Summary: Lessons and warnings that led to the sinking of Titanic, and challenges for Christians and the church.


Much of this sermon is original. However I’ve picked up thoughts, points, illustrations and quotes from many sources.

1. (Slides 1-5) Always been fascinated with the Titanic, elementary school library book, Titanic was found when I was in high school, the movie (James Cameron pitched the movie idea by saying, “This boat, Romeo and Juliet,” and was given $200 million to make the movie)

2. So many different things happened that led to the tragedy, and many things after the iceberg caused more loss of life. Looking back many things could have been different; the enormity of the tragedy could have been prevented.

3. List of happenings before/after Titanic struck the iceberg.

4. No one is too big to fail!

Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goes before a fall.”

Luke 12:19-20, “The rich fool.”

• People don’t heed the warnings; many times multiple warnings.

• Many scoffed! Scoffed when they hit the iceberg (took pieces and put them in their drinks), scoffed about the lifevests (put them on and danced around, made fun of those who appeared worried or got on early lifeboats), scoffed that the Titanic could sink (“God himself couldn’t sink this ship”).

5. A false sense of security!

Psalm 20:7.

• People don’t take a seat on the lifeboat when it’s offered to them.

• They cling to the false security they find in the Titanic for the seemingly instable lifeboat (70 foot drop into an open sea).

6. The saved (those in the lifeboats) fail the unsaved (those still in the water)!

• 1 Cor. 9:16, “I am compelled to preach the Gospel. Woe to me …”

• (Slide 22) Be a John Harper

7. There’s always room!

• Rom. 10:13, “all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

• Salvation isn’t like finding a seat on a Titanic lifeboat. All can be saved. Anyone can be saved, regardless of class or background.

• There are always “seats.” But some refuse to take advantage of the chance.

8. Close: The tragedy of the Titanic isn’t in numbers (1,517 dead). The tragedy is that every number is a name. Every name is a soul. Every soul was created by God and is now in eternity. The same is true today. You’ve been offered a seat in the lifeboat this morning. Will you accept it?

Titanic (before)

• So many details, shortcuts (rivets, thickness of steal, etc.)

• (Slide 6) Originally 32 lifeboats were supposed to be on board the Titanic, but that was cut to 16 (and four collapsible) because “people don’t pay to look at lifeboats.” That number satisfied old outdated British Board of Trade regulations made 20 years before when maximum capacity on passenger ships was much smaller (1/4).

• (Slide 7, 8, 9)In March emergency repairs to sister ship Olympic push back launch date for titanic to mid April, top month for icebergs in shipping lanes. and, because of Olympic, second officer Blair is off titanic. when he leaves, he takes along his locker key. in the locker are the binoculars for the crowsnest.

• (Slide 10) A lifeboat drill was scheduled for April 14, but was cancelled by Captain Smith. Had the drill taken place, people would have known that this wasn’t a drill and more may have been comfortable enough to get on the lifeboats.

• (Slide 11)Altogether there were seven ice warnings that were ignored by Captain Smith. Smith, under pressure from White Star’s Bruce Ismay, was trying to make the trans-Atlantic crossing in record time (six days), therefore going too fast in the dark of night, in seas filled with ice in a flat calm; no wind, so there were no waves breaking on the iceberg, making it harder to see.

• (Slide 12) Wireless (phone, radio) operator Jack Phillips has been receiving ice warnings from other ships throughout the day. Late in the evening he’s busy sends passenger messages. Nearby the California has stopped for the night because of the ice. On the Californian, just before he went to bed at around 11:15 PM Californian's radio operator attempted time after time to warn Titanic that there was ice in the area, but the “line was busy” with all the passenger messages. He finally tried to cut in on the line with a “blast” that hurt Phillips ears. On the Titanic, Philips responds, "Shut up, shut up! I am busy." Rebuffed, the radio man on board the Californian turns off his radio and goes to sleep.

• (Slide 13) When they saw the iceberg, they had just 37 second warning, First Officer Murdoch ordered Titanic turned “hard-a-starboard” (meaning turn left) instead of hitting dead on,). had the ship plowed into the iceberg head on, she may have survived. the front bulkheads were built for impact. the sides were not.

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