by Rick Kirk
13 December 2009

Each time I board a plane, it is certain that there will be a live pre-flight safety demonstration or one shown via a video. Such demonstrations are a requirement in international air safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (Wikipedia – Pre-flight Safety Demonstration).

As the aircraft taxies to the runway to prepare for takeoff, a hostess or two (or three nowadays depending on the size of the plane) will stand in the middle of the aisle drawing our attention to them or if it is via a video presentation, the movie we are watching or computer game the children are playing with then will be interrupted. For the frequent traveller, it can be the most boring moment of the journey as this may be the thousandth time the demonstration and the script was endured. However, such a requirement is necessary for the good of all travelers as aircraft safety and evacuation measures must be implanted in the minds and clearly known and understood, so that when emergency actions need to be taken, all passengers will be sufficiently prepared and ready to take the appropriate action, thus saving precious lives.

If you have been travelling regularly, you will observe that there is a part in the script when the traveler is told step by step how to use the oxygen masks when the cabin pressure changes. You would then noticed a line from the script that tells passengers with young children “be sure to adjust your own mask before helping others” when showing how the oxygen mask is used. The presentation informs the adults to first put the oxygen mask on themselves before attending to the children and helping them put theirs on.

I have often wondered why such a curious statement. As adults, are we not supposed to attend to our children first as all loving parents do? It is quite intuitive of mothers especially to do just that. I do not have the official reason, but I suppose that in an emergency situation, an adult, being stronger, has better ability, understanding of the situation and control of self, will be able to help others, especially the young children provided the adult is ready and well prepared. Children lacking in knowledge of safety requirements, poor attention span and physical strength, on the other hand, are less able to help adults. It would then be the task of the adult to help the both. The adults, mothers in particular, therefore need to be reminded of the adult first safety rule though the demonstration.

This is also true of the Christian. The Great Commission was given to every Christian whose faith grew after hearing the gospel (So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God Rom 10:16-17) and understands that faith in God is critical (But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him Heb 11:6). The faithful Christian knows for certain the sinner must repent of their sins (Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent Acts 17:30), and confess before man that they accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior (that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved Rom 10:9). He knows too that he needs to be baptised in accordance to God’s will in order for his sins to be forgiven (Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them Acts 2:38-41).

Having known the truth about the plan of salvation and being saved, it is also God’s plan that it will be the Christian who would be the ones to reach out the lost souls, bring them in and save them. Those who are yet in their sins cannot and will not be able to save others for he must first save himself. The sinner has no knowledge of the requirement of how or what it takes to be saved, and far much less trying to save others. In John 1:43-49, Philip from Bethsaida had “found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote–Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph” (v .45). Having been convinced he had found the Christ of the scriptures, Philip went and found Nathaniel and invited him to “come and see… if there anything good could come out of Nazareth?” (v.46).

So it is with us who would save souls today. The soul winner must be convinced that he has received the grace, mercy and the love of God and that all his past sins have been forgiven him upon obedience to the truth contained in the Bible. With such confidence the soul winner will be able to save others and a real winner.