“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” -James 4:14
If you knew tomorrow was your last day on Earth, how would you live differently today? Would you live with a greater sense of urgency?
As John Harper walked along the deck of the Titanic on April 14, 1912, he did not realize that most of the people on board would not survive to see the sunrise the next morning—himself included.
John was a Scottish pastor who was on his way to America to preach for three months at Moody Church in Chicago. Traveling with his 6-year-old daughter and another relative, John would often share the gospel with others on the ship. He was seen that day sharing his faith with fellow passengers.
Just before midnight, sleeping passengers were awakened to the Titanic hitting an iceberg. Soon, it became apparent that the “unsinkable” ship was not going to remain afloat.
John quickly led his daughter and other family member to one of the few lifeboats on board. With one final goodbye to them, John returned to the panicked crowds, yelling for “women, children, and the unsaved” to get into the lifeboats. He went frantically from person to person, asking, “Are you saved?” If the answer was, “No,” John would reply, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved!” He even handed his lifejacket to one unbelieving passenger, saying, “You need this more than I do.”
In less than three hours, hundreds of people were plunged into the freezing waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Drifting in the sea, John continued to asked those who were still alive, “Are you saved?”
One man who John swam near answered, “No,” and the two drifted apart. A short time later, John swam to the man again and pleaded with him to put his trust in Jesus. Finally, the man agreed, and John slipped beneath the surface of the water, never reemerging.
That man years later said that he was John Harper’s last convert.
Alive for a Purpose
John Harper spent his last moments on Earth sharing the gospel knowing that his time—and the time of those he witnessed to—was coming to an end.
None of us know how or when God will call us home. Our lives are but a mist—here one day and gone the next.
Today, more than 3 billion people around the world have never heard the name of Jesus; many will not survive to see the sunrise tomorrow morning.
God gives believers the gift of breath in their lungs so that they can live their lives to glorify Him. Every second of life is a chance to make His name known among the nations.
If you knew tomorrow was your last day on Earth, would you live with the same urgency that John Harper had on the morning of April 15, 1912? You are alive today because God has a divine plan and purpose for you.