Conversion Sermon Illustrations

Conversion Sermon Illustrations

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When the Grace of God Has Done Its Work

One night in St. Louis, Mr. Moody preached on the text, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." A newspaper published the sermon with the heading, "How the Jailer Got Caught." A paper was taken into a jail where a burglar named Ballintyne Booth was awaiting trial. He read the headline and said, "That is good," and began reading. The sermon resulted in his conversion; and the officials saw such a change in him that when the case came to trial it was not pressed.

Booth went to New York, and back to St. Louis. One day the sheriff sent for him. He said, "I want you to be a deputy sheriff. I had you shadowed for six months, and they wrote me you were O.K." He remained a deputy sheriff for ten years, until his death. Once a preacher asked Booth to preach for him, and he asked the sheriff to be let off. The sheriff said that he was sorry but that it would be impossible as he had just levied on a jewelry store and there was a large stock of diamonds of which no inventory had been taken, and there was no one he could trust there but. Booth.—The Wonderful Word.

Some Other Way Would Not Do

"One night when my wife was at prayer meeting I began to grow very miserable. I did not know what was the matter with me, but finally retired before my wife came home. In the morning I could eat no breakfast, and went to the office. I told my clerks they could take a holiday, and I shut myself in the office. I kept growing more and more miserable, and finally got down and asked God to forgive my sins. I did not say 'for Jesus' sake,' for I was a Unitarian, and I did not believe in the Atonement. I kept praying, `God, forgive my sins'; but no answer came. At last in desperation I cried, `O God, for Christ's sake, forgive my sins,' and I found peace at once." This man had no access to God until he came in the name of Christ, but when he came thus he was answered at once.Sunday School Times.

A Bible in a Hotel Room

One winter morning, in the city of San Diego, California, a man turned his steps wearily from the waterfront to his hotel. He had been drinking heavily for weeks; all that seemed to be left to him were memories, and his mind was tortured with thoughts of his wife and four little children whom he had deserted. He had been a radio executive with a beautiful home, cars, servants, everything that money could provide, but now they were gone, and the little family, dragged down until they were living in a hovet, were deserted.

He had suffered a complete nervous breakdown and worst of all he had lost his voice, and for a year and a half had been hardly able to speak above a whisper. The future held no promise, and so, each waking moment, he lived over and over again the horror of it all. Such was the state of mind and soul as he opened the door of his room and flung himself into a chair.

Suddenly his gaze fell upon the Gideon Bible, and, in a distracted sort of way he picked it up and began to read. Old familiar words he had learned as a child by the checked apron of her whom he had called Mother; words of life, quick and powerful, leaped out of the pages and found their way into his heart. He fell on his knees and, spread­ing the Bible on a chair, made a vow that he would not leave that room, if he died of starvation, until there came into his soul a knowledge that his sins were forgiven. With a surge of joy he realized that God's promises were even for such as he.

In that hotel room he found Calvary's Cross, there he laid his burdens down, there the old man died and a new was born. From that place he walked in newness of life, and by God's grace the difficulties were straightened out between him and his wife and the little home was reunited. The "peace that passeth all understanding" loosed the taut nerves and muscles which had prevented normal speech and God gave him back his voice. Now a fine group of Christian young men are joined with him in sending out the Word of Life over the air to many thousands of listeners-in and throughout the Western States and Can­ada, and even in the Arctic Circle, and God is using their ministry.

"Small wonder," he says, "that there is in my heart a feeling of undying gratitude to the Christian workers who have felt the burden to place in hotel rooms the Gideon Bibles."—The Evangelical Christian.

Shaking Off the Dust

I remember hearing the Rev. W. V. Barratt give an account of an experience of his early days in Germany. A boy of ten or twelve, he was with his brother distributing tracts from door to door, when at one home his tract was refused and the door discourteously closed. The two boys, obeying the precept of the Lord Jesus, kicked the dust off their feet at the doorstep. Some thirty years afterward, Mr. Barratt was visiting the same part of Germany, when he was called to the bedside of a gentleman who had asked to see him. He was reminded of the incident of thirty years before, and only then learned that the gentleman, in­quiring as to the meaning of the boys' singular act, had been convicted of the sin of refusing God's messenger—and had in consequence been led to seek, and find, salvation.—Sunday School Times.

How They Became "Sons"

A Hindu convert in India could neither read nor write, but he got others to read the Bible to him. His favorite verse was John 1:12—"As many as received him, to them gave he the power to become the sons of God." "I have received Him," said he, "so I have become a son of God." He went back to his village radiantly happy. "I have become a son of God," he cried. His life was so transformed, and his simple witness so effective, that the villagers all wanted to become "sons of God," too. He won the whole village for Christ and thousands of others besides. Why? Just because he —a poor illiterate Hindu—realized that he had indeed become "a son of God" and longed for others to become "sons" also.—From The Happy Christian, by An Unknown Christian.

An Indian's Explanation

It happened that a white man and a North American Indian were deeply convicted under the same sermon. The Indian was almost immediately made to rejoice in pardoning mercy, but the white man was for a long time in great distress of mind. At last he, too, found comfort in God's forgiving love. Some time afterward, on meeting his Indian brother, he thus addressed him: "How was it that I should be so long under conviction, when you found comfort so soon?" "Oh, brother," replied the Indian, "me tell you. There come along a rich prince; he promise to give you a new coat. You look at your coat, and say, 'My coat pretty good; it will do a little longer.' He then offer me a new coat. I look at my old blanket. I say, 'This good for nothing.' I fling it right away and take the new coat. Just so, brother, you try to make your old righteousness do for a little while; but I, poor Indian, had none. So I glad to receive at once the righteousness of the Lord Jesus."—Christian Herald.

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