Example Sermon Illustrations

Example Sermon Illustrations

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He could not see Jesus for the press, we are told. The crowd was in the way. They were between him and Jesus and he was not tall enough to see over them. Their bodies obstructed his view and prevented him from seeing Jesus. I wonder if the same thing is not true today, if some who claim to know Christ are not in the way of others' seeing

Him? Our bodies may not keep anybody from seeing Jesus, but our lives can and sometimes do. People cannot see Jesus because our lives are in the way. When you hear a person of the world say, "If that is Christianity, I don't want it," some professed Christian's life has come between that person and the Saviour. Is your life and mine a stumbling block that keeps someone else from Christ? A blind man went about with a lantern on his arm. Someone asked him why he carried the lantern inasmuch as he was blind. He replied, "To keep other people from stumbling over me." That is something to think about.—The Gospel Herald.

"On and Off"

Gypsy Smith once asked a man in an after meeting, "Are you a Christian?" "Yes." "How long have you been a Christian?" "Twenty-eight years, on and off." "More off than on, I guess," replied Gypsy Smith. I would rather be "out and out" than "on and off."

The "out and out" Christians are the only ones whose lives adorn the doctrine of Christ.—The Gospel Herald.

God Revealed in Human Flesh Today

"I have never seen Jesus, but I have seen Dr. Shepard," was the remark of a poor Armenian, who had seen the Christ-like service of that great medical missionary to the Near East.

This utterance expresses one great Christian truth: Christ continues to reveal God through the lives of His followers.

A missionary in China once told of Jesus for the first time to a group of people in an inland town. When he had finished someone said:

"Oh, yes, we knew Him; He used to live here."

Somewhat surprised, the missionary said, "No, He lived centuries ago in another land."

The man still insisted that he had seen Jesus, saying, "Not so, He lived in this village, and we knew Him." Whereupon the crowd conducted the missionary to the village cemetery and showed him the grave of a medical missionary who had lived, served, healed and died in that community.

Christ's spirit taketh breath again
Within the lives of holy men.
Each changing age beholds afresh
Its Word of God in human flesh. Missionary Review.

Is Such a Life Possible?

A story is told of a minister who had preached a powerful message on the surrendered life; and as he made an appeal to his hearers to make the surrender, a woman sitting near another woman said: "That is excellent preaching, but I wonder if such a life is possible?" The other woman smiled back at her and said: "Well, I know the preacher lives such a life, because I happen to be his wife." The Gospel Herald.

"I've Been Watching You"

A group of women were talking together before missionary meeting started. The subject they were deeply concerned over was how they could get their husbands to come to church and really follow the Lord. An elderly woman spoke up—"I don't often tell this," she said, "but I will today because it may encourage you ladies not to give up but to pray and work on for your husbands' salvation."

"For a good many years I went to church alone. My husband was good enough to take me, but he always left me at the front door of the church and then drove home again. Sometimes I felt very concerned because he would never come in, but when I'd tell the Lord all about it He would tell me to keep on trusting and to live the Gospel before him. As I put up my husband's lunch one day I put my Sunday School paper over the top of his lunch knowing that in his lunch hour he'd read it, asking God to help him. Sure enough, at night he asked me where I had gotten that paper from and I told him it was my Sunday School paper. `Say,' he said, `that certainly has some good stories in it—put one in every day, will you?' So while I continued to pray and obey God He prepared my husband's heart.

"One day at the close of a Sunday service we were asked to bow our heads in prayer and an invitation was given. When I raised my head there was my husband at the front kneeling. When we got home I said to him, `Husband, how did you happen to come in church tonight?' `Well, wife,' he replied, `I've been watching you for a long time now and I saw you had something that I didn't have. When I heard the singing inside something drew me into the church and I took a back seat. When the minister asked if there were any who would like to give their hearts to Jesus. I decided that I wanted your Saviour, too.'

"You can't imagine how surprised and happy I felt, ladies," she said, "but it was well worth my every effort and prayer. I have often thought what if I had gotten discouraged and given up. My husband's salvation depended on his seeing Jesus in me."

Someone is watching you and me.
Are we living the Gospel
That they might see
The spirit and message of Calvary? —Margaret Bogart.

Preaching vs. Practicing

"Johnny, you take those marbles back to Willie Jones," said his mother. "You know I have told you about playing marbles for `keeps'; you think you won them, but that is wrong; you go right back and give them to the boy from whom you took them."

"Yes, Mama," said Johnny dutifully, "and shall I take back the painted vase you won at Mrs. Jones's bridge party?" Cheeky boy, fresh, and needs spanking! Yes, but Johnny brought out what most of us know; it is a whole lot easier to preach than it is to practice.—Charles Forbes Taylor, in Christ for Me.


Orthopraxy is living straight. Orthodoxy is thinking straight. The two do not at all times coincide. Some think straight, but do not live straight. Others live straight, but do not think straight. Because these generalizations are true, some emphases declare that it does not matter about one's doctrine if his conduct conforms to the standards of right. But why the emphasis upon one to the neglect of the other? Why not insist upon both at the same time—correct thinking and correct living? Why the folly of substituting the one for the other? John Wesley is reported to have said, "We may be as orthodox as the devil and as wicked."—Selected.

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