Example Sermon Illustrations

Example Sermon Illustrations

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If There Were No Salt

We could not live without salt. An article in This Week Magazine tells that exceptionally strong men, working in the forge rooms of an automobile factory where the temperature was so high that the men perspired abnormally, would drop to the floor and writhe in agony without apparent cause. After prolonged study, a Harvard Laboratory staff discovered that, although the men drank cold water freely, in the hot temperature, this did not replace the salt that they had perspired out of their systems. A salt tablet with each drink of water stopped the "heat cramps." Not only do our bodies need salt, but the manufacturing world needs it. Steel, subjected to terrific strain in automobiles, is hardened by a salt water bath. The famous Carrel-Dakin antiseptic solution, which saved hundreds of thousands of lives during the World War, has as its chief ingredient chlorine, which comes from salt. Without salt cows stop giving milk and sicken and die. If salt disappeared from the earth, "the wheels of industry would eventually stop, and it would be only a matter of months before we'd all be dead." But, the scientists tell us, the supply of salt in the natural world "is practically unlimited, there being an inconceivable number of pounds in the ocean alone." We begin to see, from such facts, why the Lord Jesus said to His disciples: "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted?"Sunday School Times.


The Obligation to Be Holy

Dr. Albert Barnes, the commentator, was a Presbyterian. He was never suspected of having been erratic or fanatical, but was always recognized as a man of very sober judgment, profound learning and a devout spirit. The following paragraph from his pen sets forth the grounds of our obligation to be holy, with much simplicity, clearness and force:

"A man who has been redeemed by the Blood of the Son of God should be pure. He who is attended by celestial beings, and is soon—he knows not how soon—to be translated into Heaven, should be holy. Are angels my attendants? Then I should walk worthy of my companions. Am I soon to go and dwell with angels? Then I should be pure. Are these feet soon to tread the courts of Heaven? Is my tongue soon to unite with holy beings in praising God? Are these eyes soon to look on the throne of eternal glory, and the ascended Redeemer? Then these feet and eyes and lips should be pure and holy, and I should be dead to the world and live for Heaven."Michigan Chr. Advocat


Provoking Mistake

It is said that an old colored man, in reading a well-known hymn which contains the line, "Judge not the Lord by feeble sense," mistook the word "sense" and gave this odd version: "Judge not the Lord by feeble saints." What a pity that people will judge the Lord that way!Christian Herald (London).


Why She Wants Her Laundress

"When I die I want my laundress by my bedside." This unusual statement was made by a very wealthy Jewish woman who is seriously ill in a Chicago hospital. Her laundress is a colored woman who is enrolled in the Moody Bible Institute Evening School. The sick woman, a devout Zionist, first became interested in her colored laundress when she heard her testimony and learned that she was devoting several evenings a week to the study of the Bible and related subjects. Her interest increased considerably when she discovered that the colored woman was assigned to a practical work group of her own race to visit the Cook County Hospital for the purpose of bringing the Gospel to colored inmates. It was then that this wealthy Zionist became vitally concerned with the things of God. Although this wealthy Jewess had not yet publicly confessed her acceptance of Christ as Saviour, her life has been changed. There is evidence that the Holy Spirit is working to prepare her for the miracle of regeneration in the Lord. It is inspiring to observe the changes wrought in this woman through the sincere testimony spoken and lived by the colored laundress.—Moody Monthly.


Unconscious Influence of a Good Life

"The writer knew Brother S—since three weeks following his (S—'s) conversion. It is a tragic condition that for many years following the beginning of such a splendid friendship, I was a back­slider and a sinner of a bad type, what the world calls a `regular fellow.' Undoubtedly, in answer to many prayers, I came back to Jesus Christ about fifteen months ago and immediately set to work to try to offset the years in the devil's service. God has been wondrously good to me. I want you to get this—during all the years I was away from God, I watched Brother S—'s career. Knowing from what he came, I hoped he would prove true, but I had my doubts. Had he slipped back, I might have been a full fledged `bum' today—I was `sure' headed that way—or in a suicide's grave, as I had lost my self-respect. But I must in honesty pay tribute to the fact that S—'s life was an inspiration and a factor that helped me decide to come back and make a full surrender to Christ as my only hope of peace and happiness in this world and in the world to come. I have had many difficulties and obstacles to overcome, but God has been faithful in my case in giving me the needed grace for victory."—From a Private Letter


A Quest for the Beautiful Life

One day a Japanese rushed nervously into a preacher's study in Boston and said, "Sir, I am in search of the beautiful life, can you tell me where to find it?" "I presume," said the minister, "you want to discuss religion." "No," replied the Japanese, "I don't want to discuss religion. My own country is full of it, but it isn't what I want. You see, there is a carpenter who lives in the same boarding house where I live in Cambridge, and to me his life is beautiful. He never thinks of himself, he is always thinking of others. When we pass the dishes around the table in the boarding house he will not take anything until all the rest have been helped, and he takes the leavings. He just never seems to think of himself for a second, and to me his life is beautiful." The minister handed the Japanese a New Testament and said, "Take that. If you find that life, then you will know the beautiful life."

Two years later that same Japanese rushed into that preacher's study and said, "Do you know me?" The minister replied, "I think I have seen you, but I can't say that I recall you." Then he reminded him, holding the Testament in his hand, of his previous visit, saying, "I have found the beautiful life, I have found Christ."

If only we can find Him, hear His voice and obey His will, re-echoing His accents of love in all of our relations with men, then we will have the life beautiful.Sunday School Times


Translation Work

A young miner was asked by a friend, "What have you got to do with the British and Foreign Bible Society?" "Oh, said George, "I am a translator. "What! You a translator?" "Yes," said George, "I'm busy translating the New Testament into my daily life."—Bible in the World.

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