Invitation Sermon Illustrations

Invitation Sermon Illustrations

I was in residence at the London Hospital as house-physician when Moody and Sankey were holding their services in a large building erected for the purpose at Stratford. Sitting in the crowded hall one afternoon, I found at the close of the service that immediately in front of me was a disguissed-looking man who did not move when the rest went out. The choir was softly singing on the platform what I fear I must describe as doggerel, being an endless repetition of the words:

Come to Jesus! come to Jesus! come to Jesus just now!
Just now, come to Jesus! come to Jesus just now!

I leaned over and asked my neighbor how he liked the address. He turned round and said, 'Excuse me, sir, it was very powerful; but as my feelings are slightly agitated I would rather not say any more. I don't wish to speak at present'. And there he sat a little longer, while the choir still kept crooning the same endless invitation.

How little we really see with our eyes! All the greatest things elude us, or are only dimly perceived by the finer vision of the spirit. Anyhow, I was quite unconscious of the divine drama which was being enacted on that wooden form in front of me in that somewhat squalid building that afternoon. 'Well!' I replied, 'here is my address, and if at any time you would care for a chat, come and see me at the hospital.'

Three days after, the card of a city solicitor was brought up to my room, and as he entered I recognized my neighbor at Moody and Sankey's, though he was completely changed. His face had wholly lost its heavy and dull look, and was animated and sparkling with joy.

'Dr. Schofield,' he exclaimed, as he held out his hand, 'I cannot stop away. I must tell you my joy. Do you know, sir, my sins are all forgiven? Do you know that I, a respectable lawyer, have the greatest difficulty in not telling every one of the great change come over me?'

'I suppose it was at Moody and Sankey's service,' I asked.

'It was,' he replied, 'but it wasn't the address.' I looked surprised. 'Nor it wasn't what you said to me,' he added. 'The fact is, I am very fond of choral singing and am a member of the Temple Church where I hear some of the finest singing in the world.'

'I'm afraid Moody and Sankey's choir was hardly up to your standard.'

'Well, no, it wasn't,' he replied, 'but it has done more for me than any other choir in the world.'

'Tell me,' I said.

'While you were talking, I was listening to that choir. You know how it kept at it—"Come to Jesus! Come to Jesus!" Well, the first fifty times I didn't mind, but when it kept on unceasingly, and after I had heard it about a hundred times, I began to think. And as it still went on I realized the truth of the Savior's words, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11. 28). I thought I had better come. So I took the Lord Jesus as my Savior there and then, and went home rejoicing, and ever since my joy has been growing and growing; I don't know how to contain it. You see, I'm a prosy city lawyer, and this is the last thing on earth I ever thought would happen to me. But, Oh I praise God it has.'—Dr. A. T. Schofield

(Matt. 11. 28; John 6. 37)

Miss Ada Habershon in her 'memoirs' tells how, at one of D. L. Moody's services, in a tent, right in the very front sat Deacon Abraham's daughter-in-law and her baby. The little one's eyes were fixed on Moody as he spoke. The Lord's loving invitation—'Come!' he repeated again and again with outstretched arms. And the baby responded, with its little arms stretched out as if to go to him.

(Matt. 11. 28)

If you come to God as a braggart comes
In the pride of your own way,
Then the God of grace will hide His face
And send you empty away.

If you come to God as a beggar comes
With the plea of your bitter need,
Then the King of kings will give good things
And make you rich indeed.

(Luke 18. 10-14; John 7. 37; Rev. 22. 17)

"Recently," says a Richmond man, "I received an invitation to the marriage of a young colored couple formerly in my employ. I am quite sure that all persons similarly favored were left in little doubt as to the attitude of the couple. The invitation ran as follows:

"You are invited to the marriage of Mr. Henry Clay Barker and Miss Josephine Mortimer Dixon at the house of the bride's mother. All who cannot come may send."—Howard Morse.

One day a Chinese poor man met the head of his family in the street.

"Come and dine with us tonight," the mandarin said graciously.

"Thank you," said the poor relation. "But wouldn't tomorrow night do just as well?"

"Yes, certainly. But where are you dining tonight?" asked the mandarin curiously.

"At your house. You see, your estimable wife was good enough to give me tonight's invitation."

MARION (just from the telephone)—"He wanted to know if we would go to the theater with him, and I said we would."

MADELINE—"Who was speaking?"

MARION—"Oh, gracious! I forgot to ask."

Little Willie wanted a birthday party, to which his mother consented, provided he ask his little friend Tommy. The boys had had trouble, but, rather than not have the party, Willie promised his mother to invite Tommy.

On the evening of the party, when all the small guests had arrived except Tommy, the mother became suspicious and sought her son.

"Willie," she said, "did you invite Tommy to your party tonight?"

"Yes, Mother."

"And did he say he would not come?"

"No," explained Willie. "I invited him all right, but I dared him to come."

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