Shipwreck to Salvation

Shipwreck to Salvation!

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They lost everything—
But found that which matters most!

Introduction

  • Is it possible for you and me to have the same faith, life, joy, love, worship, hope, and excitement that the early believers in Christ experienced?
  • Is it possible for us—in our age—to learn, believe, and obey the same truth that the people did who heard Christ Himself or the very apostles whom He sent into the world?
  • Is it possible to go back beyond contemporary churches and denominations, beyond past Protestant reformation move-ments, beyond medieval Catholicism, beyond the early apostasies and heresies and departures of the early centuries, and return to the original preaching, practice, and power of the first followers of Christ?

Today we are hindered in our quest by an accumulation of religious traditions, ecclesiastical regulations, and false theological systems. We tend to wear theological and denominational “glasses” as we view the Scriptures, thus we cannot see God’s truth with clarity. We miss the simplicity of God’s plan and program, and overlook the beauty of the way of Christ that was quite obvious to Paul, John, Peter, and other followers of Christ in the first century.

Suppose an honest and humble seeker separated himself from the misleading doctrines of men and the unscriptural practices of the religious world and, with Bible in hand and a sincere prayer to God in his heart, began a diligent study to discover for himself the truth of God. What if a devoted circle of friends together made this their earnest quest?

In the following unique story, David and his acquaintances do just that! Read the interesting, exciting, and enlightening account of their shipwreck, their search, and what follows. May you identify with their quest and learn from their experience!

Shipwreck to Salvation!

The wind blew incessantly as the small vessel sailed toward the distant country. How many days would it take to reach its destination? David Thompson stood at the bow, leaning on the deck railing. Peering into the dark sky, he noted the foreboding clouds coming upon them. The young man was one of the passengers who had braved the wide sea to “find himself” in the new land.

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“Is there really anything beyond this short life?” David mused, as he scanned the dark horizon. “Is there actually a God? What is He like, what is His nature, and what should be my relationship to Him? Is He limited in some way—or are all things possible with Him? Could there be anything to this man Jesus, the personality that people speak about back home?”

David knew very little about religion. Seldom had he ever visited a church. Yet he was becoming more and more troubled about life, sensing that there must be something beyond himself. This spiritual dimension had increasingly dominated his thoughts during the previous months. He also thought about his future and what lay beyond his inevitable death. “I definitely must find the solution to the mystery of life—why I’m here and where I’m going,” he concluded. “As soon as I reach port I’ll begin a search for truth. I won’t stop until I find it. This is far more important than anything else I could do. I’m determined to find answers!” Little did the young man know that he would not reach his intended destination.

That night the winds blew even harder, while the waves dashed against the boat and over the deck, tossing it like a cork on the waters. The gale increased to a full-size tempest. The violent tropical winds brought torrents of water, drenching the crew as they attempted to keep the vessel afloat. Neither the captain nor the sailors had ever seen a storm of this magnitude. David and the other passengers feared for their lives in the midst of the angry winds. The waves lashed out with such violence that the small ship began to break apart. . . . All hope was abandoned as the men realized that their vessel could not withstand the fury of the sea. Most of the ship’s crew and passengers perished in the storm that dreadful and memorable night.

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David awakened. The warm rays of the sun and a gentle breeze felt soothing to his tired and aching body. The present tranquility contrasted sharply with the raging hurricane winds of the previous night. The young man examined himself and, remarkably, he had suffered no injuries. As his mind cleared, David’s first thought was of his recent commitment to search for truth and to inquire into the reality of God. Almost instinctively his spirit rose in thankfulness to a God who surely must exist and must have preserved him from almost certain death.

David had been cast upon a small island, along with parts of the wrecked ship. Some provisions from the vessel were strewn along the beach. Several other passengers found their way to the safe haven of the island after the ship wrecked on the distant shoals. A total of twelve grateful men escaped with their lives—and unharmed. All of the others had perished, never to be seen again.

