Forgiveness Sermon Illustrations

Forgiveness Sermon Illustrations

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Before the King Could See Him

There was a young musician in the Royal band of Hanover. He was a remarkable lad for his age, and his superior playing won for him much praise. He liked to discourse upon martial music at the head of the troops, but when war came on and he had to lie in the trenches all night, he deserted and fled to England. Now for a soldier to desert, the penalty is death, as we are sadly aware, and it is usually inflicted when the deserter is caught. But this man was not caught. He became a great organist, but his heart was in the stars, and he was still a great astronomer. With infinite pains, he constructed a telescope, and then he scanned the heavens night after night, until one night he actually discovered a new planet. He verified the discovery, and then received the applause of the whole world. He was sent for by the King, and went to Windsor Castle. But the King was George, of Hanover, the sovereign to whom his life was forfeited for his old desertion. The King knew him, too; and what would he do? Before the King would see him he was requested to open an envelope containing a royal communication. He did so, wondering what the King was going to do with him. It was his pardon as a deserter. "Now," said King George, "we can talk, and you shall come up and live at Windsor and be Sir William Herschel." How like God in pardoning a sinner! He not only forgives him, but He honors him in making him a son of God.—Mark Guy Pearse.

A Sufficient Saviour

There was a Scotchman who had formerly been a notable character, a prize fighter and gambler. Changed by the grace of God, he became a mighty soul-winner, and on one occasion his message was being greatly blessed. Just before he arose to speak at one service, someone sent an envelope up to the platform. On opening it he found it contained a long list of sins and crimes that he had committed in that very city.

At first he felt that he must run away, but stepping boldly to the front of the platform he said, "Friends, I am accused of crimes and sins committed in this very city. I will read them to you." One after another he read these charges, and at the conclusion of each he said, "I am guilty." When he had finished the whole list, he paused for a moment and then said, "You ask how I dare come to you and speak of righteousness and truth, with a list of crimes like that against my name? I will tell you: `This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief."'—Moody Church News.

When He Faced Death

He was found in a lowly hut, dead, with a dish-pan he had used for a desk across his knees, and in his skeleton hand the following letter, in the writing of which he was evidently engaged when death overtook him. "The sun is shining, Mother, but I feel so cold. I can still walk a little, but that's about all. There is no blood in me, because I have not eaten for so long. I haven't seen another human being for forty days now. There are some magazines here, but the stories are so silly. I have some cards, but I don't care for solitaire. The only thing I worry about is if God will forgive my sins." Thus ended the career of a young explorer at Long Rapids, Hay River, Alberta, Can. He was about to leap into the dark, so far as his eternity was concerned.Sunday School Times.

As far as the east is removed from the west,
My sins are remembered no more;
Forever my soul is at perfect rest,
My sins are remembered no more.
Forgiven, forgotten, all cleansed in the Blood,
My sins are remembered no more;
Atoned for by Jesus in Calv'ry's flood,
My sins are remembered no more.—Selected.

Sins Put Away

There is a minister in this hall this afternoon who remembers an early morning ride we had together in Canada not many weeks ago. He will remember well the third passenger in that car, another minister—a young man who has been successful in a few years of the pastorate, and who, working very hard —too hard—has had a physical breakdown which expresses itself in a kind of mental distress. The young man had a visit with me in my hotel room, and then the next day was a passenger in that car, riding over to the main line of the railroad for that early morning train. He brought up again the question with which he had pursued me just the day before, when I had tried to answer it two or three times. What about this inner voice that tells me, "Those sins back there—the sins of my life need to be cared for; there is something I must do about them"? He understands the gospel of God's grace, and has preached it faithfully. "Oh," he said, "I could stand it—I could stand it if it were the evil one trying to taunt me about those sins. I could stand it if I understood it to be the result of my physical condition. But the thing that tortures me is the feeling that it might be the Holy Spirit prodding me concerning the sins of n y past." I had said to him the day before that the Holy Spirit would never nag, but suddenly, in the car, this thought came. I couldn't help but feel it was the Spirit's own thought. If it is true that God has put away your sins, and that you received Christ as Saviour—and you believe you did—He blotted them out of His own memory—if that is true—and you say you believe it is—then God has forgotten. If God has forgotten, how could He ever remind you? The Holy Spirit has not been reminding you of your sins. When you brought them to the foot of the Cross and left them there, you may be sure that God blotted them out.—Courtesy Moody Monthly.

Forgiveness Refused

The son of a Presbyterian preacher was arrested, charged with treason because he belonged to an organization which had been outlawed by the Government. He was tried, convicted, and sent to the penitentiary. His aged father, eminent for his learning and Christian character, circulated a petition and secured hundreds of signatures, urging President Grant to pardon the boy for the sake of his parents. The father took the petition to Washington, presented it to President Grant, who gave the pardon. The old man received it and hastened to the train. On his arrival at the prison, he was shown the cell where his boy was imprisoned. Standing with his hand upon the grated door he said, "John, I have good news. I have a pardon from President Grant, and you may now go home with me, and see your mother before she dies!" But the son made no response. "Do you understand me, John?" the father continued. "Here's a pardon for you." "I am sorry, Father," said the ungrateful son, "to give you pain, but I cannot accept it. I have decided not to be brought under obligation to this political administration, and I will serve out my time!" The old man's father-heart was almost broken. He fell against the grating, and would have sunk upon the floor if he had not been caught by the friendly hand of the warden. A pardon is offered you from the High Court of Heaven, a pardon written in the blood of Jesus. Will you accept it and go free, or will you reject it and continue under sin's bondage?—Dr. A. C. Dixon.

"Father, Forgive"

A hardened criminal in a Japanese prison, having nothing else to do, picked up a copy of the Bible that had been given him and opened it at the story of the trial of Jesus. He read on until he came to these words: "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." He stopped, "stabbed to the heart, as if pierced by a five-inch nail." This is his testimony: "Through this simple sentence I was led into the whole of Christianity."—Gospel Herald.

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