Sermon Illustrations

A good friend of mine, who has been sober and drug-free now for many, many years shared his testimony with me several years ago. After being caught in the 1970’s as a teenager with cocaine his dream of becoming a Major League Baseball Player was over. He used this discouragement and depression as an excuse to delve deeper and deeper into drugs, alcohol, violence and immorality. After living a wild, ungodly life for over 20 years he was literally at the end of his rope. He was trying to find some joy and satisfaction in his life by coaching a little league “T-ball” team. Yet he remained miserable. He decided before he attempted suicide he would try “one more thing”—he would try church. So one Sunday morning he brushed his long hair, put on his best Harley-Davison t-shirt and went to church. No one greeted him, no one came by to welcome him, and no one offered to sit with him or even show him the restrooms. He could tell that he was “out-of-place” and no one was going to make him feel welcome. He left that day thinking, If the world doesn’t want me and the church doesn’t want me—WHO DOES? He went home more discouraged and more depressed. However, he thought he’d give it one more try—he’d find a different church to go to the next Sunday. This time he chose a church where people were shouting, and dancing and running around. It was much different than the previous church but he just knew that wasn’t for him. Once again he left more discouraged and depressed than when he came. He decided it was time to end it all. After the t-ball game and after everyone left he would find a place behind a dug-out, put a pistol in his mouth and pull the trigger. After the game he was talking to some of the parents and grand-parents because he figured this would be the last time he would ever see them. He was sharing with one of the grandmothers about his church experience. She invited him to come to hers. However, a cute, little blond-haired girl on this t-ball team said, “I sure would like you to come to my church, Mr. Benny.” She told him the name and where it was and he patted her on the head and sent her on her way. He decided he would give it one more week. He would try one more church and then if that didn’t work out like he hoped, then he would take his life. So the next Sunday morning he was planning to go to the church of that sweet grandmother—but he couldn’t remember the name and he couldn’t remember where it was. All he could remember was what that little blond-haired girl had told him, so he decided he would go there. As he walked in late he was surprised as he looked in the pulpit and saw that little girl’s daddy standing in the pulpit and he said out loud in front of everyone, “We’re glad to have Mr. Benny today.” Near the end of the service he began to have convulsions and threw up in the pew—also known as “DT’s.” He was trying to quit the drugs and the alcohol and he was having a terrible time. However, an amazing thing happened after the service was over. Man, after man, after man walked up to him, put their arm around him and told him how glad they were to have him. Believe it or not, two men from the church took an hour out of their Thursday evening and came and visited him the next Thursday and “beseeched him and encouraged him” to trust Christ as his Savior. It all started with a little girl who invited him, a church who represented Christ well and two men who were caring “ambassadors for Christ.”

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