Now in the Titanic account there are several players. There is the man in the crow’s nest. There is the officer who was slack in his response to the call, and there were all of the other passengers on the ship whose fate lay in the hands of this same officer. The link between the call from the crow’s nest and the people was the officer. That is the way things were designed to work. The people, including the captain and others who could have intervened, never had a chance due to the tardiness of the officer to respond to the call. Notice it wasn’t disregard, but merely tardiness that cost almost two thousand people their lives plunging them into eternity. The officer alone was in the position to warn the rest of the ship of the danger ahead.
Now I know that God sees things differently than we do. That may be the greatest understatement in history. We know that God wants all men to be saved though He doesn’t will or force any man to be saved. God’s wisdom is great enough to allow for the free will of man without compromising His control over all things. We can’t fully comprehend this, but where in the rules does it say that we must? The idea is that He must know, by virtue of his knowing the beginning from the end, who will and who will not accept Him though that knowledge isn’t the same as determining something to be so.
My question though, having laid that foundation, is this. How many lives end up as God sees them ending up, not because He sees in them an unwillingness to repent, but because of an unwillingness on the part of His people to answer the call to go and warn them of the danger ahead? Within God’s sovereign plan He has provided the framework necessary for His purposes to be accomplished. Some will participate, others will not. Some are prompt in their response (I’m speaking in reference to His children’s response to the call of service) others battle and hesitate. Vertically the call is being made, but horizontally, I fear, is a different matter.
The problem is time doesn’t stop and wait for any. We do not have the luxury of timeless eternity just yet. We still measure things in time. As humans, time for us continues to march forward. It pushes some to their doom, and all to the end of life. That end is unique to most with reference to timing, but the eternity to follow is different only based on their response to the gospel. Those who respond affirmatively to the gospel go to heaven. Those who respond negatively to the gospel go to hell, but is it the case that there are many who get no chance to respond at all (at least not directly to a deliberate presentation of the gospel for all are without excuse due to the testimony of God’s creation on His behalf) due to the failure or tardiness of God’s people to respond to His call?
There is danger ahead. Every second takes each person closer to it. By virtue of being a recipient of the gospel you are uniquely positioned to warn the others on this “ship”. Vertically the call is being made… What about horizontally?