The shipwreck at sea that Luke so brilliantly recorded in Acts 27 offers a cornucopia of spiritual truth. This blog records one of the unpleasant truths: not everyone hearing God’s word listens; not everyone listening believes; and not everyone who believes obeys.
Consider both the sailors and solders aboard the stricken vessel. After Paul had borne witness to his faith in GOD, the sailors (27:30) tried to escape the ship once close enough to shore to chance surviving in the lifeboat rather than trust the ship.
Then, with land seen, but not recognized—likely due to clouds, mist, rain and distance—the soldiers (27:42) intended to kill the prisoners, including Paul, the very man who offered hope. Paul’s protest to centurion Julius stopped the sailors; Julius’ own desire to save Paul thwarted the soldiers.
Spiritual principles we can learn from this truth. One, many people will readily talk about God if a Christian initiates the conversation. Thus, we must sometimes make, not wait for, an opening. Christ’s question to the Samaritan woman, John 4:7, proves an introduction can be almost anything.
Two, Christians cannot be physically separated from the unsaved. The life of Jesus offers ultimate proof. Paul’s instructions to the Corinthians, 5:9-13, a supplementary example. The lost need our personalized example as we need the daily contact with them that sharpens our witness. Philemon 6 is an example.
Three, a calm, dignified presence that reinforces our witness will have greater results than Bible-waving and indiscriminately shouting Hallelujah or Praise the Lord.
Four, being a witness of God’s grace or presence, assurance or certainty, won’t always make it overpowering. The Master’s teaching proved that. While many believed in him on resurrecting Lazarus, others raced the news as a criticism to the leaders John 11:46. Every apostle followed his example. Paul found it true on board. Not everyone will be convinced by the evidence. End Part I