During the following days and weeks, David and his fellow-survivors gathered as much food, wood, cloth, and other supplies from the wreck as washed ashore. They set up camp and explored the tiny green oasis of life which had become their new home. It was a tropical isle affording abundant fruit, vegetables, and fresh water. Though far from civilization and any signs of human life, the little company of twelve men possessed all they needed to sustain themselves.

Chest on beach

One day, soon after their arrival on this unknown land, the men gathered around a chest from the ship that they had just found along the beach. With eager anticipation, the men carefully pried open the lid to see what contents awaited them. It was here that they discovered a Bible. This find proved to be the greatest treasure of all. David recognized this volume to be a gift from God in answer to his unspoken longing to know and follow truth.

During the evening hours, after the day’s work was completed, David gathered the group of survivors together and began reading through the sacred volume. All listened attentively as the words were spoken, then the men discussed at length the truths they were learning.

As David walked alone one day along the sandy shore, he pondered the events of the previous weeks. All of his earthly plans had come to a definite and abrupt end. He did not know what lay before him on earth. Because of the shipwreck, he now had the unique opportunity to search for the answers that had formerly eluded him but which he now so eagerly desired. As he thought of his remarkable escape from almost certain drowning, he knew that God surely must be offering him the time and occasion to discover His truth about life, about His will, and about David’s own destiny. The young man resolved to make this quest his highest priority.

The other men in the group, thankful for their own amazing survival, were also eager to learn something about the truth of God’s Word. Most had been nominal church-goers back home while some of them had given no thought to God. However, their recent experiences had so touched their hearts and sobered their spirits that they also shared David’s quest for satisfactory answers to the basic questions of life.

All of the men decided to look at the Bible’s message as carefully as they were able, apart from preconceptions and past creedal formulations. They would simply lay aside, as fully as possible, former indoctrination and allow God to speak to them plainly and directly through His inspired Word. If God really was God, surely He could be trusted to lead them from darkness to light. All they could offer was an honest and sincere heart with a diligent effort to understand. They would simply have faith in God for the outcome.

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David opened the Bible and began to read in the book of Genesis—the book of beginnings. Here the men learned that God had created all things, including mankind. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. . . . God created man in His own image . . . male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:1,27). It was all so profoundly simple—yet so obviously true and accurate. They concluded that evolutionary theories which pushed God out of consideration were false and must be rejected.

It occurred to them that not only Scripture but also nature around them testified to a Creator. The sun during the day, the moon and stars at night, the swaying palm trees, the rich vegetation, the fish they caught from the shore, the provisions of food and water—all of this bore mute witness to a wise, powerful, and generous Creator (cf. Romans 1:19-20; Acts 14:15-17; Psalm 19:1-2).

Continuing in the book of Genesis, the men discovered that the first human beings—Adam and Eve—sinned against their holy and loving Creator. Consequently, they were banished from the beautiful garden of Eden and the sentence of death was placed on them because of their sinful insubordination (Genesis 3).

Yet the men rejoiced to learn that God Himself promised to send a Person in the future who would conquer Satan (Genesis 3:15) and, as the descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, would bring blessing to all the world (Genesis 12:3; 22:18; cf. Acts 3:25-26; Galatians 3:8,16,19,22-29). The account of the early ages of this earth was fascinating, yet held serious truths that impelled the men on to learn more.

As David read page by page through the Scriptures, it became plain that God the Creator was seeking a people whom He could love in a special and intimate way. He also sought a people who would freely choose to love Him with all of their heart, soul, mind, and strength—and live in harmony with each other. God wanted this love to be demonstrated in absolute obedience and a loving way of life filled with good deeds, active service, and heartfelt worship (Deuteronomy 10:12-22; 4:37; 6:4-6; 7:6-11; Leviticus 19:18; cf. Matthew 22:36-40).

Yet time and again, those whom God loved went astray. Not only did His first creatures, Adam and Eve, fall into sin, but most of their descendants also turned from Him. God then rescued Noah and his family while the remainder of mankind were destroyed in the great worldwide flood (Genesis 6-9). God later called Abraham and his descendants to be His people (Genesis 12-50). The Israelites received God’s special care, attention, and His law on Mount Sinai, but they soon rebelled against Him, following their own sinful inclinations (Exodus 1-34). Throughout history, God reached down in love but repeatedly this love was spurned and His will was largely neglected. Even God’s special messengers, the prophets, had difficulty calling the people to repentance, faithfulness, and obedience. Many of these men of God were rejected and killed.

