Acts 27:30-32 says, “And as the shipmen were about to flee out of the ship, when they had let down the boat into the sea, under color as though they would have cast anchors out of the foreship, Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved. Then the soldiers cut off the ropes of the boat, and let her fall off.” The Apostle Paul, as well as 275 other prisoners, soldiers, and crew, were in a dreadful storm at sea for days on end. Paul received a word from God that they would all be spared, but the ship would be lost. Some of the crew decided they had had enough, were going to lower the small boat, and get off the ship. At that point, Paul said, that if any left the ship, they would not be saved, so the soldiers cut the small boat loose.
This story paints a vivid picture of “sticking it out” during the storms of life. During the rough seas of life, we may be tempted to “jump ship,” thinking that an alternate plan (lifeboat) will get us out of the jam. However, as Paul said, “Unless you remain on the ship, you cannot be saved.” Perhaps you have decided to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ, but now things are really rough, so you are going to try something else. You think that little lifeboat is going to take you to a better place, but it won’t. The only way you will be saved is to stay on the ship.
We are not promised a life of ease. In fact, Jesus promised us tribulation in this world. Yet we can be of good cheer, because He has overcome the world. Perhaps your marriage is stormy and rough right now. Stay on the ship. You might think that “plan B” option is going to help you, but it won’t. Cut that boat loose. Don’t even give yourself the option. The Bible says that if Abraham would have considered going back to where he came from, he would have had opportunity to return. But Abraham didn’t even entertain the thought. It was no temptation to return, because he had “cut that boat loose.”. He was staying on the ship, and there was no plan B. If you have a plan B, you will most likely take it when things get rough.
Perseverance in our relationship with Jesus is essential. We are not saved by our own works (Eph 2:8-9), but we do have to endure to the end (Mt 24:13). It’s true, we are kept by the power of God, but it’s through faith - which we can depart from (1Pt 1:5, 1Tim 4:1). It’s true, no man can snatch us from the Father’s hand (Jn 10:28-29); but it doesn’t say we can’t walk out (2Pt 2:21). It’s true, God will complete the good work He started in us (Philp 1:6); but it is also true that we can be cut off through unbelief (Rom 11:18-22). You see, we must take the whole of Scripture into account.
I want you to notice the word “If” in these verses (Col 1:22-23, Jn 8:30-32, Gal 6:9, Heb 3:6, 12-14, 6:4-6, 10:26-29, 1Cor 15:1-2, 1Jn 2:24, 2Pt 2:20-22, Rom 11:22). Read them carefully. They are all saying the same thing: Stay on the ship! Don’t get off! Even though that lifeboat looks like an easy way out, just cut it loose! Again, I am not saying you have to work for salvation, but you do have to remain steadfast in the faith. This does not mean you won’t ever waiver or have doubts. When we do, Jesus remains faithful to us. However, if you deny (disavow, reject) Jesus, He will disavow you (2Tim 2:11-13, Mt 10:33).
We must purpose in our heart to cleave unto the Lord (Act 11:23). We must, by patient continuance, seek eternal life (Rom 2:6-7). We must give earnest heed (take seriously) the Words of God, lest we let them slip (Heb 2:1). We must continue in the faith (Act 14:22). The New Testament is full of warning after warning to remain steadfast, continue in, abide in, remain in, faint not, hold fast to the faith, and to keep in memory the Word of God. If this was not important and essential, the Apostles sure wasted a lot of paper to tell us about it. No, they didn’t waste paper or time. They were inspired by God to write everything they did. This is important. Stay on the ship! If you get off, you will perish! Don’t let the storms you are in cause you to think of getting off. Cut that dinghy loose! Don’t even consider it. Purpose in your heart to remain sold out for Jesus, come what may. When we commit to Him, He will uphold us, and give us the strength to endure. He is faithful Who has promised. Until next time, rejoice in The Lord!