Gospel: Lost, Within Sight of Home

A Truth and Tidings Reprint

“Six Lifeboat Men Drown off the Famed Inchcape Rock”

Arbroath, Scotland, Oct. 27 (circa 1949)–(A.P.)–“Six lifeboat men, weary from an all night battle with a gale tossed sea, drowned early today, within sight of the lights of their own homes.

Only one of the crew survived. The 35foot lifeboat put out last night in answer to a report that a vessel was in trouble off Inchcape Rock. The lifeboat failed to find the vessel.

Friends and relatives gathered along the harbor wall and watched in horror as a giant wave caught it. Shouts from the crew reached them as the boat was tossed on to the rocks fifty yards from the shore. A rocket line fired from shore tangled around the body of the only survivor, Archibald Smith. With its help he pulled himself to safety Seafarers found the body of the coxswain, David Bruce, in the wreckage of the lifeboat. He had lashed himself to the helm. Three other bodies were recovered.”

Thus another saga of the sea has been added with its description of heroism, sacrifice, escape and tragedy The thought that immediately strikes one is, “How near they were to safety, within the sight of the lights of home and before the eyes of their loved ones, and yet they perished”‘ How many times such circumstances have been repeated in a spiritual sense. Souls have listened again and again to the message of the Gospel, yet have gone down amid the wild waves of sin to perish forever in hell.

There are, however, a number of contrasts to the incident of the Inchcape Rock, when souls perish in their sins. These men were in the line of duty and perished despite their desire to be saved and to the efforts of others to save them. Those who are now in their sins and exposed to the judgment of God are not in the path of duty but in the path of folly. There is One who, in order to make salvation possible for all men, left the Throne of His glory, came down to earth. On the cross of Calvary, He endured for us the storm of infinite wrath that our sins deserved. There He satisfied the utmost claims of Divine justice. Now He sends forth the lifeline of salvation in the Gospel message to each sinner who listens to it. If men and women go to hell it is only by the wilful rejection or the careless neglect of that offered lifeline. How sad it will be for some who have been specially privileged to have a Christian upbringing, to be lost “within sight of home”.

There is a man in Holy Scripture that was saved almost within sight of hell. In Luke 23:39-43, a dying sinner, paying the law’s penalty for his own sins, hung beside a dying Savior paying the penalty for the sins of others. Though so near to death and hell, that one thief was brought to repentance, acknowledged his guilt, turned in faith to the Savior and heard the word of assurance, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with Me in Paradise.”

No matter how far you have wandered in sin, the Savior is longing, waiting, abot to save you now, if you will but acknowledge your guilt and turn in faith to Christ alone, resting upon His finished work on Calvary. But no matter how many privileges you may have had, no matter how respectably you may have lived, no matter how often you have been… dealt with by the Spirit of God in the past, if you neglect God’s great salvation you will be forever LOST – WITHIN SIGHT OF HOME.