Ross Chapman was fishing off the coast of Australia. He had just caught a 450lb marlin, tagged it, and released it. As he was releasing the marlin, he knocked his GoPro camera overboard, reached out to grab it, and fell into the ocean. His boat, still in gear from boating the marlin, drifted away faster than he could catch it.
Chapman spent 6 hours in the water. Thankfully, other fisherman saw his boat drifting, rallied others to the search, and found him in the open ocean. Had they not found him, he would have remained in waters known to have jellyfish, sharks, and orcas.
Now, as anyone who has boated much knows, bad stuff can happen on the water. A couple of lessons are clear: 1) don’t fish alone, and 2) don’t reach overboard for your camera if your boat is in gear! Still, I can’t imagine the horrible feeling of watching my boat motor away into the open ocean.
It is almost too obvious to say, but “safety is found in the boat.”
In many ways, salvation is likened to a boat in the Bible. Of course, the oldest lesson came in the days of Noah (Genesis 7:23, 1 Peter 3:20). Getting in, and staying in, the ark saved eight souls. In the New Testament, Paul warned that abandoning the ship would cause death (Acts 27:31).
When teaching salvation, most people concentrate on the “getting in” part. They concentrate on belief, or perhaps repentance, confession, or even baptism. And, of course, the “getting in” is essential. But some forget to teach the equal importance of “staying in” Christ!
The New Testament consistently teaches: salvation is for those who stay in Christ. Getting in is just the beginning. We must be wary against falling from grace (Galatians 5:4), abandoning the faith (1 Timothy 4:1, 6:21, 2 Timothy 2:18), or shipwrecking our salvation (1 Timothy 1:19).
Get in Christ, remain in Christ, and arrive safely at your eternal destination – heaven. And be careful what you reach out for in this world…it might just cause you to fall out of the boat!