FALL OF THE “TITANIC”
“Pride goes before destruction and an haughty spirit before a fall”.
A large crowd of adulterous, and ungodly people, decided to come together for an amorous expedition across the ocean. They were over one thousand five hundred persons in number. They entered a specially prepared, jumbo-sized ship called “titanic.” Little did they know, it would end up in disaster.
The ship of unusual size, was over eight hundred feet long. It had all kinds of facilities in it including: swimming pools, restaurants, and brothels. Many entered the ship with their concubines. They were eating, drinking, and engaging in sexual immoralities.
They forgot about God, the Creator of the whole world. Actually, they relegated Him to the background. They thought life was all about living in iniquities, and depravity, like the people of Sodom and Gomorrah; until the time destruction suddenly came upon them.
The constant warning by the navigator of approaching iceberg was disregarded by them. He wanted to steer back the ill-fated ship from danger. But he was urged to go on by the fun-loving crowd. They said nothing could destroy the titanic, not even God.
Then came the wreckage. The ship hit the gigantic iceberg, and the former began to disintegrate. Initially, most of the occupants couldn’t believe what they saw. There was limited number of life-boats in the ship. The persons that were sober, began to escape through the life-boats. They were in tiny minority. The rest of them remain adamant and proud; and continued to indulge in their sinful pleasures.
Eventually, titanic was destroyed; and over one thousand occupants were drowned in the ocean. They perished like people in the time of Noah.
“They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered unto the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot, they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded. But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed”-Luke 17:27-30.
When Apostle Paul suffered shipwreck en-route to Rome, the occupants humbled themselves before Almighty God, and were eventually saved.
Initially, the Centurion, leader of soldiers guarding the prisoners in the ship, and the sailor, didn’t heed the counsel of Apostle Paul, concerning the impending wreckage of the ship. After fasting and praying, for days, Paul advised them not to sail from Crete. It would be disastrous. They were not convinced, and ignored him. Therefore, the ship suffered damages.
However, he told them an angel of God appeared to him, in the night and assured him of their safety among other things. They believed God. He said ‘not a hair will fall from the head of any of you”—Acts 27:34. When the ship was destroyed by the violent waves, all the two hundred and seventy-six occupants were saved.
Those who could swim, had to jump overboard and swam safely to the land. As God would have it, the broken parts of the ship served as “life-buoys”, they held unto which took them individually to places of safety. They humbled themselves before Almighty God, and were saved from disaster.
I remember an incidence that occurred sometime ago. A young man was full of himself. He had everything he wanted in life: money, house, car, lucrative business, name them. He began to live without God in the world. He looked at himself, he had no problem. He thought only those who had problem were serving Almighty God. He thought his main aim of coming into the world, was to acquire wealth and use it the way he liked. But one day, something unpleasant happened to him.
He organized a party, and invited his promiscuous friends and their girlfriends. This young man prepared very well. He cooked food, bought assorted drinks, crates of eggs, etc, and parked them inside the butt of his car. And his friends entered into his big vehicle. He was about to start the engine and drive to the venue of the party, so that after eating and drinking, they would begin to live in immorality. Then, the mother walked to his side of the vehicle, and admonished him. She advised him to always invite God, to be with him wherever he wanted to go. The mother appealed to him to repent and worship God Almighty wholly; for the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge. The young man and other occupants in the car listened attentively.
When she finished speaking, he told the mother he had heard her. He arrogantly said to her, “Mum, if you look very well, you will discover all the seats are filled to capacity. There is no chance for God inside this vehicle; unless in the butt.” As he was saying it, he was smiling. All other occupants kept quiet, There was conspiracy of silence. They all seemed to be in a hurry to move to the venue of the party. And they saw the woman as unnecessary distraction and delay. She felt very sad and disappointed, and worked away dejected.
Then, the ‘prodigal son’ drove off. But, he didn’t go far. As he was driving, he came face-face contact with a big truck that failed break. The two vehicles rammed at each other, and there was a fatal accident. Everybody in the car, including himself died on the spot, and was mangled. The car itself was squeezed beyond repairs. The villagers nearby ran out and began to shout and cry, that a vehicle had accident, and everybody inside was killed. There was pandemonium.
