There Are Only Two Kinds of PeopleBy Hartmut Renz, LCJE Coordinator for Europe
In the night of April 14th to 15th in 1912, the Titanic, the then largest ship of the world, sank in the icy tides of the Atlantic with 2,200 passengers and crew members on board. Most of the passengers were fleeing unemployment, hunger and oppression. They hoped for a new and better life in peace and liberty in “the country of unlimited possibilities”. For most of them, their hope ended in death.
On the day after the disaster the shipping company informed the relatives and friends of the passengers about their fate. It set up two large boards before its office in Liverpool. On the one stood “Known to be saved”, together with the names of those who had survived the misfortune. The other one was entitled “Known to be lost”. Below this were written the names of those who had died by the disaster.
On the ship there were three classes: First class, second class and third class. At the end there were only two: saved or lost.
On our “spaceship” earth there are many ranks: Young ones and old ones, large ones and small ones, rich ones and poor ones, intelligent ones and stupid ones, winners and losers, Jews and gentiles and many others. They laugh and cry, fight and struggle, argue and reconcile themselves again. They strive for a meaningful and fulfilled life. They look for love and fulfilment and hope for a good future.
At the end, however, there are only two kinds of people. At the end there are only such, whose names are written either on the one ore the other board: “Known to be saved” or “Known to be lost”. Saved or lost, only these two. There is nothing else. Nothing that has still any meaning. Saved or lost – nothing else will play any role.
The only thing of importance for each person therefore is that his or her name is written on the “board“ with the label “Known to be saved”. On this board Jesus writes all who hear with their ears, believe in their hearts and confess with their mouth as Paul wrote: “If you confess that Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised him from death, you will be saved. For it is by our faith that we are put right with God; it is by our confession that we are saved” (Rom 10:9-10).
“Are you saved?” This question concerns all kinds of people. There is no exception. For it is the crucial question in everyone's life whether he or she is saved by faith in Jesus. That is also true for Jews, even if many maintain the opposite today. To be chosen is not to be saved. Jews do also need a saviour as it is said by the angel of the Lord when he announced the birth of our Lord and saviour: “You will name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21).
Since in Jesus alone is salvation for all people, we trustfully hope in him. Because he did ransom us from the slavery of sin and death, our life belongs to him. Only he has the right to rule us and he wants that we serve him. He wants us to be his witnesses “in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). We do not have a choice, it's our duty. But it is a joyful duty, because nowhere in this world is there a better duty and a better Lord.