Week by week, the survivors continued perusing the Hebrew Scriptures, or Old Testament, learning truths they had never known before. As they proceeded with their reading, the men became more and more aware of their own sins. Like the people of old, they too failed to love God with all of their heart and had not loved and cared for others. They too had sinned against God their Creator, showing little or no concern for His perfect will and Word. They had been the center of their own life rather than allowing God to be the reason for their existence. They had sinned in thought, word, and deed!

Bible reading

David also was painfully aware that he had sinned grievously in the past. He was proud, self-sufficient, materialistic, self-seeking, and pleasure-loving. He had completely left God out of his life. Instead of loving God with all of his heart, he had neglected Him. Instead of loving and serving others, he had placed himself first. Instead of making the will of God his highest priority, his own will occupied all of his concern. David could well identify with the words of Isaiah the prophet: “All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way” (53:6).

This young seeker knew that he deserved the judgment of Almighty God about whom he was reading. Yet, as he poured over the succeeding pages of the Bible, God—through the Holy Spirit—began to deepen David’s faith in Him and enlighten his heart to His marvelous plan of salvation (cf. 2 Timothy 3:15). The other men likewise began to comprehend something of God’s message to them in the Scriptures. They could all increasingly see that God was not only a righteous Lord of justice, judgment, and wrath—but also a merciful and gracious God who genuinely cared for the men and women He had made and continues to sustain. They all anticipated what God’s further disclosure to them might be. For this reason, every session at the evening campfire became the highlight of their day!

Finally, David arrived at the Christian Scriptures, or New Testament, and began reading the four “Gospels”—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Here he, along with his friends, read the fascinating account of Jesus Christ. They learned that Jesus indeed was the long-awaited Promised One, the Messiah, the very Son of God, who fulfilled the earlier Scriptures they had already read.

The men could see that it was necessary for Jesus to come to earth from heaven in order to save mankind from sin, death, and the judgment that sin deserved. David read the verse that many of them had heard earlier in life: “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). So many other verses filled in their view of Jesus (e.g., Matthew 1:21,23; 20:28; 26:28; Luke 1:31-35; 2:11; John 1:1-4,18; 3:1-18,36; 5:24; 11:25-26; 14:1-10; 20:28-30). They discovered that Christ was the one and only way to God in heaven. In one place Jesus affirmed, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6). It was becoming so clear that Jesus was the solution to the problem of sin described in the Old Testament—and in their own experience!

All of this “light” of Scripture flooded their soul with new understanding. Their faith in God the Father increased and their belief in Jesus, the Son of God, grew greater. They could see that His death on the cross was for their own sins and His resurrection from the tomb conquered the problem of life and death.

The men neared the end of the Gospels and read the apostle John’s reason for writing: “Many other signs [miracles] therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:30-31). Each of the men could testify that his faith in Jesus, the Son of God, was growing deeper because of the exposure to John’s Gospel and the other Gospels.

The group of “seekers” noticed that Jesus, after His resurrection and before His ascension back to the Father, commanded His chosen apostles to go into all of the world and share the message of Jesus to every person in every nation. Comparing the several Gospel accounts, they learned that “repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations” (Luke 24:47). This meant that everyone is commanded to have a change of heart regarding sin and must resolve to live for God so that he can be forgiven or saved from sin.

The men further discovered that Jesus said, “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned” (Mark 16:16). It was God’s will that all might truly believe in the crucified and risen Son of God and be baptized as an expression of faith and repentance, so that they might be “saved” from sin and its consequences rather than be “condemned” because of sin and unbelief.

Beyond this, the group of men learned that when sinners from the various nations turned to Christ, they became His committed followers or “disciples.” Jesus plainly said, “Make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20a). Therefore, those who are truly baptized into a relationship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, expressive of sincere faith and genuine repentance, are to live radically different lives of absolute obedience to Jesus and allegiance to Him as Lord.

All of this was both astonishing and perplexing to the men as they studied the precious Bible in their possession. Christ’s words were amazing in their simplicity, but they also were perplexed since these words differed so radically from the “Christendom” with which the men were acquainted in their communities back home. In the Bible they found no religious ritual or ecclesiastical procedure that the sinner must obey. Those who would respond to Christ to be saved under the preaching of Christ’s commission were sufficiently mature to make an informed, intelligent, life-changing choice. Jesus touched the very core of one’s being when He demanded a radical change of belief, thought, purpose, action, and lifestyle. As they uncovered these shocking facts, the little band of truth-seekers were impelled to search out more from the precious volume that David read to them.

With continuing interest, born out of their own need and their desire to honor God, the men began a study of the book of Acts. For several days, David read under deep conviction while the little company discussed the readings. In this book they learned more about the good news of Christ and how His followers took the message to people who were lost in sin. They were particularly interested to observe how these people responded to the truth when it came to them. The men wanted to know how those lost and guilty before God in the first century came to Christ, for this is the very response that David and his friends were determined to make.

This small group of seekers were able to identify with the people of Berea described in Acts, who “received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11). Like these sincere souls of long ago, this small party of survivors were approaching the study of their Bible with “great eagerness,” earnestly “examining the Scriptures daily” in their quest for truth. In fact, as they became more and more convinced of the guilt of their sins, and as their repentance deepened, they discontinued most of the daytime work in favor of greater study time, and some of them decided to forego food in favor of seeking the Lord more fully and exclusively (cf. Acts 9:8-11).

As David came to the end of Acts, the men noticed that the experience of the early Christians in this book was in complete harmony with the parting instructions of Jesus to His apostles in the Gospels. They observed that responsible people in sin learned about God the Creator of the heavens and the earth. The people were also taught that Jesus was Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God, whose death and resurrection was the center of history. They could see that Christ’s death was necessary to deal with human sin and His resurrection meant that He is living Lord. Jesus ascended to heaven and would one day return in glory to judge the living and the dead.

Sincere hearers in the book of Acts were convinced of their sinful state and their condemnation before God. They then were called upon to turn from their sinful waywardness and believe in God to save them through Christ Jesus, the living Lord. In every case, those who did turn to Christ in faith and repentance, immediately were baptized into Him—separate and apart from any elaborate ritual or denominational ceremony. Those who accepted the message of Christ and turned wholeheartedly to Him received forgiveness of their sins, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and became heirs of the heavenly kingdom of God (cf. Acts 2:22-41; 8:5,12-13, 35-39; 10:34-48; 13:16-52; 16:13-15, 30-34; 18:8; 19:1-6; 22:12-16).

As David and his friends worked their way through these Scriptures, they marveled at the simple yet beautiful way of salvation God had promised from the beginning, then fulfilled in His Son, Christ Jesus, and finally offered to a world of lost sinners. All of the pieces were fitting together into a well-ordered plan that bore the marks of a wise and loving God.

After reviewing these truths with the men late one night, David departed for the beach which had become so familiar to him since the day of his arrival. A full moon shone brightly from the starlit sky, as he slowly made his way long the sand and the enchanting surf. Ocean waves rolled in and lapped at his feet as he walked along in deep thought.

Deep and painful conviction enveloped David—surely the outcome of the Spirit’s work through the powerful message of the cross of Christ. The young man fell to his knees, weeping under the full weight of his sins. The justice and wrath of God as well as the love and mercy of God pressed upon his consciousness.

How foolish, how utterly foolish, he had been to live in alienation from God, the Source of life! How self-centered he had been to act as the ruler of his own life and his own little world. How ignorant he had been to overlook the great spiritual realities of God his Creator and Judge. How utterly shortsighted he had been to be so tied up with making a name for himself and earning a living, and so unconcerned about eternal truth and his own eternal destiny. . . .

