Recently I was making a hospital visit to a man who had a stroke the night before. I didn’t know what to expect. I was going there to be a blessing and to bring some encouragement and hope through prayer and a Psalm. I arrived there and he was sitting up in bed drinking some juice. We shared for a few minutes. The news he had received wasn’t very good at all. He seemed strangely at peace with the news and his station in life. I was encouraged, he was encouraged we prayed then talked a few more minutes and I said my good bye and began to leave. As I was leaving a man in the bed next to his was staring straight at me. The man looked like Hemingway, very distinguished with a white beard and stern look. As I was walking out of the room he broke his silence and asked in a strong voice, “Are you a preacher?” I looked him in the eye and said, “Yes sir I am.” He stared back at me with that same stern look and asked firmly, “Do you really believe everything in that book?, as he pointed to my bible. I replied firmly but gently with conviction, “Yes sir I do.” He then asked with a hint with a hint of skepticism, “Do you really believe in Jesus?” I replied , “Absolutely!” Then he asked me a simple yet Titanic question, “Why?” He went on aggressively, “Give me one reason or one verse from that book that makes you believe.” What a question! What a challenge! I have walked with Jesus for over twenty years. I have been to seminary and yet this Titanic question still loomed over me. I thought to myself, “If I am struggling under the weight of this Titanic question how many that I shepherd and lead will struggle too?” I looked him in the eyes and I was filled with compassion for him. I had no idea why he was in the hospital. I thought maybe this is the end and he is facing eternity. I shared with him, “Sir I will offer you my testimony as my subjective experience coupled with the objective evidence of this book (The Gospel), pointing to the Bible, and the testimony of the living God through His Holy Spirit working in and through my life.” He pushed back, “Give me one verse in that book that proves Jesus is who he said He was.” I replied, “Sir I cannot just give you one verse I offer this whole book from cover to cover as a testimony along with the testimony human history coupled with the power of personal faith as proof. I offer you my personal testimony of a changed life as evidence for the faith I profess and possess.” The man offered me a huge grin and said, “Young man I have walked with Jesus since I was seven years old. You have answered well. I want to give you a verse from the Bible as to why I believe. May I?” I replied, “Please.”
Titus 1:1-3 1 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, 2 in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began 3 and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior;
He shared with me that this verse says that God cannot lie and is faithful to keep everything that He has promised. He went on to tell me that his faith has rested safely on these verses for 58 years of ministry. Then he shared with me his vocation for the past 15 years, which lead me to name this blog Titanic question. For the past 15 years he has been employed by the Titanic Exhibit traveling worldwide playing Captain Edward Smith and offering tours of the exhibit. The catch is that during his tours he shares the story of Pastor John Harper, The Titanic’s Last Hero , a preacher from Scotland who spent his last hours preaching the Gospel offering salvation to those on the Titanic. He told me he had shared this story in countries around the world and looks at his time touring with the Titanic exhibit as his primary ministry. We spent about 30 minutes talking and praying together. I found out that he had a massive blood clot in his lung he was trusting God to dissolve. He had been in the hospital for six days and was hoping to return to the exhibit soon. He also shared that he wondered why he was in the hospital he thought perhaps it was to witness to those in the bed next to him. I shared with him that he had ministered to me and challenged me greatly with his Titanic question. As I walked out of the hospital room that day I knew my focus had been and will continue to be laser pointed. It is all about Jesus, it has always been about Jesus and it will always be about Jesus. The most simple yet Titanic questions a believer that can be asked must be answered and communicated effectively. Do you believe everything in that book? Do you really believe in Jesus? Why? Think about that right now, if you are a believer. If someone asked you these three Titanic question right now what would be your answer? Here is what I know, we must be ready because we never know when those questions are going to come. I sure didn’t think they would come from a man I didn’t know laying in a hospital bed as I departed the room. If you can’t answer these question for yourself I encourage you spend the time discovering why you believe what you believe. Explore your faith. Ask yourself the hard questions. Use the Gospel and the leading of the Holy Spirit and your testimony and human history as evidence for your faith or to build your faith.