The Tragedy of the Titanic
It was April 14, 1912, at 11:40 p.m. High in the crows-nest of the new liner, Titanic, Fred Fleet peered into the night. He had been warned to watch for icebergs. The cloudless sky blazed with stars. It was bitterly cold. “The sea was like glass, so smooth that the stars were clearly reflected,” wrote survivor Archibald Gracie. Suddenly, Fred saw something directly ahead and he cried out, “Iceberg directly ahead!” He watched as the iceberg glided by the starboard side of the ship.
Inside the liner, all things were going on as usual. This was the maiden voyage of the great ship. Some of the wealthiest families in the world on board. The ship was carrying a total of 2,207 passengers and crew. In the “first class” smoking room, a bridge game was going on when an officer appeared at the door and shouted, “Men get your life belts on; there’s trouble ahead!”
Down in Boiler Room No. 6, Fireman Barrett heard a crash. The whole starboard side of the ship seemed to cave in. Water began to gush in and flood the boiler room. The same was happening in Boiler Room No. 5. Some of the passengers felt the jar of the impact of the iceberg, but the people around the two card tables hardy looked up. People could be heard chatting in their cabins, totally unaware that the iceberg had ripped a 300-foot gash along the side of the Titanic below the waterline. The great liner was doomed.
Captain Edward Smith ordered all the women and children to go on deck. As people moved up to the boat’s deck, one could see how they felt by the things they took with them and by the things they left behind. Major Arthur Peuchen left a tin box on the table of his cabin. In that box, there were $200,000 in bonds and $100,000 in stocks.
The passengers ran out into the cold night. Up the stairs they trooped, each wondering what would happen next. The seamen began to clear the 16 wooden lifeboats. Properly filled, these boats would have held 1,178 people; however, there were 2,207 people on board.
Some of the women did not want to leave their husbands. One of these was Mrs. Isador Straus, whose husband was a millionaire. She refused to be separated. While the women were getting into the boats, two of the men went away and got dressed in their suits. They said, “We are prepared to go down like gentlemen.”
In one boat that could hold 40 people, only 12 were in it. As the bow of the Titanic began to sink, some men rushed forward to get on one of the lifeboats; however, Second Officer Lightoller fired his revolver in order to stop the rush. Inside the great liner, 20 boilers were blowing steam. Hundreds of cases of food, pianos, tables, and chairs were flying about the ship. Then around 2:15 a.m., the forward funnel fell off.
The women in the boats were dazed and dumbfounded. The Titanic was sinking. The band was now playing “Nearer my God to Thee.” Under the sea she went with 1,502 people sweeping into ETERNITY. For a time, hundreds of them thrashed about in the freezing water.
Some of the people in the boats began to pray. Over the sea came desperate cries for “Help!” It was now 2:20 a.m. Eighty-five miles away the ship Carpathia received the S.O.S. call from the Titanic. She came thundering along to the rescue, firing rockets all the way. Some hours later they were at the very spot where the Titanic had been. Captain Arthur Rostron’s heart sank, for there was no trace of the Titanic.
The tragedy of the sinking of the Titanic brings before you Jesus’ question, What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36) Suddenly, these 1,502 people were called away from this world. Away from loved ones and friends. Away to spend eternity in happiness or woe. Where will you spend ETERNITY? If you trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as your own personal Savior, you will spend eternity with Him in Heaven. If you reject Him, you will perish in Hell for ETERNITY!
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)