In the midst of his remembering and weeping, David’s mind spontaneously turned to God’s surpassing love. His heart seemed to melt as he realized that God actually loved him personally—sinful though he was. He deserved to be judged long ago by the Lord God, but instead of judgment, God had mercifully allowed him to live and come to this very significant day. A scene of the cross came to his mind and, as never before, David was able in faith to connect his sinful and rebellious ways to the saving sacrifice of Jesus. God’s amazing plan made so much sense as he meditated on these touching themes. He knew that he must turn from his past sins since they were the very reason for his dreadful guilt, and since they so much hurt the heart of God.

How long he lay there in the sand, immersed in these thoughts, David didn’t know. The pink rays of the dawn spread across the eastern horizon, heralding a new day with eternal significance. David’s heart was convinced and his mind was made up. Rising to his feet, he resolutely returned to the camp. Surprisingly, the other men were awake and greeted him, announcing that they too had suffered a troubling night and were now prepared to complete their response to Christ by being baptized.

David opened the beloved and well-worn Bible and, in the hearing of all the men, reminded them of the significance of this act. He turned to Acts, chapter two, which recorded the events of the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was sent by the exalted Lord Jesus. His finger fell on verses 37 and 38:

Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

David proceeded to review verses that they had read during the previous week or two (e.g., Acts 8:5,12, 35-39; 16:14-15, 30-34; and 22:16). He then turned to Romans, chapter six, and began reading: “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection” (vv. 3-5).

With this background, the repentant men moved to the shore not far away. One by one they waded into the clear, green, tropical waters while the sun slowly climbed into the cloudless sky. There they acknowledged their sins and confessed their faith in Jesus, the risen Lord (Romans 10:9-10). After the baptisms, the twelve “new” men returned to the beach where they all knelt with hearts enflamed with love for God, and each, in turn, lifted his voice in prayer to the Lord. The occasion was one of great joy, for the men realized that their load of guilt was entirely removed. They now belonged to the Lord Jesus!

The following days were filled with much rejoicing as the new believers went about their tasks with a new excitement and a fresh confidence that they actually were sons of God the Father. David continued to read through the precious Bible when the men gathered for their daily study. They proceeded to read through Romans and the other New Testament letters or “books” which were written to individuals or groups of Christians in the first century. There they learned of the great heavenly blessings they had in Christ, the kind of life they were to lead, the fruit of the Spirit that they were to bear, and many other truths needful for their transformed behavior and thoughts.

On the first day of the week they scheduled a special meeting to discuss a variety of topics that brought concern to the new “brothers” in Christ. First, what were they to be called? Back home, there were many different sects, churches, and denominations, each one believing something different and each calling itself by a different name. Some took the name of a founder or theologian. Others took the name of a doctrine or system of church organization, while still others chose a particular phrase from the Bible and made it the official denominational name. However, here, on this remote and unknown island, none of these religious bodies existed.

As these new believers searched the Bible for answers, someone commented that since they were believers or members of the body of Christ already, why would they need to belong to some man-made church or organization? Another brother added that the early believers in the book of Acts and in the New Testament letters didn’t belong to any human denomination, thus why should they?

David remarked that the first Christians were simply called disciples, believers, saints, or brothers and sisters (cf. Acts 4:32; 5:14; 6:1; 9:13; 11:26; James 2:15). Another brother pointed out that the believers as a whole were simply called the brotherhood, the people of God, the body of Christ, the temple of God, the community of Christ and God, and other simple, descriptive, unofficial designations (cf. 1 Peter 2:10,17; 1 Corinthians 12:27; 1:2; 3:16; Romans 16:16). They all concluded that it was altogether right to refer to themselves with these common Scriptural terms. It seemed to promote unity and encourage “the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ” that the Bible speaks about (2 Corinthians 11:3; cf. 1 Corinthians 1:10-13; Ephesians 4:1-16).

Another question was raised about what they should do when they come together. David thought of the verse following the description of the conversions on Pentecost. He found the place and read, “And they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42). The men continued to pursue this subject that day and the following days.

