Bible Sermon Illustrations

Bible Sermon Illustrations

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Living Book

There is a somewhat humorous poem with the refrain, 'And the barber kept on shaving.' It describes the visit of a young man to a barber's shop in which there were samples of a taxidermist's work-some stuffed birds, and among them an owl. The youth, priding himself in his knowledge of ornithology, commenced a tirade on the work of the taxidermist, pointing out the faults in the owl's wings, legs, and the angle of its head. He continued for a few minutes in this strain till the owl surprised its critics by turning its head and winking, thus making him feel more of an owl than he had ever felt. It was a live owl. Many people mistakenly put the Bible, the living Word of God, on a par with the dead literature everywhere around, imagining it to be mere man's handiwork when it is God's all the time. The young man in the poem vainly thought himself wise until one act of the living bird stultified all his babblings. (Rom. 1. 21, 22; Heb. 4. 12)


When Stanley started across the continent of Africa he had seventy-three books, but as the journey con­tinued through the days and weeks he was obliged to throw away the books one by one until they were all gone but his Bible. It is said that he read it through three times on that remarkable trip. It is the one book that lives through the ages, having stood the test of time. A noted professor in the University of Edinburgh was asked by his librarian to go into the library and pick out all the books on his special subject that were no longer needed. His reply was, 'Take every book over ten years old and put it in the cellar.' (Luke 21. 33; 1 Pet. 1. 25)


Power of the Bible

Dr. Robert Moffat, in one of his lonely travels in Africa, came faint and hungry to a village, and the natives appeared anything but friendly. Soon a poor Bechuana woman came from one of the huts and spread before him meat, milk and fruit. She was about to slip away unobserved when Moffat called her and asked her the reason for her conduct. Taking out from her bosom an old and well-worn copy of the Bible in Dutch, she exclaimed, 'This is the fountain whence I drink. This is the oil that makes my lamp burn.'

(Heb. 4. 12; Ps. 119. 63)


I was at a big Dutch trading house in Benguella, where thirty or forty Europeans—British, Dutch and German—had congregated for a commercial conference. A Dutchman at the head of the table greeted me, saying: 'The Bible is not believed in now. I know all about it.'

I replied, 'I shall be glad to prove to all of you that the Bible is true. Allow me to fetch mine.' I did so, sat down at the table, and asked the man to mention what portion was untrue.

`Oh,' said he, 'it is so long since I left home that I don't remember. You read, and I will tell you.' I began to read the first chapter of Romans, solemnly. By the time I had finished there were only six men left and the man at the head of the table drew his slouched hat from under his chair and, muttering that there was a nigger calling him, stole out. There was no one calling him; but that was the last of the discussion that was to prove the Bible untrue.—F. S. Arnot in Thirty Years a Missionary in Africa

(Heb. 4. 12, 13)


Repository of Truth

Man's dignity and freedom, the cornerstone of our structure of free government, have their source and substance in deeply-felt religion. In the highest sense the Bible is to us the unique repository of eternal spiritual truths. In the most tangible sense, it is the ultimate and indispensable source of inspiration for America's life in freedom. By enabling men to renew, in their minds and spirits, the religious concepts of equality, justice and mercy, the Pocket Testament League, and all others engaged in distributing the Bible, have dedicated themselves to a noble work.—Dwight D. Eisenhower

(Ps. 138. 2; John 17. 17)


Repository of Wealth

A young man heard with disgust that his wealthy old uncle had left him in his will a Bible. The will read thus: 'To my nephew I leave a copy of God's priceless Word which I trust he will use daily and find within its pages real treasure.'

The beneficiary threw the Bible into an old trunk in the attic, disgusted and disappointed with his share in his uncle's bequests. Years passed by, and one day, pressed beyond measure, he turned to the good Book for comfort. Between its pages he found bills worth many hundreds of thousands of dollars. But, beyond the material wealth, he found also the exceeding riches of Christ, for the Bible led him to the Savior.

(Ps. 19. 10; Eph. 1. 7; 2. 4; 3. 8, 16)


Secret of Greatness

An African chief wanted to know the secret of Britain's greatness. Queen Victoria, holding a Bible in her hand, said, 'Tell the chief that this book, the Bible, is the secret of our greatness.'

(Ps. 19. 9; Prov. 14. 34)


Variety of the Bible

There are no songs to be compared with the songs of Zion, no orations equal to those of the prophets, and no politics equal to those the Scriptures can teach us.—John Milton


Written in the East, these characters live for ever in the West; written in one province, they pervade the world; penned in rude times, they are prized more and more as civilization advances; product of antiquity, they come home to the business and bosoms of men, women and children in modern days. Then is it an exaggeration to say that 'the characters of Scripture are a marvel of the mind'?—R. L. Stevenson


Comforting in hour of death

'He (Sir Walter Scott) expressed a wish that I should read to him, and when I asked him from what book, he said, "Need you ask? There is but one." I chose the 14th chapter of St. John's Gospel; he listened with mild attention and said when I had done: "Well, this is a great comfort-I have followed you distinctly, and I feel as if I were yet to be myself again".'—Lockhart, Life of Sir Walter Scott

(John 14. 1-6; Rom. 15. 4)

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