Gospel Sermon Illustrations

Gospel Sermon Illustrations

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The Four Gospels

Chronologically, Mark's Gospel was written first, then Matthew's, then Luke's, and last John's. In the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) the emphasis is on our Lord's humanity: in John's Gospel it is on His Deity.

Matthew wrote especially for the Jews, Mark for the Romans, Luke for the Greeks, and John for the Christian Church: all four for the whole world.

In Mark, Jesus is depicted as the Servant of God, in John as the Son of God.

In Matthew, He is portrayed as the Ruler of men, in Luke as unique amongst men. Matthew and Mark provide the record of His official glories—as King and Servant: Luke and John delineate His personal glories—as Son of Man and Son of God. Renan described Matthew's Gospel as 'the most important book ever written', and Luke's as 'the most beautiful book ever written'. Mark's Gospel might with truth be called 'the most concise book ever written', and John's 'the most heavenly book ever written'.

Matthew—Messiah, Israel's King, sets forth, by Israel slain;
But God decreed that Israel's loss should be the Gentiles' gain.
Mark tells us how in patient love this earth has once been trod
By One Who, in a Servant's form, was yet the Son of God.
Luke, the physician, writes of a more skilled Physician still
Who gave Himself, as Son of Man, to save us from all ill.
John, the beloved of Jesus, sees in Him the Father's Son,
The everlasting Word made flesh, yet with the Father One.

(Matt. 1. 1; Mark 1. 1; 10. 45; Luke 19. 10; John 1. 1; 20. 31)

Simplicity of the Gospel

O how unlike the complex works of man
Heaven's easy, artless unencumbered plan!
No meretricious graces to beguile,
No clustering ornaments to clog the pile;
From ostentation, as from weakness, free,
It stands, like the cerulean arch we see,
Majestic in its own simplicity.
Inscribed above the portal from afar,
Conspicuous as the brightness of a star,
Legible only by the light they give,
Stand the soul-quickening words, 'Believe and live.'
Too many, shocked at what should charm them most,
Despise the plain direction and are lost.—William Cowper

(John 3. 16; Rom. 1. 16; Eph. 2. 8-9)

O worthy gift of heavenly love to man!
Blessed exposition of salvation's plan!
By truth confirmed through each important line
A revelation of the Will divine!
The rule to which our stubborn hearts should bend,
The rich man's monitor, the poor man's friend!
The good man's trust, the scoffer's secret dread!
A song of peace to sooth death's fearful bed,
Of peace from God, long tempted, oft denied,
To man the contrite, humble child of pride!—H. Selwyn

A prominent minister in New York said to me some time ago, "I have a very large audience, but they are all Christians. I can't get the worldly people to come in and listen to me. I hear that a good many worldly people come to hear you. You must preach some very strange things. What did you preach about yesterday?" "Well," I replied, "I preached yesterday morning on, "Seek ye the Lord while He may be found"; and in the evening I preached about "Strive to enter in at the strait gate." Said he, "Is that all?" "Yes," I replied, "that is all."—Talmadge

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