November 2016

Monthly topical artices kindly supplied by a regular visiting               

speaker from Northampton: Stan Burditt.

Green Pastures  Email:-      Listen on 



                                                       VIEW FROM THE PULPIT               Nov. 2016

Key To Salvation The BBC carried an interesting piece about an auction in Devizes, Wiltshire, in October. They sold the most items of Titanic artefacts ever brought to auction and many of them fetched high prices. One item earned the title, ‘Key to Salvation, this is what the BBC said about this special key.


‘A key which opened a life-jacket locker on the Titanic has been sold for £85,000.It was among 200 items from the liner sold at an auction in Devizes. The key had been predicted to fetch up to £50,000. Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said the amount the key finally sold for "reflected its importance and unique nature


A postcard sent by the ship's "heroic" chief wireless operator sold for £19,000.


'Sacrifice to save others' The locker key had belonged to third-class steward Sidney Sedunary, from Berkshire, who perished when the Titanic went down in April 1912, after hitting an iceberg. Mr Aldridge said: "Without a doubt [he saved lives]. Here's a man who sacrificed his life to save others."

The auction in Devizes was one of the biggest involving Titanic memorabilia for many years.


RMS Titanic had been four days into a week-long transatlantic crossing from Southampton to New York when the supposedly "unsinkable" ship struck an iceberg on 14 April 1912.

The ship sank less than three hours later at about 02:20 on 15 April; 1,500 passengers and crew   and 710 survived.’

That key unlocks many facts about what happened on that fateful maiden voyage. Firstly it reminds us that all of us are on the journey of life, it is a one-way passage to eternal life or eternal damnation. 

 An unknown crew member is reported to have once said to embarking passenger, Mrs. Sylvia Calwell, “God himself could not sink this ship” (Premier Titanic ‘The Artifact Exibition’) Many people today share that crew members false sense of security, trusting in man’s works above a trust in God for salvation.

The key to the locker opened the door to reveal a glaring serious fact, that there were not enough life jackets for all onboard, as well as the fact that there were not enough lifeboats to carry everyone to safety. Fundamentaly, the Liners designers and ship builders did not believe that this particular vessel would ever go down to the bottom of the ocean with calamatous results. Contrast this with the salvation that God has provided for all who trust in Him, not one person need to perish in Hell for God’s salvation lands sinners who repent of their sin on Heaven’s shore, saved for eternity. I am wondering whether the locker was in darkness until the door was opened to let the light in, if so, this is what the gospel does, it brings light into darkened hearts and minds. Paul said in 2 Corinthians ch.4:3, “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and for ourselves your servants Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.””

The paragraph 'Sacrifice to save others' is most pertinent, and Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge’s comment is very true.The locker key had belonged to third-class steward Sidney Sedunary, from Berkshire, who perished when the Titanic went down in April 1912, after hitting an iceberg. Mr Aldridge said: "Without a doubt [he saved lives]. Here's a man who sacrificed his life to save others."

The selfless actions of this little known steward is a picture of what Jesus Christ did for mankind, Christ sacrificed His life in order that sinners need not perish. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The following story is of a preacher named John Harper who was on the Titanic.

“Harper was heard shouting, "women, children, and the unsaved into the lifeboats." Rebuffed by a certain man at the offer of salvation Harper gave him his own life vest, saying, "you need this more than I do." Up until the last moment on the ship Harper pleaded with people to give their lives to Jesus.The ship disappeared beneath the deep frigid waters leaving hundreds floundering in its wake with no realistic chance for rescue. Harper struggled through hyporthermia to swim to as many people as he could, still sharing the Gospel. Harper evidentially would lose his battle with hypothermia but not before giving many people one last glorious Gospel witness.Four years after the tragedy at a Titanic survivor's meeting in Ontario, Canada, one survivor recounted his interaction with Harper in the middle of the icy waters of the Atlantic. He testified he was clinging to ship debris when Harper swam up to him, twice challenging him with a biblical invitation to "believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." He rejected the offer once. Yet given the second chance and with miles of water beneath his feet, the man gave his life to Christ. Then as Harper succumbed to his watery grave, this new believer was rescued by a returning lifeboat. As he concluded his remarks at the Ontario meeting of survivors he simply stated, "I am the last convert of John Harper."  God bless.

Stan Burditt