‘Keep watch … you do not know … what day your Lord will come’
The ocean liner ‘Californian’ was within 1,500 miles of Boston Harbour when a crew member observed flashes of light from a distant steamer. Repeated attempts to contact it failed. In fact it appeared to be sailing away. By 1.40 a.m. its lights had vanished.
It wasn’t until later the captain learned what had actually happened. Neither he nor his second officer considered the flashing lights alarming, or that it was coincidental that they’d even seen them. Earlier the ‘Californian’ had parked because of oceanic ice and the unscheduled stop gave her ringside seat to an unimaginable event. The crew didn’t realize the flares were distress signals or they would have come to her aid because they were only nine miles away. The foundering ship also sent radio distress calls that were within answering range except for one important detail – the Californian’s radio operator, fresh from training school, was fast asleep! So on April 12th 1912, from his vantage point on the bridge, the Californian’s second officer unwittingly watched the Titanic sink!
The Lord Jesus said, ‘People were eating…drinking, marrying … to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing … until the flood came and took them … That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man … keep watch … you do not know … what day your Lord will come’, Matt. 24. 38-42 NIV. And Paul adds, ‘For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ’, Titus 4. 11-13. So, keep watch!
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