Forgiveness Sermon Illustrations

Forgiveness Sermon Illustrations

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When the minister was examining Andrew Jackson as to his faith and experience, he asked him a question that probably not many ministers would have asked him. He said: "General, there is one more question which it is my duty to ask you. Can you forgive all your enemies?" The question was in view of the many feuds, duels, and personal bitternesses of Jackson's stormy career.

After a moment's silence, Jackson responded: "My political enemies I can freely forgive; but as for those who abused me when I was serving my country in the field, and those who attacked me for serving my country, and those who slandered my wife . . . Doctor, that is a different case."

The minister made it clear to him that none who willfully harbored ill feelings against a fellow being could make a sincere profession of faith. Again there was silence, until at length the aged candidate affirmed that he would try to forgive all his enemies. This done, his name was written upon the rolls of the church, and he received the Communion of the Body and Blood of Christ.

One can imagine a great convocation in heaven, when God announced to its inhabitants that man had fallen, that the new creation was stained with sin. From every quarter of the universe the great angels come posting in, riding upon the wings of the wind, to hear the dread announcement by the Almighty.

When God asks for a remedy and calls for volunteers to go down to earth and deliver man from the curse of sin, one great angel comes forward and says: "I will go down to earth. I will live a life of peace and truth and purity and love before man, and thus I will win his soul to the good. Thus I shall take away the stain of his sin."

But God answers him: "Thy way of life is good; but it will not turn man from his sin, neither can it take away the stain of his sin."

Then another angel comes forward and says: "I will go down. I will teach the truth to man. I will fill his mind with the precepts of righteousness; and thus, contemplating the truth, he shall be delivered from the stain of sin."

But again the almighty Father answers: "Thy precepts are good, and thy statutes are right; but they cannot deliver man from sin or wash away the stain of sin. They will only remind him of what he has lost, and whence he has fallen. Thy precepts are efficient, but not sufficient."

Then a third angel comes forward, and he says: "I will go down to earth and I will tell man of a great hope. I will allure him out of his sins by the music of the hope of a future life that shall be sinless. Thus he shall arise and follow after righteousness, and thus he shall lose the stain of his sin."

But once more God answers: "Mighty spirit, sweet is the music of hope; but the hope about which you will sing to man cannot save him. It will only sadden his heart with the difference between what he is and what thou tellest him he may become."

For a time there is silence in heaven. Then comes the Son, in whose face is the brightness of the glory of God, and before whom angel and archangel, cherubim and seraphim, bow down in reverence. Then speaks the Son:

"Eternal Father, I will go down. By the power of the Holy Spirit I will take man's nature; by the power of the Eternal Spirit I will offer myself on the cross and shed Immanuel's precious blood. My blood will cleanse man from his sin!"

And all the host of heaven rejoiced at that saying, and cried together with a voice like the sound of many waters, "Eternal Son, go down! Thou only canst redeem man! Thy blood alone will cleanse him from his sin."

"Love One Another"

A Scotch Highlander, wounded in the World War, was stroking a German spiked helmet as he lay upon a cot in a London hospital. A nurse said to him, "I suppose you killed your man?" "No, indeed," was the reply. "It was like this: he lay on the field, badly wounded and bleeding, and I was in the same condition. I crawled to him and bound up his wounds; he did the same for me. I knew no German, and he knew no English; so I thanked him by just smiling. He thanked me by smiling back. By way of a token I handed him my cap, while he handed me his helmet. Then, lying side by side we suffered together in silence till we were picked up by the ambulance squad. No, I didn't kill my man."Christian Herald.

Lesson from a Dog

One day Sir Walter Scott threw a rock at a stray dog intending to shoo him away. He threw the rock straighter and stronger than he intended and broke the dog's leg. Instead of the dog running away, he came limping up to Sir Walter and licked the hand that threw the rock, and Sir Walter Scott said he could never get over that as long as he lived.

That dog preached the Sermon on the Mount as few people have ever practiced it.

What the world needs is Christ reincarnated in the Christian.—Florida Baptist Witness.


Some years ago a band of brigands attacked the homestead of a Manchurian farmer named Tung. They tied him up, burned his home, and carried off his property. Tung, who was a humble Chinese Christian, did not inform the authorities. He bore his loss, restored his home, and went on with his work. About two years afterward he met in the city one of the robber band, who, seeing that he was recognized, begged for mercy. Tung said, "I do not bear any grudge against you. Tell me about yourself." The man, hardly believing his ears, told the story of his troubles. His feet were frostbitten, he owed money at the inn, but had none left, and he was in need of food. "Well," Tung said, "go back and get some food," and he gave him some money, adding, "Go back and pay your account if you can. I will call for you tomorrow and take you to the hospital." The man, who feared that behind his generosity there must be some plot to capture him, would fain have run away in the night, but found it impossible, his feet were so bad. Next day Tung came for him in his own cart and took him to the hospital, saying to himself, "Perhaps he will learn of Jesus as I did, and will come out a different man." And he did.Missionary Review of the World.

How God Delivered Stephen

In the course of a public debate George Holyoake asked Dr. Parker: "What did God do for the martyr Stephen when he was being stoned to death?" Dr. Parker was embarrassed for a moment; then lifting his heart to God gave a reply which he always believed was the Holy Spirit's direct gift. He said: "I believe the Almighty did far more for Stephen than at first appears. He did not send an angel to deliver him in his hour of agony. But God enabled Stephen to say, `Lord, lay not this sin to their charge;' and when we shall see facts in their eternal values, we shall see that in working this miracle of forgiveness in the heart of Stephen, God did more than if He had sent a legion of angels."—The Dawn.

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