“But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed.” Acts 27:22
Whenever I’m in the middle of a crisis–physical, spiritual, emotional–I am reminded of Paul’s words to the crew of the ship in Acts 27. “Only the ship will be destroyed”. Never has the idea of destruction brought so much comfort. Only the ship. Wait, the ship that we’re on? While we’re in the middle of a sea that is tossing us around and is only moments away from swallowing us… Only the ship?
Yes. Only the ship! What wonderful news! I will eventually lose everything I own in this life. Everyone I love will eventually be taken from me. I’ll be forced to throw everything overboard, but I’ll escape with my life. Only the ship will be destroyed! Peace starts to take root.
But then, I begin to dread the journey. Surviving a shipwreck is not something I want to experience. It doesn’t sound fun. It doesn’t sound easy. It doesn’t sound peaceful. I don’t want to throw it all overboard. It sounds horrible. It sounds agonizingly difficult. It sounds impossible.
“Then Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, ‘Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved.'” Acts 27:31
The only way to survive is to stay with the ship. It goes against all reason. “Abandon Ship!” sounds like the logical thing to do; otherwise you risk being pulled under with the sinking ship. But Paul tells them there is no way they’ll be saved if they jump ship.
How true is this for us today. Friends, Jesus is that ship. ‘Only the ship will be destroyed’. ‘Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved.’ Whatever difficulty you are facing, whatever trial you’re in, whatever the storm that is looming over head, threatening to destroy you, abide in Christ; He has taken every strike and every blow on our behalf. He suffered in our place and was beaten and killed–our substitute. Only the ship was destroyed; we were spared.
“Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.'” John 2:19
Only the ship was destroyed, but it was raised up again! Jesus died as payment for our sins, but death did not have the final word. He conquered death and is alive today.
Just as Paul said to those on that ship, I repeat to you, Christian: “Keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost.”
“And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.” John 6:39
If you don’t know and trust Jesus, won’t you today? Why should you be lost when only the ship need be destroyed? The warning is very clear, unless you stay with the ship, unless you put your trust in Jesus, you cannot be saved. Won’t you trust in Him today?