Conscience Sermon Illustrations

Conscience Sermon Illustrations

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A Modern Zacchaeus

Just a few days ago I read of two men who struck up an acquaintance while traveling on the railroad. One said to the other: "I have been to Chicago to collect some `conscience money.' A good many years ago I made an invention; it was stolen from me by some Chicago people. I spent much money in trying to get my rights and did not get them. A week ago I received a letter from a house in Chicago, which bad been manufacturing and selling my invention, saying that they had something for me. I made a trip to Chicago. When I named the amount I would take to settle the account, the gentleman who had been converted turned to the cashier and said, `Make out the check for so much,' a sum just four times the amount I had named. The check was certified and I now have it in my pocket."—Sunday School Times.

To refuse to hearken to the "inner voice" when it urges obedience to the Divine will and Word is a dangerous proceeding. Well has someone written:

"Goodbye," said I to my conscience,
"Goodbye for aye and aye,"
As I pushed her from me roughly
And turned my face away;
And conscience smitten sorely
Returned not from that day.
But a time came when my spirit
Grew weary of its pace:
And I cried, "Come back, my conscience,
For I long to see thy face."
But conscience said, "I cannot,
Remorse sits in my place."Selected.

A Guilty Conscience

Some few years ago in the state of Washington a horrible murder was committed. A hitch-hiker murdered a young man who had given him a ride. The body was found, but no trace of the murderer. Several years went by; and one evening in the state of Missouri a man was coming home from work, carrying his lunch box in his hand. At the door of his home a young wife awaited him. They had been married about two years, and a little boy had been given to them. But before reaching his door, a man stepped out of the shadows, placed his hand on his shoulder, and arrested him for the murder in Washington. He immediately dropped his lunch box, saying, "I'm glad it's all over! I've lived in hell for three years." He then told how he had killed the young fellow and had carried the corpse by his side in the car for many miles looking for a convenient place to hide it. But he said, "Every time I looked at that body, I saw those dead eyes staring at me. And for three years, night and day, they have been staring at me." If a sinner could go to heaven with a burdened conscience like that, even heaven would be hell to him. But, thank God, no one will ever be in heaven with a guilty conscience. God not only forgives the repentant sinner, but He cleanses "from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).—The Gospel Herald.

What would you think of a ship's captain who, sailing off a dangerous coast, saw suddenly through the clouds and the mist the flash of a lighthouse but, instead of at once altering his course, decided to go on a little farther and wait for a second or a third flash? He would be guilly, you say, of criminal folly and carelessness. Yet as the captain and master of your own soul, do you not often act as foolishly as the captain of that ship? Do not tamper with your conscience. Do not lightly dismiss, as only an inherited prejudice, the distinction which it makes between good and evil. Muffle not that warning bell. If it kept you awake last night, thank God that even if you did sin, at least your conscience condemned you for your transgression—and the Spirit has not departed from you!

In his book on 'Conscience', Thomas Baird deals with several kinds of conscience mentioned in the Word of God—the natural conscience (Rom. 2. 15), a defiled conscience (Tit. 1. 15), an evil conscience (Heb. 10. 22), a convicting conscience (John 8. 9), a purged conscience (Heb. 9. 14), a pacified conscience (Heb. 10. 2), a good conscience (1 Pet. 3. 16), an answering conscience (1 Pet. 3. 21), a pure conscience (2 Tim. 1. 3), a witnessing conscience (Rom. 9. 1), and a conscience void of offence (Acts 24. 16) among others. He quotes the following lines by a colored poet, Paul Lawrence Dunbar:

I said good-by to my Conscience,
Good-by foraye and aye;
And I pushed her hands off harshly
And turned my face away.
And Conscience, sorely wounded,
Returned not from that day.

But the time came when my spirit
Grew weary of its pace;
And I said 'Come back' to Conscience,
'For I long to see thy face.'
But Conscience said, 'I cannot,
Remorse is in my place.'

A Canker Conscience

When ranting round in Pleasure's ring
Religion may be blinded:
Or if she get a random sting,
It may be little minded.
But when on life we're tempest-driven,
A conscience but a canker,
A correspondence fixed in Heaven
Is sure d noble anchor.—Robert Burns (Acts 24. 16)

Friend or Foe

Oh, Conscience! Conscience! man's most faithful friend,
Him thou canst comfort, ease, relieve, defend;
But if he will thy friendly checks forego,
Thou art, oh! woe for me, his deadliest foe!—Crabbe—Struggles of Conscience

(Rom. 2. 15)

Conscience has been compared to a clock, and the law of God to the sun. The clock is right only when it keeps time with the sun. And so it is with the conscience. It is a safe guide only when it is directed by the commandment of the Lord.—F. W. Richardson

Quick as the apple of an eye,
O God, my conscience make!
Awake my soul when sin is nigh,
And keep it still awake.

Oh, may the least omission pain
My well-instructed soul;
And drive me to the blood again,
Which makes the wounded whole!—Wesley

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