Pastor-teacher Don Hargrove

Faith Bible Church

Monday, March 29, 2010




#5 Death as a Sailing Ship


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Preparation for Bible Class


            Before you begin your Bible study, if you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, be sure you have named your sins privately to God the Father.  It is essential that you be in fellowship with God and thus under mentorship of the Holy Spirit.


                        1 Jn 1:6-9 - If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; 7 but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.


            It is the Holy Spirit whose ministry it is to teach the believer God’s truths.  He is our Ultimate Teacher,


                        John 14:26 "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.


                        1 John 2:20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know.


                          1 John 2:27 And as for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.


            If you have never personally believed in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, the issue is not naming your sins.   The issue is faith alone in Christ alone.


                        John 3:36 "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not believe in  the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."


            It is the Holy Spirit whose ministry it is to convict the unbeliever concerning the one unforgivable sin, namely rejection of Jesus Christ. It is the only sin for which Christ could not died  – rejection of Him, rejection of the salvation He offers freely.  


                        John 16:8 "And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment; 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me;



Death as Sailing Ship


            The Bible provides us with seven pictures of death:  1) a gift; 2) a departure or exodus; 3) a restful sleep; 4) a collapsing tent; 5) a sailing ship; 6) a permanent home; and 7) the last enemy.


            We now move to the fifth picture of death: a sailing ship.  The Apostle Paul speaks of death as the sailing of a ship in, 


                         Philippians 1:23 But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better;


            The word “depart” is analuo (ἀναλύω) which was used in the ancient Greek world for the loosing of an anchor.   A.T. Robertson, the world renowned Greek scholar translates it, “to weigh anchor or put out to sea.”    Paul knew when he died it would as if he simply pulled up anchor and sailed to his heavenly destination where he would have complete, conscious, intimate, unhindered fellowship with his Lord.  

            Paul also kept in mind that when it was time for him to pull up anchor and push off, he would be leaving friends on earth’s shore and added “yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake” (Philip 1:24).   I find it very interesting that the only reason Paul wanted to keep his anchor down here was to help other believers advance in the spiritual life.   Paul did not want to stay here just for himself.  He only wanted to stay here on earth as part of fulfilling God’s plan for his life.  

            The Book of Hebrews picks up the imagery of anchor and uses it to illustrate the fact that our anchor is to fastened to Jesus Christ,

                        Hebrews 6:19 This confidence we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, 20 where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us,

            This means that we do not cast our anchor on this earth or in anything in ourselves.    We seek our security neither in feelings, nor experiences.  Our anchor is fastened to Christ, who is within the Holy of Holies where He resides now that His sacrifice bought our salvation.

            This Hebrews passage also speaks of Christ as our forerunner.  The forerunner was the person in ancient times who helped a vessel enter the harbor safely.   He would jump from the ship, wade to the harbor, and fasten a strong rope of the ship to a rock along the shore.  Then, by means of a winch, the vessel was brought in.

            Just so, our forerunner has gone to heaven, where He stands ready to guide us safely into the Holy of Holies.  We are fasted to a rock that cannot be moved.  Let the storms tear our sails to shreds, let the floors creak; let the tides overwhelm us; we shall arrive safely into port.  Each day we are pulled a notch closer to the harbor by the One who proved He is more powerful than death.    

            Although some are given more notice than others, we really do not know the day or the hour of our departure.   We never know when it is time to pull up anchor for the last leg of our voyage.  While we are anchored here on the shores of earth, what we must do is to make sure that our ship is ready to sail, awaiting orders, and flying the flag of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.   The time and manner of our death is not up to us.  It is in the Lord’s hands.  

            It is important to remember that death cannot separate the believer from God,

                        Romans 8:38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

            Nothing can separate us from divine love!

             Physical death is a matter of the sovereign decision of God, based on His perfect knowledge of all the facts, Ps 68:19‑20.  No matter how you feel, when the Lord decides to take you, that's it.  It is blasphemous to question His decision regarding our death or the death of loved ones.  Death is the Lord’s call – not ours!

            Our future existence is not in the hands of doctors, nor in the hands of disease, nor in the hands of the drunk who runs into our car along the highway.  Our life is in the hands of the Almighty, who can use any means He wishes to pull up our anchor and have us brought into the heavenly port.

            Perhaps today our name will be called – if so,

                         Ps 116:15, "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones."  

            The death of His godly ones means the believer is face-to-face with the Lord in an interim body,


                                2 Corinthians 5:8 we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be face-to-face with the Lord.


            The death of his godly ones means the end of pain for the believer, Rev 21:4.  There is no mourning, crying, or pain in the interim body.


            The death of his godly ones means the believer has finally gone to his ultimate dwelling place to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – one that is prepared especially for him,


                        John 14:1-2 "Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 "In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 


Doctrine matters!

Pastor Don