On January 13, 2012, the massive Costa Concordia cruise ship with more than 4,200 passengers and crew on board was sailing off the coast of Italy on a tour of the Mediterranean Sea. The captain deviated from his planned course and the ship struck a reef near the shore. After taking on water for a while, the ship began to sink. Abandoning his duty to the passengers and crew, Captain Francesco Schettino left the ship instead of remaining to make sure everyone could be rescued.
A missionary to Africa told the story of an elderly woman who was reached with the gospel. Though she was blind and could neither read nor write, she wanted to share her new found faith with others. She went to the missionary and asked for a copy of the Bible in French. When she got it, she asked the missionary to underline John 3:16 in red and mark the page it was on so she could find it. The missionary wanted to see what she would do, so one day he followed her.
Fanny Crosby loved sharing the Gospel with anyone who would listen. In 1869 she penned the words to “Rescue the Perishing.” When asked about the song, she explained, “It was written following a personal experience at the New York City Bowery Mission.” She went on to explain that she would go one night a week to talk to “her boys.”
D.L. Moody told the story of his conversion this way: “When I was in Boston I used to attend a Sunday school class, and one day I recollect my teacher came around behind the counter of the shop I was at work in, and put his hand upon my shoulder, and talked to me about Christ and my soul. I had not felt that I had a soul till then. I said to myself, ‘This is a very strange thing.
Charles Peace, a notorious criminal in England, was executed on February 25, 1879. Just before his execution, an Anglican minister halfheartedly read to him from The Consolations of Religion: “Those who die without Christ experience hell, which is the pain of forever dying without the release which death itself can bring.”
In the 1840s, John Geddie left the pastorate of a church in Canada to take his wife and two small children to the South Sea Islands to begin a mission work there. After a voyage of more than 20,000 miles, they arrived in the New Hebrides Islands at Aneityum. The island chain was filled with cannibals, and more than twenty crew members of a British ship had been killed and eaten just months before the Geddies arrived on the mission field.
Christopher Sercye was playing basketball with his friends on May 16, 1998 when he was shot in the chest, and a bullet perforated his aorta. His friends helped him get to within forty feet of the entrance to Ravenswood Hospital and then went inside and asked for help. The hospital staff refused to help Christopher saying that it was against the hospital’s policies to administer aid to those outside the hospital. Eventually a policeman was able to get a wheel chair and wheeled Christopher into the hospital where he was helped by the hospital staff.
As D. L. Moody walked down a Chicago street one day, he walked up to a man and asked him if he were a Christian. The fellow raised his fists and angrily exclaimed, “You mind your own business!”
“This is my business,” replied Moody.
“Well, then, you must be Moody,” the man responded.
One Sunday a lady was inviting children to come to Sunday school when she met a boy and asked him why he went so far, past so many Sunday schools to get to his own. “There are plenty of others,” said she, “just as good.”
He said, “They may be so good, but they are not so good for me.”
“Why not?” she asked.
“Because they love a fellow over there,” he answered.
How easy it is to reach people through love. Those who are successful in showing men love will be successful in winning them to Christ.
The story is told about a barber who had just been gloriously saved in an old-fashioned revival meeting. The next morning at work he wanted to share his new faith and witness to the lost. A customer came in, and the barber began to shave him. He was trying to muster up the right words to say. Finally as he stood with his razor poised over the man’s throat he asked, “Are you prepared to meet God?”
On February 3, 1943, a troop ship named The Dorchester was carrying more than nine hundred soldiers and military personnel across the North Atlantic. A German U-boat spotted the convoy and fired three torpedoes at the ship. Only one struck the target, but the blast below the waterline fatally damaged the ship. In the cold darkness, the crew was ordered to abandon ship. There were not enough lifeboats for all the men, nor were there enough life jackets.
The Israeli settlement of Netzarim in the heart of the Gaza Strip was a point of much conflict with militant Palestinians for several years. The conflict was so great that the settlement was evacuated in 2005.
Those who lived in Netzarim did so at great personal risk because they felt it was an important part of keeping their land free. A schoolteacher, Shlomit Ziv, who lived in Netzarim in 2001 said, “I don’t live where it’s comfortable; I live where it’s important to live.”
Dr. Paul Brand was speaking to a medical college in India on Matthew 5:16: “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” In front of the lectern was an oil lamp, with its cotton wick burning from the shallow dish of oil. As he preached, the lamp ran out of oil, the wick burned dry, and the smoke made him cough. He immediately used the opportunity.
On January 1, 2010 a law went into effect in Texas that requires Department of Public Safety clerks to ask all driver’s license applicants if they wish to become an organ donor. The result of the new law more than doubled the number of registered organ donors.
Think of what could happen if Christians would ask every person they come in contact with if they want to trust Christ as their personal Saviour.
Source: Houston Chronicle, July 27, 2010
B. F. Mills, a preacher from a generation ago told the following story: “I remember going down stairs in a hotel about midnight, with some letters in my hand that I wished to mail. The clerk was not in the office, but a policeman was there, and he said, ‘I will take your letters and mail them for you.’ I thanked him and handed them to him, and started up the stairs. As I went I heard a voice say, ‘Why did you not speak to that policeman about Christ?’
I said, ‘It was because it would not do any good.’
Timothy Stackpole was a New York Firefighter, who was severely burned in a 1998 fire. After he recovered, he returned to the force despite the advice of some friends and family and the fact that he could retire comfortably.
He was a great fire fighter and passionate about his work and was soon promoted to captain. Timothy was one of the fire fighters that ran into the second tower to try to save some people. When he did, it collapsed and took his life. He knew his calling—to save people. The Holy Spirit has called us to a life of service. We should live for Him.
A man came up to Moody once and criticized him for the way he went about winning souls. Moody listened courteously and then asked, “How would you do it?” The man, taken aback, mumbled that he didn’t do it. “Well,” said Moody, “I prefer the way I do it to the way you don’t do it.”
Submitted by the homiletics class of West Coast Baptist College
A Dutch diamond collector was seeking for a very rare diamond. A dealer in New York by the name of Mr. Winston heard of this inquiry and contacted him letting him know that he believed he possessed the diamond he was looking for.
The diamond collector arrived, and Mr. Winston had his salesman present the diamond. The salesman described all the technical aspects of the diamond, however within minutes, the diamond collector rose his hand and said that this was not what he was looking for.
On a dark, stormy night when the waves rolled like mountains and not a star was to be seen a boat rocking and plunging neared the Cleveland harbor.
“Are you sure this is Cleveland?” asked the captain, seeing only one light from the lighthouse.
“Quite sure, sir,” replied the pilot.
“Where are the lower lights?”
“Gone out, sir.”
“Can you make the harbor?”
“We must, or perish, sir.”
A man in Ireland was convicted of his sin and was on the verge of trusting Christ when the devil raised the oft-repeated objection: “If you believe, it won’t last. What about tomorrow?” The worker dealing with him pointed to a water mill nearby. “What turns that wheel today?”
“What will turn it tomorrow?”
“And the days after?”
“The stream.” The man was led to see that there was abundant grace to save, keep, and meet all needs.