The story of Harper, a great Baptist minister in Glasgow, is a very interesting one. There is a church still named after him - the Harper Memorial Baptist Church somewhere in the south side of Glasgow. Well, Harper drowned and died on his way to America on the Titanic, in 1912. But the story of his death is very edifying. The ship Titanic, as you know, hit the iceberg and began to sink at a terrific rate. It was the biggest and most luxurious ship ever built, up to that date. And some of the people who were serving on it, they said, "Even God Almighty cannot sink this ship!" They were boasting of it, and its watertight bulkheads. But they were so careless they didn't even worry about icebergs, and they skimmed across the iceberg and it just was like a penknife cutting right through the metal at the level just under the water - and it went down at a terrific rate, as everybody knows. There was terrible loss of life. The cause for the sinking of Titanic is not just the iceberg but human pride.
Well, Reverend Harper was offered a seat in one of the lifeboats. And as he turned round, he saw a poor drunkard beside him, and Harper said, "No." He said, "Give my seat to this man. I'm ready to meet God. This man isn't," he said. And the next thing is this beloved Baptist minister found himself in the water - cold, icy water. And there were lots of them swimming around.
As Harper came in the water to a man beside him, he cried out: "My friend, are you saved? Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved!" Thus saying, Harper went down and was drowned and died a heroic death. But this other man was picked up, mercifully! Not many were, but he was! And he was taken to America and he testified: "Mr. Harper the faithful and beloved man died courageously, and as he was dying, he was preaching still to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ!"
How does a man get that courage? How can a man offer another person his seat when it's certain death to do so? How can a man be preaching confidently of Christ when the waters are coming over his body and mind, almost over his soul? The answer is: he has a strong tower - the Lord Jesus! He knows that God is with him! He knows that all the trials of life cannot destroy him! And his instinct is to flee to God. "The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe." (Proverbs. 18:10).
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Monday, September 3, 2012
A Heart Bigger Than Titanic!
The Lord is Our Strong Tower