Similarities between Paul’s shipwreck, and our Salvation.
I noticed several similarities between Paul’s shipwreck recorded in Acts chapter 27, and salvation that comes through our Lord Jesus, and faith in him. Paul in this story, is being taken by soldiers with other prisoners, to be judged before Caesar. All men and women, small and great, will be brought before God, to be judged. Rev. 20:12 “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” When this day comes, we do not want to be judged according to our works, we want to have our names written in the book of life. Rev.20:15 “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” All the good works in the world will not save us from this fate. Only faith in Jesus, and his finished work on the cross, will get our names written in the book of life. Next we see the ship is in great distress from a violent storm. Acts 27:20 “ And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.” This is how many come to accept Jesus into their lives. Often when we have no hope in this life, and things look there darkest, we turn to God for help or comfort. Paul was then given a message of encouragement from God, that he, and the men with him, would be saved. He then gives this message to the men sailing with him. Acts 27:25 “Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.” Paul wrote letters to the brethren to encourage and instruct them, and us, while we wait for the fulfillment of our salvation. If we do turn to God, and accept Jesus, everything is not instantly wonderful and easy in our lives. Acts 27:29 “Then fearing lest we should have fallen upon rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day.” We likewise hope and wish for the day of our Lord’s return. When trial and tribulations do come, we sometimes want to flee from the presence of God, and run back into the world, just as ancient Israel wanted to return to the comforts they knew during their slavery in Egypt. Acts 27: 30-31″ And as the shipmen were about to flee out of the ship, when they had let down the boat into the sea, under colour as though they would have cast anchors out of the foreship, Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved.” This is the truth of the Gospel of Christ. Except we hold fast, and abide in Jesus, we cannot be saved. Jesus told his disciples, John 14:6 ” I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” There is no salvation apart from Jesus. Next, Paul might be seen as giving communion to those that have trusted his word, and remained in the ship. Acts 27:35 “And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began to eat.” Following the last supper, Jesus was betrayed, handed over to the soldiers, beaten and crucified. Next we see the ship, was violently destroyed. Acts 27:41 “And falling into a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the forepart stuck fast, and remained unmoveable, but the hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves.” Although Christ was crucified and died, that was not the end of his followers as many had supposed. He had been told of the Father, that he would lose none that had been given him. Just as Paul had been told by God, all that remained in the ship would be saved. John 6:39 “ And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.” The men aboard the ship make it safely to shore and things get much better. They are greeted by friendly natives, who give them food, and build a fire to warm them from the cold rain. But suddenly Paul is bitten by a venomous snake. In a similar way, Satan, often portrayed as a snake, continues to torment and persecute the Church. But we see that Satan has no power over God’s children. Acts 28:3-6 “And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand. And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live. And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm. Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.” Finally, we see the snake is shaken off and cast into the fire, hallelujah! Satan will not be around forever to deceive and torment this world! Rev. 20:10 “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”