Vaccines & Your Life of Victory
Year 2020 was certainly a year of disasters: Australian wildfire, plagues of locusts, African Swine Fever, H7N9 Avian Influenza, H3N2 Influenza B from the U.S.A., and COVID-19. (Note 1)
Up to January 28, 2021, COVID-19 has affected more than 100 million people and caused the deaths of over 2.1 million people. (Note 2) It has damaged the global economy and livelihood of so many people in the world. Thank God for the effective production of the vaccines which are being carefully distributed by the government of each country to the civilians. So everyone’s concerns right now are: When will be my turn to get vaccinated? What would happen if I got infected before being vaccinated? Are the vaccines effective to fight the variants from Europe?
Besides COVID-19, the chaos from the Election has caused a wave of unprecedented unrest throughout our country. This reminds me of the Titanic’s Last Hero by Moody Adams. When the Titanic crashed into a huge iceberg, how did the passengers respond to this crisis?
On April 10, 1912, the Unsinkable Ship launched from the United Kingdom to New York, fully loaded with 2227 passengers, got into a tragic shipwreck in the middle of the night in the vast Atlantic Ocean. Besides those in the lifeboats, out of more than 1500 people who jumped into the water, only 6 got rescued. (note 3) 78% of the victims remained loyal at their posts: Telegraphers, boiler repairers, choir members, etc.
At the offset of the accident, the engineer told the captain that the ship hit too hard into a huge iceberg and began to sink. Since there were not enough lifeboats for every passenger, many began to fight jumping into the lifeboats because diving into the dark and freezing ocean was certainly hopeless. Yet the captain boldly announced in the midst of chaos, “Let the children and women get into the lifeboats first!”
Among these passengers, a minister named Rev John Harper, whose wife just passed away, was traveling on this ship with his 6-year-old daughter. After putting his daughter into a lifeboat, he immediately hurried back to the fearful and hopeless crowd on the sinking ship. Later he even removed his life jacket and gave it to one of the other passengers.
One survivor distinctly remembered hearing him shout, “Women, children and the unsaved into the lifeboats!” Rev. Harper called all the Christians to come out and a large crowd gradually gathered in front of him. He solemnly told them that believers were ready to die but the unsaved were not. (Note 4) They started to sing hymns by holding hands in a circle as the crowd expanded. The orchestra leader Wallace Henry Hartley and his 8 members were playing tunes of praises for the final farewell to these brave Christians. The rest of the people were so touched that they helped the women and the children get into the lifeboats in an orderly manner.
As the hull tilted, the boiler exploded, and the lights went out, they were singing,
“Or, if on joyful wing cleaving the sky,
Sun, moon, and stars forgot, upward I’ll fly,
Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee.”
Finally the ship broke in two and waves of water flooded everyone on the ship! As Rev. Harper was struggling in the frigid, stormy ocean by hanging onto a ship’s debris, he grabbed every opportunity to ask everybody in the water, “Have you believed in Jesus?” To the ones who didn’t believe, he shouted, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved!” Before he disappeared beneath the waves due to hyperthermia, he gave up his ship debris to a young nonbeliever who was one of the 6 survivors from the 1500+ victims fallen into the water. This young man later appeared in Moody Church and gave his testimony about how Rev. Harper’s last encounter brought him to Christ. Everyone in the church broke into tears. A few days later, the memorial service of Rev. Harper moved thousands of people’s hearts to believe in Jesus. (Note 5)
Wouldn’t you wonder why these Christians were not afraid of dying? How were their lives different from others?
Man strives for money, territory, and prestige but unfortunately these have no eternal value. Money is not omnipotent. Money cannot buy true love, peace, lost time and life, so let alone the salvation and eternal life given by God. Salvation is extremely priceless and can only be accomplished by God’s begotten Son, Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for us out of love, and was raised from the dead three days after his death. Only those who sincerely confess their sins and repent, and accept Jesus Christ as their Savior, can they be forgiven of their sins and receive the eternal life given by God. Fame and social status are simply vanity. Many celebrities in the past only made a stir very briefly and were easily forgotten as the Bible says: “For the wise, like the fool, will not be long remembered; the days have already come when both have been forgotten. Like the fool, the wise too must die!” (Ecclesiastes 2:16).
Life on earth is short and we all have to come to an end. Yet death is not like the end of a candlelight. The Bible says: “Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment….for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, ” (Hebrews 9:27; Romans 3:23) So how do we resolve this huge problem of sin? How do we plead for God’s mercy? Where do we spend eternity?
How do we live a life of victory?
● Accept salvation and cut off from the bondage of sin. The Bible says: “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” ( John 3:36)
● Become a new Creation in Christ, manifesting God’s mercy and love because “if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17) This new life will also bear the beautiful fruit of God’s Spirit “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
● As a new creation, you would start sharing the good news with others and “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.” (2 Timothy 4:2)
● Have no fear of death! Knowing that dying is only a door that leads us from the temporal world into eternity, we count it a blessing to be with the Lord forever. Just like the Christians on the Titanic were at ease since they viewed death as going home with Jesus.
Would you take this opportunity to let Jesus Christ be the Lord of your life?
(Notes 1-5 are from various websites)