Extract from our Weekly Bulletin
October 09, 2016
If you have seen the movie ‘Titanic’ then you know enough about what happened on April 14th 1912, on the ship that “Not even God himself could sink,” even though it sank. Out of 1528 people who fell into the water, only 6 were rescued.
But did you know that one of these six people was saved twice that night? His story is an inspiring tale that life is worth more than simply surviving.
To recount the story of this man, its necessary to firstly speak about another man, a Scotsman called John Harper. This minister of the gospel boarded the Titanic, accompanied with his six-year-old daughter Nana. He was travelling to the Church Moody in Chicago, where he had been invited to preach for three months.
After the ship had collided with the iceberg and began to sink, Harper was concerned for the safety of his daughter and placed her in one of the lifeboats. He then performed the last evangelistic act of his young existence.
When the freezing waters began to flood the ship people heard Harper shout, “Let the women, the children and those who aren’t yet saved board the lifeboats.” The survivors reported that Harper took off his own life jacket and gave it to another man. “Don’t worry about me,” he said “I’m not going down, I’m going up.” When the ship began to sink, more than 1500 passengers were jumping or were falling into the freezing waters.
While they were gradually sinking or were freezing until they died, Harper was seen swimming in between the passengers, convincing each one of them to accept Christ. Barely six out of the 1500 people who were struggling in the waters were rescued, including a man who was later identified as Harper’s last convert.
This young man was floating on top of some remains of the shipwreck. Harper, who was struggling in the waters, and was close to him asked, “Are you saved?” “No,” answered the man. Harper then shouted the words of the Scriptures “Believe in the Lord and you will be saved.” The man didn’t answer, and moments later he was taken away by the waves.
Some minutes later, the current brought the men together. Again Harper asked, “Are you saved?” Once again the man’s response was “No” With his last breath, Harper shouted “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.” He was then submerged by the waves for the last time.
At that moment, the man to whom Harper had spoken about Christ decided to give his life to Him.
Four years later, when the survivors of the Titanic were in Ontario, Canada, this man who was in tears gave his testimony, recounting how John Harper led him to the Lord Jesus. I do not need to tell you that this dramatic story didn’t make it into the movie.
We live in a culture that seems more interested in fictional stories about romance, illicit sex and expensive jewellery, when the real romance is between God and His people.
When you speak with your friends who saw this movie, tell them the ‘rest of the story.’
Tell them about the young Christian Scotsman that gave testimony of Christ even with his last breath. Make sure your children also know this story.
John Harper reminds us (among others) about a big lesson, the secret of the centuries:
“Life is more valuable than to just simply surviving”.
God Bless You
Ps. Marisa Varjabedian