Apparently, most of us get it wrong. We think drowning victims scream for help or wave their arms in panic. They don’t. Moments before the process of drowning starts, most victims don’t even know they are in trouble. By the time they do, instincts and circumstances keep them from reaching out for help, all they can do is just try to keep breathing.
Drownings are almost always accidents. Skilled swimmers get caught in undercurrents or experience severe cramps in their legs and find themselves unable to navigate deep waters. Non-swimmers fall off a boat without a life jacket or wander too far from the safety of shallow waters. They need rescued and can do nothing to help themselves. In fact, they will often struggle against those trying to help. They need rescued against their wills. The fact that they may have done something foolish to bring about their own peril usually means nothing to the rescuer.
The Bible compares the sinner as a person drowning in his own sin. John Bunyan in his sermon “A Few Sighs from Hell”, warns you as if you were drowning in hell already and had chosen the “empty vanities which thy soul clung to, hunted after, and would by no means be persuaded to part with. No, but you would take your time, and swim in this world’s delights, though your soul was drowned by them in hell and destruction.”
Unconverted and hell-bound, we swim in the pleasures and goods of this world, not realizing the peril of our situations. We live as kings, as these things keep us occupied and unaware of our danger. Yet it is the oceans of our own lusts that will destroy us.
I Timothy 6:8ff …And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life…
Sinner, Christ Jesus rescues sinners. He is a lifesaver and your only hope. Put your faith in Him today.
Christian, your neighbors are drowning, though they don’t look like they are drowning. Share the good news of Jesus with them.
 With my slight alterations updated to reflect modern English. Bunyan’s original is as follows: “…empty vanities which thy soul closed with, hunted after, and would by no means be persuaded to part withal. No, but thou wouldst take thy time, and swim in this world’s delights, though thy soul thereby was drowned in perdition and destruction (1 Tim 6:9).” John Bunyan. A Few Sighs From Hell (Kindle Locations 19-21).
David is currently an adjunct instructor of Composition and Speech at Marshalltown Community College in Iowa. His wife and he have also owned a business selling antique and collectible postcards on eBay since 1999. David was an activist with Operation Rescue in the early 1990s. He is a member of Trinity Presbyterian Reformed Church in Johnston, Iowa.
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