Is the church a Battleship or a Cruise Ship?

As I write this, approximately 42% of the worlds population has never heard the Gospel of Jesus.  If we break down this percentage, it means that 2.91 billion people are wandering around the earth hopeless, and lost.[1]   If we truly believe what the Scriptures tell us about the destination of the lost, this means that nearly three-billion people will enter eternity Christ-less.

The church cannot stand by and watch this happen.  Paul, an early disciple of Jesus understood this.  He writes:

“I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish.  So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.  For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” [2]

Notice how Paul says, “I am under obligation.”  This word means that he has to do something.  What did he have to do?  Paul had to take the Gospel to the known world!  Paul did this for the same reason Christians today should do it.

So what are there reasons we should share the Gospel with others and why are we under obligation to share our faith with the world?

First, Paul knew that there are a lot of people that never heard the gospel.  His heart was so bent towards people that he had to share the good news of Jesus with as many people as he could.

Second, Paul understood that because of the grace he received, he must be sacrificial and live in pursuit of the people that God so desperately loves and is calling to Himself.

Third, Paul knows that the same grace that we followers of Jesus have received, is available to all people, tribes, tongues, and nations!  The grace that he received is the same grace that is powerful enough to save anybody that places their trust in Christ.

Finally, Paul knows that the Son of God is worthy to be praised.  In the Book of Revelation, we get a glimpse of the nations surrounding Jesus’ throne in heaven and praising Him.  This praise should not start in heaven, but it should start in the here and now.

The church can no longer sit by idly and do nothing about the need for the Gospel to go out into all of the world. 

I heard a pastor one time  use an illustration of the church that I found fitting.  He used an analogy comparing a cruise ship to a battleship.  What this pastor argued is that the church has become like a cruise ship.  What he means is this;  people love to go on vacations.  One way we do this is by going on a cruise.  We get on a glamorous ship and it meets all of our needs.  We have endless entertainment and comfort, there is food, plays, drinks, gambling, shows, and continual fun.  Sadly, the church has taken on this model.  We spend endless money on our churches to become “cruise ships.”  We are constantly looking to make people comfortable, happy, and meet all of our needs.

The church should operate differently.  The church should operate like a battleship.  A battleship does not care about your comfort.  Very little money is spent on entertainment.  Rather, the ship is created and designed to do battle and to get men and women into the war as efficiently as possible.

As Christians, we are in an unseen war and we have a mission and obligation to tell others about Jesus and most of our resources should go to this end.  The church can no longer sit still in the comfortable church world that we have created.  It is time for us to get out of our seats and comfort zones and enter the war while we still have breath in our lungs.

Christians, let this sink in.  Nearly three-billion people have not experienced the grace that you have.  It is time to get busy!  It is time to fulfill our mission!  It is time to get on the battleship and take the gospel into all of the world!


  2.  Romans 1:14-17, ESV

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