Sermon Illustrations


Grasping a Shadow

Henry Martyn, a Cambridge University student, was honored at only 20 years of age for his achievements in mathematics. In fact, he was given the highest recognition possible in that field. And yet he felt an emptiness inside. He said that instead of finding fulfillment in his achievements, he had, “Only grasped a shadow.”

The Domino Effect of Soulwinning

Mr. Kimball, a Sunday school teacher, in 1858 led a Boston shoe clerk to give his life to Christ. The clerk, Dwight L. Moody, became an evangelist and in England in 1879 awakened evangelistic zeal in the heart of Frederick B. Meyer, pastor of a small church. F.B. Meyer preaching on an American college campus, brought to Christ a student named J. Wilbur Chapman. Chapman, engaged in YMCA work, employed a former baseball player Billy Sunday, to do evangelistic work. And the list goes on.

The Job Was Too Small

Many years ago a young man went to China as a missionary with an income of $2,500 annually. A company decided that they wanted this young man to work for them and offered him a position with a $5,000 salary. He declined the offer, and it was raised to $7,000 and then to $10,000, but he still declined.

The company asked him if the salary was his sticking point and he answered, “Oh, the salary is big enough, but the job isn’t.”

Source: The Speaker’s Quote Book, Roy B. Zuck
Submitted by the homiletics class of West Coast Baptist College

You Reap What You Sow

Several years after helping inventing radar, Sir Robert Watson Watt was caught in a radar trap and arrested for speeding. He wrote this poem:

Pity Sir Robert Watson Watt,
Strange target of his radar plot,
And this, with others I could mention,
A victim of his own invention.

Source: 750 Engaging Illustrations for Preachers, Teachers, and Writers, Craig Brian Larson
Submitted by the homiletics class of West Coast Baptist College

Surrendering to Sin

In late September 1864 Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest was leading his troops north from Decatur, Alabama, toward Nashville. But to make it to Nashville, Forrest would have to defeat the Union army at Athens, Alabama. When the Union commander, Colonel Wallace Campbell, refused to surrender, Forrest asked for a personal meeting, and took Campbell on an inspection of his troops. But each time they left a detachment, the Confederate soldiers simply packed up and moved to another position, artillery and all.

Power to Change a Thief

John Wesley was robbed as he was returning from a service one night.

As the bandit was leaving, Wesley called out, “Stop! I have something more to give you.” The surprised robber paused. “My friend,” said Wesley, “you may live to regret this sort of life. If you ever do, here’s something to remember: the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin!“ The thief hurried away, and Wesley prayed that his words would bear fruit.

Lack of Communication in Marriage

Married couples spend an average of 27.5 minutes per week talking to each other, according to Ray Bridwhistell, speech communication expert. However, they spend 46 hours per week watching TV.

Source: Family Life Today, June, 1989
Submitted by the homiletics class of West Coast Baptist College

Ways to Irritate People

1. Specify that your drive-through order is “to go.”

2. Speak only in a “robot” voice.

3. Start each meal by conspicuously licking all your food, and announce that this is so no one will “swipe your grub.”

4. Name your dog “Dog.”

5. Forget the punchline to a long joke, but assure the listener it was a “real hoot.”

6. Follow a few paces behind someone, spraying everything they touch with Lysol.

7. Practice making fax and modem noises.

8. Finish all your sentences with the words, “In accordance with the prophesy.”

How Long Things Last

Experts estimate that if a normal cassette tape is played about 100 times a year, sound quality will deteriorate somewhat after about 10 years. But the tape itself will play on.

A lightening bolt lasts 45 to 55 microseconds.

The average running shoe worn by the average runner on an average surface will last 350 to 500 miles.

A hard pencil can write up to 30,000 words or draw a line more than 30 miles long. Most ball-point pens will draw a line 4,000 to 7,500 feet long.

How People Spend Their Lives

Someone has calculated how a typical lifespan of 70 years is spent. Here is the estimate:

Sleep—23 years—32.9%

Work—16 years—22.8%

TV—8 years—11.4%

Eating—6 years—8.6%

Travel—6 years—8.6%

Leisure—4.5 years—6.5%

Illness—4 years—5.7%

Dressing—2 years—2.8%

Religion—0.5 years—0.7%

Total—70 years

Source: Our Daily Bread, November 25, 1992
Submitted by the homiletics class of West Coast Baptist College