Sunday, March 2, 2014

For Me Two Men Have Died. The Testimony of Sailor Ben Seymor

For Me Two Men Have Died
This is a testimony of a hardened sailor who was converted to faith in Jesus.  



It was a long time ago when ships were powered by coal and steam. A freighter was traveling back and forth across the Atlantic. It had a crew of hardy, tough seamen who worked hard at sea and when in port spent their liberty equally hard, in drinking, fighting, and gambling- all except for Old Nate, because Old Nate was a Christian who deeply loved Jesus.

The hard men of the crew respected Nate. He was a hard worker who was able for any duty or task needed, he was fearless in the face of danger, and he was as rugged a seaman as the rest but would never compromise his faith for drink or gamble with the other sailors. He would bow his head over the meager rations at the mess and thank God quietly for small blessings he enjoyed.

Ben Seymor was a young crewman who could not understand Nate. Sometimes he would tease Nate about his mealtime prayer, Bible reading, and sober manner.

Old Nate followed Jesus' teaching and had a forgiving heart toward Ben. Often Nate would share the Gospel of God's love with him and ask the young sailor to receive Jesus, but Ben would just snicker, and refused to trust Christ.

One day a huge storm with dark skies and cold icy wind came out of the north. The waves were piled up like mountains in the sea and beat the steam ship again and again until it began to break in half. The crew rushed to the life boats and lowered them into the water, but as they did one of the two lifeboats was crushed by a wave that smashed it against the side of the ship shattering the frail lifeboat.

The desperate crew began to panic. The second life boat was overfull since all the men were in one boat when they should have been in two. The sailors looked up at the ship and saw two men had yet to leave- Nate and Ben were still on the sinking ship. It was clear that there would not be any room for both of them. In the dark storm Ben's face was pale with fear. Over the winds the men heard his voice cry, "I am lost, eternally lost."

The old sailor put his arms around Ben as if to comfort him but suddenly with the strength of a lifetime hardened at sea he picked Ben up and threw him over the railing into the waiting lifeboat.

Nate called down and said, "Ben, You are not ready to die. I am. I am willing to die for you, but mind you that I see you in Heaven."

Old Nate's last word echoed in Ben's mind as the men rowed away from the sinking ship. They watched in horror as it went under the waves taking Old Nate down to the bottom of the sea.

What Nate did for Ben broke his heart and it was not long after this that Ben received Jesus as his Savor. Whenever he could he would testify to anyone who would listen and he would say, "Two men have died for me. Old Nate went down with the ship for me and the Lord Jesus went up on the cross for me."

(C)Adron Dozat

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