Sin Sermon Illustrations

Sin Sermon Illustrations

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Sin's Wages Not Reduced

There is no incident that more forcefully illustrates sin's ruin than that connected with the painting of Leonardo Da Vinci's great masterpiece, "The Last Supper." Long and in vain had the artist sought for a model for his Christ. "I must find a young man of pure life," he declared, "before I can get that look on the face I want." At length, his attention was called to a young man who sang in the choir of one of the old churches of Rome, Pietro Bandinelli by name. He was not only a young man of beautiful countenance, but his life was as beautiful as his face. The moment he looked upon this pure, sweet countenance the artist cried out for joy, "At last I have found the face I wanted !" So Pietro Bandinelli sat as the model for his picture of Christ. Years passed on, and still the great painting, "The Last Supper," was not finished. The eleven faithful apostles had all been sketched on the canvas, and the artist was hunting for a model for his Judas. "I must find a man whose face has hardened and distorted," he said; "a debased man, his features stamped with the ravages only wicked living and a wicked heart can show." Thus he wandered long in search of his Judas, until one day in the streets of Rome he came upon a wretched creature, a beggar in rags, with a face of such hard, villainous stamp that even the artist was repulsed. But he knew that at last he had found his Judas. So it came about that the beggar, with the repulsive countenance, sat as a model for Judas. As he was dismissing him, Da Vinci said, "I have not yet asked your name, but I will now." "Pietro Bandinelli," replied the man, looking at him unflinchingly. "I also sat to you as the model for your Christ !" Astonished, overwhelmed by this startling declaration, Da Vinci would not at first believe it, but the proof was at hand, and he had finally to admit that Pietro Bandinell;, he whose fair, sweet face had been the inspiration for his great masterpiece, the face of Christ, had now become so disfigured by the sins of a lifetime that no trace was left of that marvelous beauty which before had been the admiration of men ! "Sin when it is finished bringeth forth death!"—J. Wilbur Chapman.

The Parables

The parables of judgment in the teachings of Christ are aimed at sins of omission, as if He saw that there our peril lay. The foolish virgins did not stone the wedding procession or steal the refreshments or insult the bride—they neglected the duty of having oil in their lamps and were therefore excluded from the feast. The man with one talent did not use it for any evil purpose—he did not use it at all, and stood therefore condemned. The men on the left hand in the great judgment scene were not accused of robbing the poor or mistreating the sick or the imprisoned. Inasmuch as they did it not to the least of the needy, they failed of acceptance with Him. The way to perdition is paved with moral neglect.—Charles R. Brown, in The Watchman-Examiner.

Rescue by Robber

The winter of 1874 was a very severe one in Palestine. Snow lay in the streets and on the flat roofs to a depth of several feet, and by its weight many houses were crushed. On the eighth of February a terrible storm raged in Gaza, and during the night a robber entered a house and ransacked the lower apartments, laying his plunder ready to carry away. Then he entered the sleeping apartment occupied by the father and mother. A baby sleeping showed signs of waking, and fearing lest he should be betrayed, he carried it down near the door. The child began to cry, and awakened the mother, who proceeded to its cradle; not finding it there she called the father, who hearing the cries said, "It is crying out of doors. How can that be?" Both of them ran outside, and no sooner had they got out than the roof fell in. The robber was found beneath the ruins with the stolen wealth in his possession.—J. R. Miller's Year Book, in the Sunday School Times.


A man in the open country watched from a distance an American eagle mount into the sky upon its mighty wings. It was a magnificent sight; but soon it appeared that something was wrong. The king of birds did not continue to rise in the sky with the same power and speed. His flight at first seemed hampered, then came to a stop. until at least the great bird fell down at the wanderer's feet.

Looking closely, the man saw that the eagle was dead. Searching still more closely, he observed that a small weasel had dug its claws into the abdomen of the splendid bird, had soared upward with it into the sky, and had drained the eagle of his life-blood while the latter tried to escape. Sin is like that.—Jan Karel Van Baalen, in The Journey of Man.

It Would Rejoice God's Heart

"See," said an evangelist to a penitent who was slow in taking comfort- - "see how even a publican was accepted when he cried for mercy!" "Ah," said the other, "but I have been a greater sinner than a publican; I have been a Pharisee!" "Well," was the answer, "since God was so glad to hear a publican say, 'God be merciful to me a sinner,' how glad would He be to hear a Pharisee say so!" God used these words to bring comfort, light, and salvation to the man's heart.—Christian Herald.

Lions Are Never Tamed

Said a lion tamer: "There is no such thing in the world as a tamed lion. A lion may be on his good behavior today and a whirlwind of ferocity tomorrow. He may eat out of your hand, or permit you to place your head in his mouth today. But tomorrow he will rend you limb from limb if the fury takes him. The biggest giant that ever lived takes his life in his hands when he enters the cage of the tamest lion. The blood thirst is there and sometime it will flame out." There is a whole sermon in that and many a man who has kept his body under by sheer force of will for a score of years finds at the end of that period that he has not tamed, but only checked, the power of sin within him. What he needs is not an animal trainer, but some power to create in him a wholly new life.—Pacific Presbyterian.

Why Not Everything?

A story has been written by Frederick Hall about that lad who played such an important role in the miracle of the loaves and fishes. It tells how the boy reported that exciting incident to his mother when he returned home that evening at sunset. When, with eyes still big with the wonder of it all, he had told how his five barley loaves and two dried fishes had increased in the Master's hands until the vast crowd had been fed to a sufficiency, he added, "I wonder, Mother, if it would be that way with everything you gave Him?"—Sunday School Times.

Would We Prize the Knife?

Spurgeon says, "If I had a dear brother who had been murdered, what would you think of me if I valued the knife which had been crimsoned with his blood? If I made a friend of the murderer, and daily consorted with the assassin who drove the dagger into my brother's heart, surely I, too, must be an accomplice in the crime. Sin murdered Christ; will you be a friend to it? Sin pierced the heart of the incarnate God, can you love it?—Senior B.Y.P.U. Quarterly.

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