In the old times there were only rowboats to cross the Straits of the Bosphorus in Turkey. If you wanted to go from one side to the other, you hired a boat with five or ten other people and paid the boatman to take you across. One day, a scholar stepped into one of these boats to cross the straits. Just as the boat set out, the wind started to kick up, and the boat began to sway from side to side.
As they made their way across the Straits, the scholar asked the boatman, “Do you know geography?” The boat man replied that he did not. The scholar said, “You’ve wasted a third of your life. A third of your life is gone. Do you know any mathematics?” and the boatman replied that he did not. Again, the scholar said, “A third of your life is gone; you’ve wasted all of this time.”
Then he asked him, “Do you know history? No? A third of your life is gone; you have wasted so much time,” and continued berating the boatman like this.
Meanwhile, the wind had become quite ferocious and the boat began to rock back and forth wildly. The boatman asked the scholar, “Do you know how to swim?” The scholar replied that he did not. The boatman said to him, “Then all of your life is gone!”
The same is true of Jesus Christ.
You may not know much theology; you may not know much Church history; you may not even know much doctrine. These are all important things, but you can know them all and still not know Jesus! And when the boat you’re in rocks back and forth wildly, none of those things will matter in themselves.
The fundamental question of life is this: Do you know the One who is in control of the boat?
John 17:3 “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent”