Forgiveness Sermon Illustrations

Forgiveness Sermon Illustrations

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What He Got Out of It

All the workers in our Egyptian mission are proud of the answer of a young Mohammedan who became a Christian. His former friends were beating him, and said, "What have you got out of it?" He replied, "I can forgive."—Christian Union Herald.

Better Not Get Your Rights

Many years ago as a little fellow I attended a meeting in Toronto where some difficulty had come up between brethren and they did as the apostle suggests. My dear mother took me along. "Little pitchers have big ears," and I well remember how horrified I was to see men I esteemed and had been taught to respect apparently so indignant with each other. I can remember one man springing to his feet and with clenched fists saying, "I will put up with a good deal, but one thing I will not put up with, I will not allow you to put anything over on me; I will have my rights !" An old Scotsman who was rather hard of hear­ing leaned forward holding his ear and said, "What was that, brother? I did not get that !" "I say, I will have my rights," said the man. "But you did not mean that; did you? Your rights? If you had your rights, you would be in hell; wouldn't you? And you are forget­ting—aren't you?—that Jesus did not come to get His rights; He came to get His wrongs, and He got them." I can still see that man standing there for a moment like one transfixed, and then the tears broke from his eyes and he said, "Brethren, I have been all wrong. Handle the case as you think best," and he sat down and put his face in his hands and sobbed before the Lord, and everything was settled in three minutes.—Dr. H. A. Ironside, in Addresses on First Corinthians.

The Heathen Father's Welcome

T. R. Stevenson, of Shanghai, says a wealthy merchant of Canton had two sons, the elder a dissipated youth who companied with thieves and gamblers, and was driven from home after wasting his share of the patrimony. Reduced to beggary, he joined a band of robbers who entered his father's house and stole his chest of money. His crime was discovered, and his father sent a trusty to tell him that on the promise of a better life he would be forgiven, and might return. The servant found him in penury, and advised him that the time to reform was now or never. He relented and went to his father's house, and was received with every mark of joy, even a banquet being prepared to celebrate the reconciliation, but the dish set before him was poisoned, and that night he died in agony. Nothing was done to call the father to account, as in Chinese law the son is the father's chattel to do with as he will. To such our missionaries are teaching the truth of Luke 15—Selected.

A Forgiving Spirit

God's infinite mercy and patience with each of us should lead us to be "kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another." If we see defects and failings in one another, it is well to remember that God sees more in us, for He looks on the heart. If He can "put up" with the shortcomings of certain of His servants, surely we ought to, for we are sinners likewise. If our love for Him grows cold, and the chilling, deadening effect of a harsh and bitter spirit spreads through our hearts, it is almost certain that we have forgotten how much He has forgiven us. The debtor who loved the most was the one to whom most had been forgiven (Luke 7:42). Thinking of His goodness in forgiving us, for Christ's sake, raises a song in the heart,—

A song of a sinner forgiven,
And a song that is music to Thee;
A song of a pilgrim to Heaven,
Yes, a song from a sinner like me! —S. Trevor Francis.

No Will but IIl Will

A woman who had been bitten by a dog was advised by her physician to write her last wishes, as she might succumb to hydrophobia. She spent so long a time with the pencil and paper that the doctor finally remarked something about how long the will would be. "Will!" she snorted. "I'm writing a list of the people I'm going to bite!"The Reader's Digest.

The Duke of Wellington was about to pronounce the death sentence on a confirmed deserter. Deeply moved, the great General said, 'I am extremely sorry to pass this severe sentence, but we have tried everything, and all the discipline and penalties have failed to improve this man who is otherwise a brave and good soldier.'

Then he gave the man's comrades an opportunity to speak for him. 'Please, your Excellency,' said one of the men, `there is one thing you have never tried. You have not tried forgiving him.' The General forgave him and it worked: the soldier never again deserted and ever after showed his gratitude to the Iron Duke.

(Ps. 103. 2; Luke 7. 47, 48; Eph. 1. 7).

Absolute Forgiveness

A Christian doctor in Scotland was very lenient with his poor patients, and when he found that it was difficult for them to pay his fees he wrote in red ink across the record of their indebtedness the one word—`Forgiven'. This was of such frequent occurrence that his case book had few pages where the red letters did not appear. After his death his executors thought the doctor's estate would be greatly benefited if some of the `Forgiven' debts could be collected. After unsuccessful applications to the poor patients, the executors took legal proceedings to recover the amounts. But when the judge examined the case book and saw the word `Forgiven' cancelling the entry, he said, 'There is no tribunal in the land that could enforce payment of these accounts marked `Forgiven'; and he dismissed the case.—Indian Christian

(Luke 7. 48-50; Acts 13. 38, 39).

Forgiveness from the Crucified Savior

In an Oxfordshire village an old saint lay dying. For over eighty years she had been on pilgrimage to Zion, until her face had grown bright with Heaven's approaching glory. An Anglo-Catholic priest, under the misappre­hension that none of his parishioners could find access to the City unless he unlocked the gate, called to visit her. 'Madam,' he said, 'I have come to grant you absolution.' And she, in her simplicity, not knowing what the word meant, inquired, 'What is that?' I have come to forgive your sins,' was the reply. 'May I look at your hand?' she answered. Gazing for a moment at the hand of the priest, she said, `Sir, you are an impostor.' Impostor!' the scandalized cleric protested. 'Yes, sir, an impostor. The Man Who forgives my sins has a nail print in his hand.'—R. Moffat Gautrey

(Mark 2. 5-7; Matt. 26. 28; 1 Cor. 11. 24).

Forgiveness for the Penitent

A Russian prince, through the prerogative of Napoleon, was permitted to bring pardon to one convict in a French prison. Every person he interviewed professed innocence and said he was unjustly punished. At last he found one who with sorrow confessed his guilt and acknowledged himself deserving of the punishment. To him he said, 'I have brought you pardon. In the name of the Emperor I pronounce you a free man.'

(Acts 10. 43; Col. 1. 14).

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