Heed the Warning
Now when much time had been spent, and sailing was now dangerous because the Fast was already over, Paul advised them, saying, “Men, I perceive that this voyage will end with disaster and much loss, not only of the cargo and ship, but also our lives.” Nevertheless the centurion was more persuaded by the helmsman and the owner of the ship than by the things spoken by Paul. Acts 27:9-11
In the above passage, Paul warned the centurion, among others, that the trip would be dangerous. He warned of the possible loss of cargo, as well as lives. However, his warning was not heeded. The centurion listened to the owner of the ship and the helmsman, instead of to Paul.
Later in the chapter we can read of the wild and raging storm that they encountered. They came against a “tempestuous head wind” - one so great that they “were exceedingly tempest-tossed”. So those on the ship were shown to be foolish for not heeding Paul’s warning. They heard the warning and dismissed it, hoping to achieve their goal of reaching the Phoenix harbour.
He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. Mark 16:16
In Mark 16 and the latter part of verse 16 we are given a warning: those who do not believe will be condemned! Jesus has issued us a warning. He warns us of the danger of not believing.
Like those who did not heed Paul’s warning and faced the treacherous sea, those who do not heed Jesus’ warning will face the powerful wrath of God. We know there will be those who hear the warning and turn away. Those who dismiss the warning, hoping to achieve their own personal goals, will have a disastrous outcome.
Paul and the others on the ship became shipwrecked after facing that great storm. Similarly, those who do not believe and obey the Almighty will be spiritually shipwrecked. They will become stuck in their hopeless state for all eternity - broken and unable to sail to the glorious home in heaven.
Let us always remember to heed the warning!
-- John Thrower Jr.