Free Sermon Illustrations

A website by Illustration Exchange

Category: Repentance

Join The Wretched Club

Printer Friendly

Topic: Witness
Scripture: I Timothy 1:15-16
Source: “The Duggar Disaster” by Todd Friel, posted CHRISTIAN POST/Christian Post Blog, 5/22/15
Author: Todd Friel

“There are two groups of people who should not be shocked to discover that a member of the Duggar family is a sinner,” says Todd Friel, writing for the CHRISTIAN POST, “Christians and non-Christians.” This, he says, is what makes the Josh Duggar story a disaster.

Christian Surprise

The subject line from an email sent by a popular Christian website stated: “Christian world rocked.” Really?

Based on his own admission, Josh sinned, repented and got saved. Why in the world would Christians be appalled to discover an unregenerate 14-year-old boy acted wickedly? …

Continue reading

Taste Them Again For The First Time

Printer Friendly
Topic: First Love
Scripture: Revelation 2:4-5; Psalm 34:8
Source: Various
Author: Illustration Exchange

There have been some pretty memorable commercial catch phrases for cereals over the years. Among them is the 1990s ad campaign for Kellogg’s Corn Flakes: “Kellogg’s Corn Flakes – Taste them again for the first time.”

It’s genius, really–a call to go back to relive the pleasure, the delight, the satisfaction of a product which may have lost its luster in your mind, and its place in your pantry.

Application:

When it comes to your spiritual life, have you lost the pleasure, the delight, the satisfaction you once found in the Savior? Has walking with Him lost its luster? Has He lost His place in your heart?

Jesus calls you to return to your first love–to “taste” Him again, as though for the first time.

“Taste and see [as if for the first time!] that the LORD is good” (Psalm 34:8).

“But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place–unless you repent” (Revelation 2:4-5, NASB).

Want More Illustrations On This Topic?  Click Illustration Exchange Now!

The End Is Just The Beginning

Printer Friendly
Topic: Perspective
Source: The Last Battle, pp. 183-184
Author: C.S. Lewis / Illustration Exchange

To put this life in perspective we must set it beside the life to come.  Lewis does that for us in the final paragraph of the Chronicles of Narnia. In the final scene, Aslan assures Peter, Edmund, and Lucy with these words:

“The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream has ended; this is morning.”

Lewis then brings the story to a final conclusion:

“And as he spoke he no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story, which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”

Application:

The current life is not the best life we will ever live. As Lewis suggests, “every chapter” will be “better than the one before.” This is not the longest life we will ever live. As Lewis also suggested, this life is merely the “title page” to eternity.

Nevertheless, this may will be the most important life we will ever live. For it is during this brief, adventure filled journey that so many decisions of eternal consequence are made. It is now, during this life, that we are presented with the choice to become followers of Christ.  It is now, in this life, that free grace begins to be experienced.

The entrance way by which we enter the Kingdom of God is found on this side of eternity.

“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way” (Matthew 7:13, NLT).

Want More Illustrations On This Topic?  Click Illustration Exchange Now!

Check Point Ahead, Turn Now

Printer Friendly Topic: Evangelism
Scripture: Matthew 3:2
Source: “Parma resident ticketed for sign warning of drunken driving checkpoint” by Maura Zurick, Northeast Ohio Media Group, published on Cleveland.com, 6/16/14
Author: Illustration Exchange

PARMA, Ohio- Doug ‘Deo’ Odolecki stood on a street corner Friday night with sign warning drivers about an upcoming drunken-driving checkpoint, but two words on the sign cost him a citation and an upcoming trial.

The sign written on a piece of white poster board simply read, “Check point ahead! Turn now!”

Police had no problem with the sign itself advising of the upcoming checkpoint. In fact, Ohio law requires that the police advise the public of the exact location, date and even start and stop times of an upcoming checkpoint at least one week in advance, and then again a few hours prior.

Their problem was with the sign’s instruction to “Turn now!” That, they said, was interference with police business and resulted in Odolecki receiving a violation.

Application:

God’s final checkpoint is just ahead. Yet many are speeding toward it completely unaware. For those who already know what lies ahead, there’s just one question: Where’s your white poster board? Where’s your warning to them to turn now?

“Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2).

Want More Illustrations On This Topic?  Click Illustration Exchange Now!

Spiritual Body Odor

Printer FriendlyAuthor: Eric Spitznagel / Illustration Exchange
Scripture: Isaiah 64:6
Source: “The grossest job in the world? ‘Sweat collector’ treats patients with rare body odor disease” By Eric Spitznagel, Published Men’s Health, Fox News, January 14, 2013
Topic: Sin Nature

Believe it or not, there are people who devote their entire lives to studying stinky, smelly things. Take Dr. George Preti, for example.

Preti has been studying odors for just under 40 years, primarily at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, which he joined in 1971. … Once, he spilled a flask filled with concentrated armpit extract, which shattered on the floor of his lab and covered Preti’s sneakers. He cleaned the mess and put his shoes in a plastic bag, thinking he had contained the odor.

“But it’s like when you work in a restaurant where they’re cooking something really pungent,” he says. “After you’ve been there for awhile, you don’t smell the odor anymore.”

Preti took the train home, getting more than a few dirty looks from his fellow commuters, and was picked up at the station by his wife. “As soon as I got in the car, she said, ‘You smell like a street person!’ She was just overwhelmed with the odor, and I couldn’t smell anything,” he says. Preti later calculated that he had spilled the equivalent of “about 600,000 people’s armpits” onto his sneakers and pants.

He learned a hard lesson: The power of body odor can’t be underestimated. And those sneakers? “I threw them out,” he says. “There’s no way I could’ve neutralized the smell.”

Application:

Did you know that the sin nature has an odor? Well, it does. The Bible tells us that even the good things we attempt to do, when motivated by fleshly pride, carries an odor–they are like the stench of filthy rags in the nostrils of God!

You know the smell: that old mop that you left sitting in dirty water too long; dish rag that you used to wipe the spelt milk off the counter that didn’t make it into today’s laundry; or that sweaty towel that you accidentally left in your gym bag.

“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6).

When we walk in the flesh instead of the Spirit, we become like poor Dr. Petri who was so accustomed to the ambient odors in his lab, that he no longer even sensed their presence. It took the contorted faces, the pinched noses, and finally the confrontational words of his wife to alert him to how offensive he really was.

Don’t ignore the cues and cringes of others. Cleanse yourself in the grace of God–it’s the only thing that can neutralize the smell of carnality.

Want More Illustrations On This Topic?  Click Illustration Exchange Now!