Forgiveness Sermon Illustrations

Forgiveness Sermon Illustrations

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When We Are Robbed

A few days after my conversion I got a job with a New York contracting company, as a common laborer. Pay-day came. My earnings amounted to thirty-five dollars for a week, and at the close of the day I returned to the Mission very happy. Had I not reason to be happy? It was the first money in years that would not be gambled away; and I felt that now I was able to accept my responsibilities as a husband and father. I prepared to clean up a little before going to the post office (to send the money to his wife), but before I could do so that very first pay was stolen! It would be difficult even to attempt to express my feelings. It was bitter disappointment; it almost caused me to throw everything to the winds... And then an arm was placed around my shoulder. It was the superintendent of the Mission. He said, "I want you to do something for me." I am afraid I turned to him rather roughly as I asked, "Well, what is it?" He replied, "I want you to pray for the man who stole your money." His words almost took my breath away. I thought that was adding insult to injury as my thoughts were anything but to pray for the man; and yet after a few moments, I was on my knees praying for that very man whose act had caused me such bitter disappointment.—Bible Today.


An old Puritan had many enemies because of his faithful stand in reproving sin. Many abusive letters were sent him, all of which he tied up in a packet and wrote on the cover, "Libels. Father, forgive them." And it was his ambition to say: "I do not know of any person in the world who has done me any ill office but I have done him a good one for it." And in the days of the saintly martyr Cranmer it passed into a byword in England, "Do my Lord of Canterbury an ill turn and you make him your friend forever."—R. H. Bennett.

What Took Away the Bitterness

A poor stonemason in China was robbed by a highwayman and struck on the knee. His knee became infected. After months it healed, but his leg was then doubled up and so stiff that he could not use it. While he was in a Christian hospital where his leg was gradually restored, his neighbors looted his fields and robbed his father. He was yearning to get well to take revenge on his assailant, and now he was even more impatient to get well that he might take it out on his neighbors. But gradually a change came over him, and when he went away, healed and strong, and I was telling him to forgive them as Christ had forgiven him, he said: "Don't you worry. As soon as ever I understood what Christ had done for me, all the bitterness and enmity went out of my heart, and now I don't want to hurt them anymore." He took home Gospels and tracts, and came back to tell me how happy he was: all his affairs were prospering, and his family and neighbors becoming interested in the truth. He was a great, big, strong fellow who would have plunged into a lifelong feud, but for the Saviour; and he is now heaping coals of fire on the heads of his enemies by evangelizing them.—The Earnest Worker.

Pardon for Nothing

A few days since, while visiting an old man who seemed anxious about salvation, I found great difficulty in making him understand that pardon is the free gift of God, through the precious Blood of Christ.

At last I said to him:

"Now, suppose I were to go to a shop and buy something for you, and pay for it, and tell you to go and fetch it: need you take any money with you?"

"No," said the old man, brightening up; "it would be paid for."

"Need you make any promise to pay at some future time?" I then asked.

"No," he replied; "I should have it for nothing."

"So," I continued, "is it with forgiveness of sins. The Lord Jesus has paid the full price of it. He has had the wrath, the pain, the punishment; yea, all that sin deserved. He bore it all. He paid the whole. Yes, bought forgiveness with His precious Blood, and now He gives it as a gift to all who bring their sins to Him."

"Yes," said the old man, as his eyes filled with tears, "I see it now; it is pardon for nothing! Pardon for nothing! Christ has bought it, and He will give it me."—Scattered Seed.

Not Dependent on Feelings

Someone asked Luther, "Do you feel
That you have been forgiven?"
He answered, "No, but I'm as sure
As there's a God in Heaven.
For feelings come, and feelings go,
And feelings are deceiving.
My warrant is the Word of God,
Naught else is worth believing."Alliance Weekly.

More Than Forgiveness

My father was fatally ill, and as I watched the precious life ebbing away, I was overcome with remorse at the thought that I must often have grieved that loving heart with my careless ingratitude and thoughtless disobedience. Penitently I begged his forgiveness for my wrongdoings in the past. With a look of ineffable love in his pain-dimmed eyes, he said, "I can't remember that you ever did anything wrong." I had expected instant forgiveness, but was not prepared for the full measure of pardon which I received. He could not remember my wrongs because of his great love for me. How like the Heavenly Father's love for us all! "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more" (Heb. 8:12).—From a personal experience, in Sunday School Times.

Is It Keeping Us From Christ?

One afternoon at Cleveland, after Mr. Moody had been speaking, he brought me to a lady to show her the way of life. I had been speaking to her trying this and that passage to see what was in the way of her accepting Christ, when suddenly I turned to her and said, "Is there somebody you cannot forgive?" She looked quickly at me, and said, "Who told you?" I said, "Nobody told me, and I have never seen you before tonight." That was her trouble, and that is the trouble with some of you. Someone has done you an injury, or you think he has, and you will not come to Jesus Christ because you want to cherish this bitter grudge in your heart.—Dr. R. A. Torrey, in Revival Addresses.

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