When one of the sympathizers, opened the butt of the car, they were astonished at what they saw. Everything inside it was intact: the crates of eggs and bottles of drinks. Even the food items were not spilled, despite the much squeezing of the motor. It was a great wonder to all and sundry. When the mother came to the scene and saw the butt, she was equally surprised. She remembered what the son told her: that there was no chance for God inside the motor except inside the butt. Therefore, what God did was to go and protect the area they gave Him chance, inside the butt; and the rest of them perished in the accident. She wept bitterly for her arrogant and disobedient son.
I want you give God a chance in your life. He said, behold I stand at the door and knock. If you will open, I will come and sup with you, and you will sup with me.
Belshazzar the King (grandson of Nebuchadnezzar), was a typical example of a proud and ungodly person. He made a feast for a thousand of his lords, their wives and concubines. They ate, drank, and praised their gods. Then, came a handwriting on the wall. And a message from God came to him, while with his concubines and others.
“And you have lifted yourself up against the LORD of Heaven. They have brought the vessels of His house before you and you and your lords, your wives and your concubines, have drunk wine from them. And you have praised gods of silver and gold, bronze and iron, wood and stone, which do not see or hear or know: and the God who holds your breath in His hand and owns all your ways, you have not glorified.
Then the fingers of the hand were sent from Him, and this writing was written. And this is the inscription that was written: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. This is the interpretation of each word. MENE: God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it. TEKEL; You have been weighed in the balance, and found wanting.
PERES: Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians. That very night Belshazzar King of the Chaldeans, was slain”—Daniel 5:23-28 & 30.
It happened I repented in October 1970. That was about ten months after the Nigerian civil war. As time went on, I became ill. The illness lasted for nearly a year. I was taken to various clinics and hospitals, within and outside my community Avu, in Owerri West Local Government Area of Imo State. There was no cure. The doctors could not diagnose my illness. I was therefore returned to my parents’ house to wait for death to come. My situation was getting worse each passing week. I knew I would die. I told my parents about it. I later realized that like Lazarus in the bible, the sickness was for the glory of God; that the Son of God might be glorified thereby (John 11:4). And on Friday evening, 11th of May, 1973, it happened. I was twenty-three years old then. In a twinkling of an eye, I found myself in a very peculiar environment. Are there two worlds? I wondered. This must be paradise I have heard and read of in the bible, I said to myself.
Paradise is a place of fascinating beauty and comfort. Words are not enough to describe its scenery. This is because there is nothing in this world, to compare with anything in paradise. The sun, moon, and stars do not shine on the place. The glory of God illuminates, and sparkles in the beautiful city. The ground glitters like precious stones. Nobody who has been there, would ever want to come back to earth.
In paradise, one can see and hear from people about 5,000 miles away, as clearly as they could be seen and heard, 100 yards away on earth. In other words, the human eyes and ears, see and hear much further, or have much longer reach in paradise, than on earth. Multitude of people from various nations are in paradise.
I saw the saints and holy prophets there. The atmosphere there is that of friendliness. Anybody you see, appear familiar and friendly to you. Of course, there is no fighting or quarreling there.
I saw people moving around and enjoying themselves. Paradise is a place of rest for souls of the righteous; pending when they will be clothed with immortal bodies. I looked afar off, and saw people in hell. Hell looks reddish, because of the flames of fire there. People in that mournful place, are about ten times the number of those in paradise. Billions of people are in hell, including many who were ministers of the gospel, when on earth. I was made to understand they were religious hypocrites.
God said further, “some of them were womanizers, drunkards, and drug addicts. They committed grievous sins, despite my constant warnings to them.” Finally, God told me not to mention their names, when He would eventually send me back to the world, for a mission.
Unknown to me, some believers and gospel ministers held night vigil, in the room where my body was laid. They were singing praises to God, and praying fervently for my coming back from the dead.
I am the only son of my parents. My relatives planned to bury my body the following day, as there was not mortuary service around, to preserve my body for days or weeks.
Suddenly, I found myself in my room on earth. When I sat on the bed I was laid on, pandemonium broke loose. Most of the mourners who gathered in our compound, fled in panic. My mother ran away. But, my father stood behind. He was a church catechist when alive. Of course, he was a ”rural” preacher of the gospel. They were amazed. I calmed them down, and told them my story. I explained to them about life in the great beyond. Gradually, other sympathizers came back to hear more from me. They were jubilant to see back from the dead. I learnt I left the body (was dead), for about nine hours: from dust till dawn. But, it was as if I spent more than sixty years in paradise.
Meanwhile, unbelieving mourner gathered outside, and watched curiously throughout the night, for what would happen
………….To be continued.