Saturday, April 14, 2012

What it means to be a Man

100 years ago from today a man named John Harper boarded the Titanic (with daughter and niece) headed for New York in hopes to accept a pastorate position at The Moody Church. Although his 2 traveling companions lived, He never made it to America. His last words before going under in the frigid waters were, "Believe on the Name of the Lord Jesus and you will be saved." Accounts say that he very well could have saved his life and jumped in one of the life boats, but he didn't. Instead he allowed others on. He didn't count his life dear to himself and at one point while in the cold waters he willingly surrendered his life jacket and gave it to another that was in the water who "needed it more" because they weren't saved. Then he pleaded with the individual to turn to Christ.

The Baptist press makes this clear by saying that, "
Harper ran person to person, passionately telling others about Christ. As the water began to submerge the "unsinkable" ship, Harper was heard shouting, "women, children, and the unsaved into the lifeboats." Rebuffed by a certain man at the offer of salvation Harper gave him his own life vest, saying, "you need this more than I do." Up until the last moment on the ship Harper pleaded with people to give their lives to Jesus.

Mr. Harper's preaching style was suited for an evangelist as testified by the words of another local pastor. "He was a great open-air preacher and could always command large and appreciative audiences. ... He could deal with all kinds of interrupters, his great and intelligent grasp of Bible truths enabling him to successfully combat all assailants."
While studying his life late last night and today it made me think of two words: 1. Hero and 2. Coward.

Revelation 21:8 says, "But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

The dictionary online defines "Coward" as:
A person who lacks the courage to do or endure dangerous or unpleasant things.

Excessively afraid of danger or pain.

Wikipedia says that, "Cowards are usually seen to have avoided or refused to engage in a confrontation or struggle which has been deemed good or righteous...

In direct opposition to the "coward" is the "hero".

  1. A person, typically a man, who is admired for courage or noble qualities.
John Harper was anything but a coward. What a wonderful example he has set before us today. As we reflect upon his life and his incredible example may we, too, persevere like he did in the face of death.

In honor of his life, a group of us will hit the streets tonight saying the same thing he did. (Worth your time to read both: and


Mike W. said...

Correcting the verse reference.

Revelation 21:8 -- But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (KJV)

God bless, Mike

Fish With Trish said...

Thank you. Fixed!