Judgment Sermon Illustrations

Judgment Sermon Illustrations

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When God Strikes

A Christian physician was once obliged to take refuge from an approaching storm in a grocery store which also contained a grog shop. Two drunken men were present, and as the lightning flashed, they poured forth such a volley of fearful oaths that finally the store­keeper said, "Gentlemen, I am no Christian, but I want to say that your awful cursing is too much for me. God will strike you dead right here with a stroke of lightning if you do not hush your blas­phemous oaths." The leader of the two rolled up his sleeves, went to the door. cursed God, and defied Him. At that moment a blinding flash of lightning descended with a flame of fire. Quickly the light was gone and only smoke remained. In a moment that, too, had disappeared, and there lay God's defier in a heap, just as an empty garment when let loose would fall. The physician helped to lay the man out, and he said he did not believe there was a bone two inches long left unbroken in his body.—Sunday School Times.

When God Was Defied

Let the Evangelical Christian record the story of the quake that totally destroyed the flourishing and extraordi­narily beautiful city of Messina, Italy. In the early morning of December 28, 1908, the trembler struck, and 84,000 human beings died. We read: "Only a few hours before that devastating earthquake which laid Messina and the surrounding districts in ruins, the unspeakably wicked and irreligious condition of some of the inhabitants was expressed in a series of violent resolutions which were passed against all religious principles, while the journal Il Telefono, printed in Messina, actually published in its Christmas number an abominable parody, daring the Almighty to make Himself known by sending an earthquake! And in three days the earthquake came!"—Louis S. Baumann, D.D., in the Sunday School Times.

Snap judgment has a way of coming unfastened.

While on a walk one day, I was surprised to see a man hoeing his garden while sitting in a chair. "What laziness!" I thought. But suddenly I saw, leaning against his chair, a pair of crutches. The man was at work despite his handicap. The lesson I learned about snap judgments that day has stayed with me for years now: the crosses people bear are seldom in plain sight.—Annette Ashe, Guideposts

A young minister of the Gospel was confronted—as the congregation expected—with an able young skeptic, Burt Olney. At the close of the first service Olney said, 'You did well, but, you know, I don't believe in the infallibility of the Bible.' It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment,' was the young man's calm assertion.

'I can prove to you there is no such thing as a judgment after death,' declared the skeptic.

'But men do die,' the young preacher declared, 'for it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.'

'But that's no argument,' the skeptic pro­tested. 'Let's get down to business and discuss this matter in regular argument form.'

The minister shook his head. 'I am here to preach the Word of God and not to argue over it.'

Olney, annoyed, turned away with the remark, 'I don't believe you know enough about the Bible to argue about it.'

`Perhaps you are right,' was the calm rejoinder, 'but please remember this—"It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment".'

The very tree-toads Olney heard on the way home sang the verse, and the stream he crossed, and the frogs seemed to croak, 'Judgment, judgment, judgment.'

The next morning he called at the parsonage. `I've come to see you about that verse of Scripture you gave me last night,' he said. `I've spent a terrible night with those words burning their way into me. I can't get rid of them. Tell me what I must do to be saved. I've got to get rid of this torture.'

When he left, he was a child of God through faith in the finished work of Christ.

(Heb. 9. 27, 28 ; John 5. 24)

The world is grown old, and her pleasures are past;
The world is grown old, and her form may not last;
The world is grown old and trembles for fear,
For sorrows abound and judgment is near.

The sun in the Heaven is languid and pale;
And feeble and few are the fruits of the vale;
And the hearts of the nations fail them for fear,
For the world is grown old and judgment is near.

The king on the throne, the bride in her bower,
The children of pleasure all feel the sad hour;
The roses are faded, and tasteless the cheer,
For the world is grown old and judgment is near.

The world is grown old! But should we complain
Who have tried her and know that her promise is vain?
Our heart is in Heaven; our Home is not here,
And we look for our crown when judgment is near.—Reginald Heber

(Acts 24. 25; Rom. 2. 2, 3; 1 Tim. 5.24; 2 Tim. 4. 1 ; Jude 6, 15)

The most horrifying thing on the Western plains is the dreaded prairie fire. Until the fall rains set in, the dry scorching summer months are spent in fear and suspense. Every suggestion of haze or smoke is intensely watched. But, when once fired and swept by a breeze, its speed strikes terror to man and beast as it unmercifully consumes all in its way. Many, powerless to escape, have perished, and their farms been reduced to ashes.

Others, with presence of mind, seeing their danger, have resorted to one way of escape and have been saved by it. They have stooped and fired the long dry grass at their feet, and then, as soon as the blaze had burned off a space, taken refuge by standing where the fire had been. Thus, in time, they were saved from the oncoming devouring flames. Of course, it is no time to trifle, but a case of life or certain death.

Yet more solemn and terrifying will be the coming wrath and judgment of God upon this world that has crucified, and ignored the grace of, His beloved Son. It is 'reserved unto fire against the day of judgment' (2 Pet. 3. 7).

But thanks be unto our gracious God who has provided a place of safety where the fire has already been. On Calvary's cross Christ was, as it were, enveloped in the 'fire' of God's righteous judgement to save the trembling sinner that has fled to Him for refuge (Heb. 6. 18).

(1 Pet. 3. 18; 2 Pet. 3. 9, 10)

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