Heaven Sermon Illustrations

Heaven Sermon Illustrations

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"A Great Longing"

A consignment of sheep had been sent from Scotland to Australia. The ship contained not only the sheep but a supply of hay for their food. Just before reaching Australia, the sheep refused to eat. At the same time a dense fog covered the waters and for two days the ship was obliged to stop. The sheep paid no attention to their food and the owner feared that he was about to lose them. Then the fog lifted and before them were the green fields of Australia. The sheep had smelled the succulent pasture in the land not far distant, and it made them lose all appetite for the dried hay.

Aged sheep of God who read these lines, I wonder if it isn't that way with you. The pasturage of this earthly life eventually loses its appeal and in your heart is a great longing for the green fields on the farther Shore.—Benedicte, in The United Presbyterian.

The Sweetest Verse in the Bible

A young Christian, at the deathbed of an aged saint, said to him, "Shall I read to you the sweetest verse in the Bible?" "Yes," was the reply. The young man read the verse in John 14: "In My Father's House are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you." "No," said the dying saint, "that is not the sweetest verse. Read on." The young man read on: "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." "That is the sweetest," said the dying man. "It is not the mansions—it is Himself I want."—Messenger of Peace.

What Kind of Entrance?

In a vision I saw a couple approaching the end of the journey of life. In front of them was a dark, narrow chasm, a grave, their guide called it. On this side of it was a great scrap heap marked "junk." Just on the other side of this chasm was a gate of glistening pearl. Reluctantly and sadly the couple approached. He was lugging along many bonds and deeds and a bag of gold. She had an accumulation of silks and laces, and clasped her jewel case tightly to her heart. "What is that stuff to which you are holding on so tightly?" asked the guide. "Stuff?" they said, "this is the fine wealth of earth. We have spent our lives accumulating this." "Well," said the guide, "that sort of stuff does not pass up here; just throw it all on that junk pile there." "Oh! surely not our gold and jewels!" exclaimed the couple. Quietly the guide answered, "As for the gold, our streets are paved with that, and as for those few tiny jewels, we use that kind for the foundation of our city. What we value up here is souls."

And so the couple passed in, "saved as if by fire," with that which represented all their life effort lying outside on the scrap heap. Then I understood the meaning of Rev. 18:17: "For in one hour so great riches is come to nought."

Just then another couple approached the end of the journey. They came with less reluctance and with a much lighter load. With no sign of regret they laid on the scrap heap the things of earth they would no longer need. Their eyes were turned, with eager expectancy, toward the gates of pearl and the Treasury City beyond. I saw the gates swing open and heard the joy bells of heaven begin to ring. Amazed and joyfully bewildered, they stood amidst the crowd at the gate, waiting and watching for them, and singing, "Welcome Home." Some whom they had never seen before took them by the hand and said, "Next to the dear Saviour, you are our best friends." Then were the newcomers amazed, and said, "How can this be, since we have never even known each other before?" And some made answer, "Why, we were in far-away heathen lands, but messengers came to us bringing the good news of salvation, and that is why we are here; and since we came God has looked over His account books and told us that you sent the messengers to us. So, since it was announced in the city this morning that you were coming, this crowd of those whom you won to Him have been assembling to greet you!" And then, with hearts aglow with joy more rapturous than earth can know, they thought back to the times down in the little earthly home when, after talking it over, they had invested the money they could spare that year in missions; and so he had worn the old overcoat another winter and she had freshened up last season's hat and done without the new shoes a bit longer. And then, oh! then, the Saviour's own face beamed upon them, and He was saying, "Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things!" And then I understood the meaning of "an abundant entrance!"—Baptist S. S. Board.

In the Poor House—But a King's Daughter

While a student, I preached in the town of Geneseo, New York. One of my appointments was the Sunday service at the County Farm. There was in the institution at that time a brave little old lady who had once lived in an atmosphere of culture and security. But misfortune came her way and she was spending her sunset years in the County Home.... While I was chaplain at the institution, the doctors told her she was fatally sick and was not far from the end of the trail. So she sent for me and said, "I have just one request. When it is over, I want somebody to sing at the last service, `I'm the Child of a King.'" I shall never forget the day we laid her to rest.... All was drab and drear and disconsolate, and then a transfiguration took place. A deep, rich contralto voice was singing over the pine box : "I'm the child of a King! I'm the child of a King!" And she was! She was the child of a King, and had moved out of a poor house into her Father's house of "many mansions."—From a tract published by the Christian Publishing Society.

Nearing Home

The story is told of an old Omaha chief who had ruled his tribe with wisdom and justice for many years, now blind, and the victim of an incurable disease, and quietly awaiting death.

"Why are you content?" asked an officer. "Pain and old age are not good things." The aged chief was silent a while before answering, according to the Indian habit when a grave question is discussed, and then said:

"The fish that is spawned here in this little creek will go down the Mississippi to the great gulf, but in the spring it will find its way back—back to its native waters.

"The bird that builds its nest on the tree near my wigwam in the summer, leaves it when winter is coming and travels thousands of miles to the southward; but in the spring it will come back across mountains to that very nest.

"How do such creatures know the way? They have no map, no guide. The Great Spirit puts something in their hearts to draw them back to their homes. And He has not forgotten to put something in each man's heart that draws him, draws him all his life long, up to his Home. I am coming near to mine. Shall I not be glad?"Herald of Light.

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