Click Here for Power Point Presentation >>> Sinking Fast – Lighthouse
Click Here for Audio >>> Sinking Fast – From the pulpit of Bethel Baptist Church
“Parable of the Parish”
On a dangerous seacoast off the coast of Saginaw Michigan, where shipwrecks often occur, there was once a crude little life-saving station. The building was just a little hut, and there was only one boat. But the completely devoted members kept a constant watch over the sea, and with no thought for themselves, they went out day and night tirelessly searching for the lost. Many were saved by this station, so it became famous. Some of those who were saved, and various others in the surrounding area, wanted to become associated with the station and give of their time and money and effort for the support of its life-saving work. New boats were bought and crews were trained. The little life-saving station grew.
Now some of the members of the life-saving station became unhappy that the building was so crude and poorly equipped. They felt that a more comfortable place should be provided as the first refuge of those saved from the sea. So they replaced the cots with beds and put better furniture in and enlarged it to a more elaborate building. Now the life-saving station became a popular gathering place for its members, who were proud of it. And they redecorated it beautifully and furnished it exquisitely because they used it as a kind of club. Few of the members were now interested in going to sea on life-saving missions, so they hired life-boat crews to do this work. The life-saving motif still prevailed in the club’s decorations. And there was a liturgical life boat in the room where club initiations were held.
About this time a large ship was wrecked off the coast and the hired crews brought in boatloads of cold, wet half-drowned people. They were dirty and wounded and sick and some had black skin and some yellow. The beautiful new club was left untidy, muddy and generally messed up. So the property committee immediately had a shower house built outside the club where the victims of shipwrecks could be cleaned up before coming inside. At the next meeting there was a split in the club membership. Most of the members wanted to stop the club’s activities as being somewhat beneath them and an unpleasant hindrance to the normal social life of club. Some of the members insisted that life saving was their primary purpose and pointed out that they were known as a life-saving station, but they were finally voted down. They were told that if they wanted to save all those various kinds of people with different colors of skin, strange languages and odd religions who were shipwrecked on those waters, they could start their own life-saving station down the coast.
And so they did. And as the years went by the new station experienced the same changes that had occurred in the old. It evolved into a club. And yet another life-saving station was founded. And history repeated itself. And if you visit that seacoast today you find a number of exclusive clubs along that shore. Shipwrecks are still frequent, but most of the people drown.
The Church of today is much like that little rescue station which starts off saving lives, but eventually becomes just another club or organization focused on internal instead of eternal motives. We are neglecting our duty. Culture has infiltrated the church when the church should be infiltrating society. We have allowed the Worldly Waves of Destruction to crash into human vessels, and hold us back from Searching and Rescuing for far too long. We have to take a stand, and get back to our original motives of seeing lost souls saved. It is not going to be easy. People don’t choose to be Police Officers, Fireman, or Lifeguards because it is a simple and easy task. They choose it, because they feel it is their duty, and they put their lives on the line daily to protect others.
Take note of these three Important Facts.
1. This world is a sea of darkness filled with waves of destruction delivering those lost broken vessels at sea to hell.
2. Search and Rescue is carried out in conditions that are rough and risky and are in the context of urgency.
3. We must overcome, Search, and Rescue.
Read Luke 19:1-10
This world is sinking fast, and we have a mission to do.
Our Mission and Duty is to do these two things:
1. Overcome the Waves of Destruction. Vs. 7
- Define Waves of Destruction.
- Waves – beat against the ship, and hold back the life boats.
- Things that prevent Search & Rescue
- Type of Ism – A distinct practice, theory, or system
Types of Waves
- Out of our control
- Pluralism – theory of more than one – Multi-religions
- Relativism – theory that right and wrong varies with each individual – post-modernism – no absolute truth
- Materialism – Preoccupation with emphasis on material objects – Possessions – Security in Self
- In our Control
- Materialism – Preoccupation – Personal possessions Priority Over People
- Legalism – strict adherence to religious ritualistic practices – Revolutionary tactics against legal methdology
- Exclusivism – Excluding others based on traits and characteristics
- Generationalism – Lack – Training the next generation
2. Rescue Sinking Vessels Vs. 1-10
History of Jericho vs. 1
Jericho in this period was quite different from the O.T. city. Herod the Great had obtained Jericho from Caesar Augustus and proceeded to build a fortress / monumental palace. The palace had huge pools of water, in one of which Herod actually had his own son drowned in. But I want you to understand that this was a wealthy, luxurious palace, and King Herod was very greedy which in return rubbed off on the other politicians in his high court. And one of them men amongst them was a rich Publican named Zacchaeus.
Zacchaeus’ nature vs. 2
- Publican – Greek – ar-khee-tel-o-nace – tax collector
- Chief – Greedy – Rich – Materialistic – Legalistic
- Broken Vessel Lost in a sea Darkness – Sinking Fast
Christ Example of how to Rescue Sinking Vessels …
1. Saw the Need – Illustrate vs. 3-5
- Of the L.O.S.T. – Sinking Vessels – (Courtesy of the BMA)
- L – Lonely
- O – Outside
- S – Separated
- T – Tormented
- 3 Needs (Taught in Psychology Course)
How many of us would have just walked on by and never paid any attention to him?
2. Saw the necessity for urgency – vs. 5
- Haste – Greek – Spyoo-do – Speed – Urgently – quickly
- Today – Now
- Prophesy of Jude & Enoch in vs. 11, 13-15
Read vs. 6-9 Point out the Wave of Destruction – Murmuring and the genuine repentance and faith of Zacchaeus.
3. Sought to Seek and to Save – vs. 10
- Seek – Greek – dzay-teh’-o – Seek or Search
- Save – Greek – Sode’-zo – protect – deliver – save – rescue.
- Lost – Broken Vessels Destined for Destruction Sinking Fast
LOST – SEARCH – RESCUE – Won’t you say that with me – Repeat
Christ was a life saver. He saw the damaged vessel at sea destined for the bottom of the ocean, but he didn’t allow the Waves of Destruction to hold him back. He reacted with urgency with only one goal in mind: to seek and to save, to search and to rescue that which was lost.
So what about our church, Are we a Rescue Station / Lighthouse, or social gathering yacht club?
And what about you, Are you a Lifeguard, or a beach house bum?
Maybe you’re that ship lost out at sea that broken vessel. You are taking on water, and you are sinking fast.