A Question of Eternal Importance

In his book, Just A Preacher, Vance Havner wrote,Titanic sinking atlantic

“I remember when the Titanic sank in 1912, it was the ship that was supposed to be unsinkable. The only thing it ever did, was sink.

When it took off from England, all kinds of passengers were aboard – millionaires, celebrities, people of moderate means, and poor folks down in the steerage.

But a few hours later, when they put in the list in the Cunard office in New York, it carried only two categories – lost and saved.Tragedy had crossed out all other distinctions."

Out on life’s sea, there are scores of classifications.

But when the voyage is over… all such distinctions disappear and only two lists remain – lost or saved.1

In Acts 16:30, the Philippian jailor asked, “What must I do to be saved?”

Rev. Clovis G. Chappell, D.D., told his audience many are asking “What must I do to be decent? What must I do to be respectable?  These things are all right, but they are not supreme. It is not ‘What must I do to get rich?’ Millions of us are asking that question, as if it were the one question of eternal importance. But that is not the big question.

The supreme question is:

The supreme question is: ‘What must I do to be saved?’” 2

In his biography, Colonel Harland Sanders, of KFC fame, says that he was always a God-fearing man. In every venture, he gave God a tenth of the profits. Yet he knew that if he died, God would not take him to heaven.

Worried, he traveled to Australia to a special church convention for the answer. He didn’t find it.

One day, Sanders was walking down a street in Louisville, Kentucky, when the Rev. Waymon Rogers of Louisville’s Evangel Tabernacle invited him to some evangelistic services. Several days later, Sanders went. At age 79, he claimed the promises of Romans 10:9.

He said, “When I walked out of that church that night, I knew I was a different man.”3

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).


  1.  Vance Havner, Just A Preacher, Selected Messages by Vance Havner, Moody Press, Chicago, Copyright 1981 by The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, p. 115.
  2.  Rev. Clovis G. Chappell, D.D., Sermons On Biblical Characters, Harper & Brothers Publishers, New York and London, Copyright 1922, pp. 132 – 133.
  3.  www.rickmathes.org/images/download/Acts16.doc