As they investigated the matter from the Bible, the brothers discovered that the early believers participated in the gatherings in various ways. They sang songs of praise to God and teaching songs to each other (Ephesians 5:18-19; Colossians 3:16; Hebrews 13:15). They prayed with each other to God their Father, through Jesus Christ, in the Holy Spirit (Acts 4:24-31; 12:5,12; 13:3). They edified, admonished, and taught one another (Romans 15:14; 1 Corinthians 12:26; Acts 15:30-32,35; Hebrews 10:24-25). They also remembered the Lord’s death with each other (1 Corinthians 11:23-29; Acts 20:7). David and his friends found that the disciples of Christ participated in many encouraging, stimulating, and helpful things with each other when they were together.

How different these simple activities were, compared to the large institutional and state churches from their home country. Somehow, it seemed that the large cathedrals and sanctuaries from home were far removed from the common meetings that the early saints held. The brothers committed themselves to gather in a special way each week to pursue these Scriptural activities in honor of the God they served.

The men also observed that the first Christians had a new dimension of love—patterned after Christ’s own self-giving love (cf. John 13:34-35; 15:12-17). They had true fellowship expressed in “one another” relationships (cf. Romans 12:10,16; 15:7; Philippians 2:3; Colossians 3:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:11,15; Hebrews 3:13). This too was a major contrast between what they were learning in Scripture and what they had known back home before their departure.

The days, weeks, and months passed by. The twelve believers continued to grow in the Lord and in love for each other (2 Peter 3:18; 1 Peter 1:22). One year from the day of their shipwreck, David called a special meeting to celebrate their deliverance and God’s many blessings to them.

After appropriate Scripture readings, the survivors offered up praise to God, expressing deep gratitude for their spiritual deliverance. Great tragedy and destruction led to their rescue from the storm as well as their eventual salvation from sin, death, and hell. God had graciously revealed the truth of His existence, His creation, and His wondrous promise of life through Jesus the Savior. The Lord had shown them the simplicity of how to be forgiven of their sins and how to worship and serve Him in life. They didn’t require elaborate liturgy, ecclesiastical traditions, institutional religion, human denominations, nor ritualistic ceremonies. They could please God and live for Him without clerical domination or unscriptural structures. They needed no ornate cathedral or steepled sanctuary, but could worship God the Father “in spirit and truth” wherever they were, in a common setting—even under a tree on a remote tropical island (cf. John 4:21-24). Wherever the body of Christ is, there is Christ Himself (cf. Matthew 18:20; 28:20). They could freely exercise their God-given abilities and function with His power by His Spirit (Romans 12:3-8; Ephesians 4:11-16; 1 Peter 4:10-11).

The life of this little body of believers was now exciting and fulfilling with God as the center and focus of their attention. Christ was their constant Companion and the Spirit was their Helper. The Scriptures provided continual nourishment and their daily association brought sweet fellowship.

Yet David and his companions knew that their setting was unnatural. While on this unknown island, they didn’t need to confront and overcome the problems of living among those in the world. Beyond this, they so much longed to share with others the good news of forgiveness through Christ Jesus. At the present time this was impossible, since they were cut off from contact with other people. The survivors prayed that God would eventually send a rescue ship to their tropical isle, enabling them to tell the joyful message of salvation to all who would listen. For this they would pray and entrust themselves to God.

Yes, God the Father had been so good, thought David. Little could he have envisioned that painful night on the boat that his longing for truth, assurance, and meaning in life would be satisfied in this amazing way, through such a providential chain of events. An empty heart . . . a tragedy on the seas . . . a gracious rescue . . . an amazing revelation of divine love . . . the simplicity of walking with God in fellowship with fellow-believers. . . . David placed his hand on the precious Bible and thought . . . . “All things are possible with God” (Mark 10:27b).

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Dear reader, although you cannot duplicate all of the experiences of David and his companions, it is possible for you to be forgiven of your sins and receive God’s gift of the Holy Spirit. It is possible for you to become an heir of the coming kingdom of God and live with God eternally! It is possible to experience the life and love of fellowship with God each day. It is further God’s will that you work toward experiencing the simplicity and purity of fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ, apart from unscriptural organization, structure, names, and activities.

Richard Hollerman

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