Last Saturday, 29 May, a Cessna Citation crashed into a lake in Tennessee shortly after take-off. All seven on-board were killed. The nearly 40 year old plane probably broke up mid-air as it far exceeded it’s VNE (Velocity Never Exceed) limit of 260 knots (300 mph), getting up to over 290 knots. The pilot, a guy who played Tarzan on TV in the 90’s, was not an instrument rated pilot. He flew into a cloud deck at 1,000 feet (IMC), while making a 180 degree turn and likely became disoriented, losing control of the aircraft.
The six on-board that day trusted in the pilot to get them safely to their destination in Florida. Yet, he’d only been checked out in the plane two weeks prior and had no previous experience flying jets. In fact, he didn’t even have the mandated medical check to even hold a valid pilot’s license. The passengers – and likely his wife – had no idea of these things. He said he was a pilot and claimed it was all okay. He knew what he was doing. They believed his claim for whatever reasons and it cost them dearly.
I’m burying the lede here, because I want to emphasize the suddenness of a single life-ending event. Pilots characterize crashes using the “Swiss Cheese Method.” A series of errors line up like holes in Swiss cheese to culminate in a disaster. Change one slice in the series and the outcome changes.
Reader… you have no idea what goes on in the mind of someone you put trust in. Trust is belief. Who you put trust in is serious and important. Misapplied, it can cost your life in a “New York Minute” as it did for these poor souls.
And far more important than putting trust in a blusterer, is this… they didn’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Even though they were leaders of a church, they were not Christian in any meaningful and real understanding of that term. They had invented their own Jesus and taught others to trust in their god. Just like they put trust in a false pilot who could go through the motions of a pilot and not really be one.
It’s vital what you believe and WHO you believe. There’s only this one life and then the judgement of your Creator Who has declared that receiving His Son, “putting on His righteousness” – His death for your sins and rebellion according to the Scriptures and His resurrection from the dead on the third day according to the Scriptures – as the only way to obtain eternal life.
Those seven on that plane now know. Don’t wait until it’s too late to do anything about it. Repent and believe in the only one who is worth believing in implicitly – Jesus. And whether you believe it or not, like a truck coming down the road while you stand in the middle of that road denying it, the truck still comes. Choose Life.
And I promise you won’t end up crushed in a cold lake with only judgement to look forward to.