What Can We Learn From the Titanic Tragedy?

105 years have passed since the most famous shipwreck in history. The causes of this tragedy contain a crucial lesson for you and me today.

At its launch, the Titanic was the largest transatlantic ship in the world. Many thought it was unsinkable.

But it did sink.

What really sank the Titanic?

Evidence shows an iceberg tore holes in Titanic’s hull. But the iceberg wasn’t the only cause of the tragedy that April night a hundred years ago.

Other major contributing factors to the Titanic disaster were overconfidence, speed and darkness.

If there had been light, Titanic’s crew most likely would have seen the danger ahead and avoided the iceberg. But because it was dark and they were moving so fast, they could not see the iceberg until it was too late. Mankind’s most advanced vessel at the time faltered in darkness.

Likewise, the world today is supposedly an “enlightened” world. But it, too, will falter because our world is actually in spiritual darkness and can’t see the danger that lies ahead.

A world blinded to the truth

Our world has been ignorant of God’s truth ever since Adam and Eve rejected His revealed knowledge. Although Satan the devil is a major cause of our blindness (2 Corinthians 4:4), many people also choose to stay in spiritual darkness (John 3:19).

Jesus Christ commented on how people don’t even try to see or want to hear about their wrong behavior. “For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn” (Matthew 13:15).

The crew of the Titanic did not understand or see the danger ahead of them because of the darkness they were in. When they finally saw the destruction in their path, it was too late to turn.

Our world today is heading toward destruction. Will we understand and turn before it’s too late?

Escaping darkness

The Titanic Tragedy: What Can We Learn Today?

Edward Smith was the captain of the RMS Titanic. 

Before it was even dark on April 14, 1912, Captain E.J. Smith received the first of at least six iceberg warnings. But even when it became dark, Titanic continued at nearly full speed, while other ships in the area stopped and waited for light so they could see.

God continues to warn humanity to this day of the dangers ahead and pleads with us to turn from our paths that will lead to our destruction. “‘Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin. … For why should you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,’ says the Lord GOD. ‘Therefore turn and live!’” (Ezekiel 18:30-32).

God the Father sent His Son as a light into a darkened world. Jesus said, “I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness” (John 12:46).

But just like the Titanic, the world ignores the warnings and continues ahead in darkness.

The spiritual iceberg ahead

Just before midnight the Titanic hit the iceberg. Less than three hours later the pinnacle of man’s accomplishments lay in ruins 2½ miles below on the ocean floor. Two-thirds of those onboard perished.

Bible prophecy tells us that because we’re in darkness, we won’t anticipate the spiritual iceberg that the world is on a collision course with.Bible prophecy tells us that because we’re in darkness, we won’t anticipate the spiritual iceberg that the world is on a collision course with. For many, life will seem normal, like the calm waters Titanic was in that night. But then—like that fateful night—sudden disaster will strike (Matthew 24:36-39; Luke 21:34-35).

When we do hit this spiritual iceberg, the tragedy will be much worse than the Titanic. It will be the worst catastrophe mankind has ever known (Matthew 24:21). This spiritual iceberg will be the Great Tribulation.

When the Tribulation starts, the world as we know it will be torn apart. It will take 3½ years for this tragic time to be over. But unlike Titanic, not even a third will survive. And unless God intervenes, every single living person will die (verse 22)!

Will you be in a spiritual lifeboat?

The Titanic Tragedy: What Can We Learn Today?
Only a few escaped in lifeboats that tragic April night. And during the coming Great Tribulation, only a relatively few will make it into spiritual lifeboats. Jesus tells us to pray that we can be among those accounted worthy to escape (Luke 21:36).

The Bible clearly shows that those God will help are those who are troubled by the world’s evil ways, keep His commandments and are children of light (Ezekiel 9:4; 1 John 5:2-3; Ephesians 5:8, 11, 14).

Yes, a century ago the Titanic perished in the physical darkness. Today the world is heading at full speed in spiritual darkness. But God continues to call people “out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). Will we respond to His call?

So, as we remember the 100th anniversary of this tragedy, will we learn the lesson? Will we stay in darkness and suffer shipwreck, or will we come to the Light and escape disaster?

To learn more about how to escape our spiritually dark world, read "Put on the Armor of God

About the Author

Tim Groves

Tim Groves

Tim Groves attends the Jefferson, Georgia, congregation of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association, where he serves as a deacon. 

He has been married to his wife, Teresa, for over 30 years. Together, they have two daughters and two sons and live in South Carolina. They moved there from Ohio in 1997 to flee the cold northern winters and allow him to do the things he really enjoys, like roaming though automobile junkyards looking for hidden treasures from times long past.

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