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For many years, film producer James Cameron (of “Titanic” fame, among other blockbusters) was a closet atheist, hiding as an “agnostic” from the real world of atheism.
The word “agnostic” comes from the Greek word agnōstos, which means “unknown, unknowable,” and has grown to mean that someone doesn’t know if God’s exists. An agnostic is like a man who looks at the finished production of a major motion picture, but he’s not sure if there was a producer. It may have been caused by an explosion in some studio a long time ago, or it may have had a producer, but he’s not sure.
Such a person would be better classified as “unthinking,” rather than not knowing. How could any movie make itself, without the involvement of an army of script writers, graphic artists, actors, grips, sets, a production crew of sound and lighting experts, editors and a million and one other things necessary for a major motion picture production? The agnostic lives in a fog of oblivion when it comes to God.
But James Cameron didn’t feel comfortable with just being an agnostic. He called it “cowardly atheism.”
One day he decided to take courage, and so he said, “I’ve sworn off agnosticism, which I now call cowardly atheism. I’ve come to the position that in the complete absence of any supporting data whatsoever for the persistence of the individual in some spiritual form, it is necessary to operate under the provisional conclusion that there is no afterlife and then be ready to amend that if I find out otherwise.”
James Cameron is no longer in doubt about the existence of God, because one day he took a leap of faith from agnosticism (not knowing if God exists) into the world of atheism (“a disbelief in the existence of deity”). The doubt went and conclusive faith came because of “a complete absence of any supporting data whatsoever.” That led him to his “provisional” conclusion. He has made no provision for the existence of God, and he won’t make any provision until he finds otherwise.
That sounds vaguely familiar. Designers of a large ship many years ago were so sure that it couldn’t sink that they made no provision for such a disaster. They had so much faith in themselves and their design of the ocean liner, that they hardly gave the need for lifeboats a second thought. You would think that if anyone learned a lesson from such pride-filled arrogance, it would be James Cameron.
The overconfidence of the Titanic designers wasn’t amendable. They couldn’t fix the problem of the sinking ship after it struck the iceberg. It was too late because there was no second chance. When they called for help, none came.
Imagine being on the Southampton dock back on April 10, 1912, knowing that five days later the unsinkable Titanic would sink like a rock. It would go to the bottom of the icy ocean, taking with it 1,502 precious human lives. If you had foreknowledge of the disaster, what would you say to the passengers as they excitedly boarded the ship? You couldn’t remain silent. Such is the plight of the Christian. We can’t remain silent because we know what the future holds.
There is sure hope for those who humble themselves in this life, repent and trust alone in Jesus, but once we sink into the icy waters of death, there’s no second chance. If we die in our sins, we will get justice from a holy Creator, and there isn’t a hope in hell.
Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.”
“Condemned” means just what it says, and “saved” means what it says.