located in Hampton, VA.
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