Acts 27 “The Sin Ship”: Part 3 of 4

Acts 27: 39-44

So this is what happens when we hit the end of our ropes, when we’ve ridden the ship of sin as long as we can and suddenly we can go no further. When it’s time to let go for good. There’s no easy landing, no easy dismount. We have to be humbled. We have to be shipwrecked. Sin isn’t something we can just sneak out of, no matter how hard we try. On the contrary – we must face the consequences of our sin.

Sometimes we wonder if we will ever survive that shipwreck. The sin that we have lived in for so long is being battered to pieces, being exposed for the frailty it is. The strongest sin is no match for God’s power. And as our sins are basically being torn out from under our feet, we too are being exposed – mere flesh and blood, helpless, weak. No more crutches, no more facades.

If we want to live, we have no choice but to abandon ship. Otherwise, we will be destroyed with the vessel. But in order to abandon ship, we must “jump overboard.”

Can you imagine how terrifying that must have been for the sailors and prisoners, especially those who couldn’t swim, to leap out of the safety of what they had known – however rickety and wrong it was – into the storm of God’s wrath and the just consequences for sinful decisions?

In the story in Acts, it sounds as if the ordeal was an every-man-for-himself situation. Similarly, when we own up to our sin, we often feel as though we are entirely alone and the whole world has turned against us. Those can be some of the most agonizing moments, days, months, or years we will ever face. When in that sea of consequence, we wonder if we will survive the tempest, if we will ever reach land again. Or will we just be destroyed by the agony that consumes us?

But there is a promise of hope.

The last sentence of this passage says, “And so it was that they all escaped safely to land.” Notice the “all.” Not some, but “all.” Because they were obedient and because they had the courage to leap overboard, God carried them through the storm. Yes, they had to suffer in the sea for a while, but God brought them through it. Just like He will you or I or anyone else who takes the plunge of faith and willingly faces the consequences of one’s sin and then leaves the wreckage of that sin behind.

It’s not going to be easy – those were probably the worst, loneliest, most painful months I have ever endured. Sometimes those sea waves still bombard me. Nevertheless, God has carried me through.

He has set my feet on dry ground once again. He set the ship’s passengers’ feet on dry ground again. He will do the same for anyone else who has the humbled, repentant heart to abandon the Sin Ship.

 

 

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All Were Healed

“And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people….Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed.” Acts 5: 12,16

What a beautiful analogy of Christ’s salvation. Who knows how many people were brought to the disciples to be healed. And who knows what all they suffered from! Perhaps they were blind, leprous, bleeding, paralyzed, injured, demon-possessed…. But it didn’t matter what they had; as long as they came to the disciples about it, they were healed. But the folks who stayed at home…they just continued to suffer. Assuredly, if they had decided to be healed by the disciples, then they would have been. However, they continued to suffer because they refused to believe and go to the disciples.

Salvation is much the same. Jesus died not for a select few, but for “the world” (John 3: 16). His offer of salvation is an offer of healing and it is freely given to all who come to Him. The sick people came to the disciples because they knew they would be healed, and we must come to Jesus with the same belief. Only this time, our sickness is sin. Some people believe that they have sinned too much to ever be forgiven, but that is a lie from Satan. The disciples healed all kinds of illness; Jesus forgives all kinds of sin. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a murderer, or an adulteress, or a liar; or whether you’ve lost your temper, or been divorced, or been in jail. Jesus forgives all. He heals all.

But we must believe enough to come to Him. That’s the major condition – to believe, repent, and yield to Him. Otherwise, we’re no better off than the sick people who stayed home. We won’t be healed. We’ll continue to suffer, not only here on Earth, but after death in Hell. If we do not believe, we will not be forgiven.

Christ’s gift of salvation is offered to all mankind, but it is only given to those who believe enough to come to Him.