Superheroes of the Faith – John Harper
Powerpoint Pictures: Titanic; John Harper
Who am I? I cost $7.5 million to build. I disappeared for 74 years. 2,208 people travelled on me. The movie about me won 11 Oscars. It was apparently said of me: “Even God cannot sink it”. Only 712 people survived when I hit an iceberg (706 on lifeboats, 6 rescued from the water).
Who am I?
Some months after the Titanic sank, it was discovered that one of the 6 rescued from the water, had been saved twice that night.
At a prayer meeting in Hamilton, Ontario, a young Scotsman stood up in tears and told the extraordinary story of how he was converted.
He said: “I am a survivor of the Titanic. When I was drifting alone on a spar that awful night, the tide brought Mr Harper, of Glasgow, also on a piece of wreck, near me.
‘Man,’ he said, ‘are you saved?’ ‘No’ I said, ‘I am not.’ He replied, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.'”
“The waves bore him away, but, strange to say, brought him back a little later, and he said, ‘Are you saved now?’ ‘No,’ I said, ‘I cannot honestly say that I am.’ He said again, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved,’ and shortly after he went down; and there, alone in the night, and with two miles of water under me, I believed.”
“I am John Harper’s last convert.”
It’s an incredible story.
It reminds us of God’s amazing grace to save. God in his amazing kindness saved that man not only from drowning in the sea, but all for eternity. God can save in extraordinary circumstances, and this surely was one.
This man found the words of Romans 10:13: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” to be so true. This man believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, he called on the name of the Lord and was saved because of God’s amazing grace.
It also reminds us of God’s amazing grace that people urgently need to hear about.
John Harper the other man floating on a piece of wreck, knew of God’s amazing grace. He knew what would happen to people if they didn’t respond to it. Other survivors report that as the Titanic went down, he ran through the ship yelling, “Women, children, and unsaved into the lifeboats!” and began witnessing to anyone who would listen. And once he was in the water he continued telling people about God’s grace in the Lord Jesus Christ. Why? He knew John 3:36: “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.” As the Titanic sank he knew there was something more important than mere survival. People needed to believe in the Son urgently otherwise God’s wrath would remain on them and they would be punished in hell.
All of us find ourselves in one of the two positions these men were in.
We either need to respond to God’s amazing grace to save by trusting in Jesus and what He’s done through His death and resurrection otherwise God’s wrath will remain on us as we are punished in hell.
Or we need to be those who speak of God’s amazing grace which our unsaved friends and family, urgently need to hear about.
That’s the challenge before us.
More talks about Superheroes of the Faith can be found HERE.