Whatever the circumstance, we are all gathered here at this meeting on the deck of the Titanic. Something bad is going to happen. This ship is going down. We canít survive, weíll all die. What will become of us? Death will come. The Bible assures us of this fact. The dead are dead, they know not anything. Nobody will even remember you. In death there is no remembrance of anything. Great historical figures have no meaning for us today, for example, Charlemagne or Napoleon. Even now, Winston Churchill, probably the greatest historical figure of his time, is a dim memory. I remember him. You donít. He was my hero, a man who showed superhuman personal courage during the Battle of Britain. Other heroes are those pioneers in medicine, who worked their entire lives to get us a better stateroom on the Titanic. But the ship is still going to go down after staying afloat a little longer.
Are there things you want to do before you die? Take a trip down the Amazon, read War and Peace, make a better life for your children, get a better stateroom on the Titanic? Weíre not going to stop doing these things, but isnít it sort of meaningless? All vanity, perhaps? The fact that the dead know not anything implies that we have two states of being: alive and dead. Let me suggest you only have one state: life. Being dead is not a state, or entity. You are dust scattered in the wind; chaff which the wind drives.
To explore this point, let us look to the drug scopolamine. In reading about the birth process, I learn it is not an anesthetic, it merely induces amnesia. You donít remember pain, and so you didnít have it. A horrifying thought. Now think again about those things we do for ourselves and our children. Do we think we do those things so that we can remember them when we are dead? No. Death is like scopolamine: nothing is remembered, so it didnít happen. Life is a sort of civilized lust of the flesh, lust of the eye and pride of life. So eat, drink and be merry.
Why are we here then, sitting on the deck of the Titanic? In death there is no remembrance of Christ. Why should we remember him? Didnít we just say that in death there is no remembrance? Does that apply to Christ? Christ passed from death to life. Thatís why that verse doesnít apply to him as it does to you and me and Charlemagne, our ancestor. Adam was tempted in Paradise and fell to his death for himself and all his progeny. Christ was tempted in the wilderness and survived. He can say, "I am he that liveth and was dead". That is the future of his progeny. Though we die, yet shall we live. Christ the firstfruits, afterwards they that are Christís at his coming.
Can you prove the resurrection? Yes, if you are not like Pontius Pilate, who asked for truth but would not stay for an answer. Because we can prove the Bible true if we live long enough. But you know what? I donít think you believe it. You donít believe strongly enough that the resurrection took place. Your life doesnít demonstrate it. I would do anything for Winston Churchill, who made the Titanic more comfortable. Why not for Christ who saves you from the fate of the Titanic? There is too much diversity for us to act together. Donít lay it to someone else; you yourself must do it. In 1 Cor 12, gifts to the 1st century ecclesia are enumerated, all given by the holy spirit: wisdom, knowledge, faith, prophecy, etc. They are told to covet the best gifts. But in 1Cor 13 we read just the opposite, that is, prophecies shall fail, tongues cease, knowledge shall vanish away, etc. Charity, called a more excellent way, never fails. Embrace it. It is your gift to God. When you start using what goodness you have, you donít reduce your store of goodness, you increase it. Like the widowís cruse written of in 1Kings 17. 12 - 14, she never used up her oil, and what came after was of an even better grade.. Jesus said, "A good man of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things." Your life must be a gift of your heart. Your life in Christ is in the final analysis an affair of the heart.