Conversion Sermon Illustrations

Conversion Sermon Illustrations

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When the great Dr. B. H. Carroll, preacher of power, statesman of wisdom, patriot of courage, founder of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, was converted, he prayed this prayer:

Write thy name on my head
that I may think for thee;

Write thy name on my lips
that I may speak for thee;

Write thy name on my feet
that I may walk with and for thee;

Write thy name on my hands
that I may work with and for thee;

Write thy name on my ears
that I may listen for thee;

Write thy name on my heart
that I may love thee;

Write thy name on my shoulders
that I may hear loads for thee;

Write thy name on my eyes
that I may see for thee;

Write thy name all over me
that I may be wholly thine—always and everywhere.

What wonders for the good of humanity and the glory of God if all of us who have had the born-again experience would earnestly, penitently, humbly pray that prayer.

The Two Natures

"The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other" (Gal. 5:17).

An American Indian was giving his testimony in a gathering of Christian members of his tribe. He told of his conversion and of how in the beginning he felt as though he would never sin again; he was so happy in knowing His Saviour. But, he explained, as time went on he became conscious of an inward conflict, which he described somewhat as follows :

"It seems, my brothers, that I have two dogs fighting in my heart: one is a very good dog, a beautiful white dog, and he is always watching out for my best interests. The other is a very bad dog, a black dog, who is always trying to destroy the things that I want to see built up. These dogs give me a lot of trouble because they are always quarreling and fighting with each other."

One of his hearers looked up and asked laconically, "Which one wins?" The other instantly replied, "Whichever one I say 'Sic 'im' to."

Surely there could not be a more apt illustration of the two natures in the believer. "If we walk in the Spirit we shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh." But if we pander to the flesh, we will be certain to go down in defeat.

On Top of the Beer Barrel

"What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death" (Rom. 6:21).

Many years ago, when I was a young Salvation Army officer, it was my privilege to participate in a most unique service at a wide street intersection in the heart of the city of San Diego, California.

We had among our adherents a lovely Christian girl, who was saved out of a very ungodly family. Her father was a saloonkeeper and, while kind to his family and in many respects an admirable character, he had no use for "religion," as he called it, nor for the church. But, through the consistent life of his daughter, he was at last awakened to see his need of a Saviour. He realized that she had something of which he knew nothing, and one night we were all surprised to see him in our audience.

At the close of the service, he came forward, weeping, to confess his sins and seek Christ as his Saviour. We pointed him to the Lord and before the meeting closed, he was rejoicing in the knowledge of sins forgiven.

At once he was faced with the fact that the business in which he was engaged was utterly inconsistent with the Christian life. Some suggested that he should sell out and put the proceeds into some other business. He indignantly spurned the suggestion. Realizing that the saloon was a detriment to humanity, he said he could not, since he had accepted Christ as his Saviour and his Lord, allow himself to profit in any way from the stock of what he afterwards called "liquid damnation." Instead of this, he went to the city authorities and got a permit for what some might have thought was a rather fantastic service.

At the intersection of four streets, near his saloon, he rolled out all the beer barrels and made of them quite a pyramid. The Salvation Army surrounded this rather remarkable spectacle and with band playing and Salvationists singing, soon attracted an immense crowd. The converted saloonkeeper had boxes full of liquor piled up by the pyramid, to the top of which he climbed. "Praise God," he exclaimed as he began his testimony, "I am on top of the beer barrel. For years I used to be under its power, but now I can preach on its head." Then he told. the story of his own conversion and pleaded with sinners to come to his Saviour.

As the liquor bottles were passed up to him, he broke them and spilled their contents over the barrels. Then descending, he set fire to the whole pyramid which went up in a great blaze as the song of the Lord continued. What a remarkable testimony to the power of the gospel of Christ to completely change a life! No longer a saloon­keeper, our friend went into a legitimate business, where his life was a bright testimony to the reality of God's salvation.

A zealous church member in a Kentucky village made an earnest effort to convert a particularly vicious old mountaineer named Jim, who was locally notorious for his godlessness. But the old man was hard-headed and stubborn, firmly rooted in his evil courses, so that he resisted the pious efforts in his behalf.

"Jim," the exhorter questioned sadly at last, "ain't you teched by the story of the Lord what died to save yer soul?"

"Humph!" Jim retorted contemptuously. "Air ye aimin' to tell me the Lord died to save me, when He ain't never seed me, ner knowed me?"

"Jim," the missionary explained with fervor, "it was a darn sight easier for the Lord to die fer ye jest because He never seed ye than if He knowed ye as well as we-alls do!"

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