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Contributed By:
Sherm Nichols
 
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I have obtained a copy of a recently discovered document from the 1st century. It’s from the first publisher of the Bible – this was before there was Zondervan and Tyndale and all those publishers. It’s a letter from them to the Bible’s original author…

Dear Sir,
While we appreciate that the writing of Your manuscript has involved the work of some 40 authors and taken over 1500 years to complete, as with all writers, we feel it is important to present to You some editorial suggestions for the sake of Your book’s marketability. Please understand that these are presented with Your interests in mind, as well as the necessity of this book paying for itself as we fulfill our contract with You.
At first, our review board thought it would be best to leave out some of the less-believable material – talking donkeys, floating ax heads, parting of the sea, bread from heaven, and things like that. However we are willing to leave those in. We’re just concerned that You not undermine Your work’s credibility.
However, there are still some certain elements that we deem best left out, even though they are factual. Clearly You haven’t included every thing that ever happened, so why not omit a few features that might otherwise harm Your book’s sales? – for instance, the inclusion in Joshua of the story of a prostitute named Rahab. It seems the account of the spies in her home is just as easily left out without altering the story of the conquest of Jericho. Why make such a character a key figure in your main story line? To bring her name up again in the New Testament as an illustration of good living seems to be using poor judgment too. (If you look in Hebrews 11:31, she’s one of only 2 women mentioned there – people who had faith – along with Noah, Abraham, Jacob, and others. Then James mentions her in 2:25 as a person who was “considered righteous” for what she did.)
Worst of all is her name appearing in the genealogy of Jesus along with 2 other women of questionable background. (Sure enough, right there in Matthew 1:5 is Rahab – she married a guy named Salmon and had a son named Boaz. Boaz became the father of Obed, and Obed the father of Jesse, the father of David – and Jesus descended from that earthly line.) As Your publisher, we should point out that it isn’t even considered customary to include the names of women in such lists. Our suggestion is that they simply be omitted, as in most genealogies.
If we have somehow failed to catch the spirit of Your work, our apologies. We are, of course, simply interested in Your work being polished in a way that it will be most widely read and accepted. Thank You for working with us to make Your book the best we can make it.

 
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Sermon Central Staff
 
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A PARABLE OF PARABLES

The content of belief is important: Jonathan Whitfield was preaching to coal miners in England. He asked one man, "What do you believe?"

"Well, I believe the same as the church."

"And what does the church believe?"

"Well, they believe the same as me." Seeing he was getting nowhere, Whitfield said, "And what is it that you both believe?"

"Well, I suppose the same thing."

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Theological belief is sometimes a murky matter. A candidate for ordination as a minister was asked, "What part of the Bible do you like best?"

He said: "I like the New Testament best."

Then he was asked, "What Book in the New Testament is your favorite?"

He answered, "The Book of the Parables, Sir."

They then asked him to relate one of the parables to the committee. And a bit uncertain, he began...

"Once upon a time a man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves; and the thorns grew up and choked the man. And he went on and met the Queen of Sheba, and she gave that man, Sir, a thousand talents of silver, and a hundred changes of raiment.

"And he got in his chariot and drove furiously and, as he was driving along under a big tree, his hair got caught in a limb and left him hanging here! And he hung there many days and many nights. The ravens brought him food to eat and water to drink.

"And one night while he was hanging there asleep, his wife Delilah came along and cut off his hair, and he fell on stony ground. And it began to rain, and rained forty days and forty nights. And he hid himself in a cave.

"Later he went on and met a man who said, 'Come in and take supper with me.' But he said, 'I can't come in, for I have married a wife.' And the man went out into the highways and hedges and compelled him to come in!

He then came to Jerusalem, and saw Queen Jezebel sitting high and lifted up in a window of the wall. When she saw him she laughed, and he said, 'Throw her down out of there,' and they threw her down. And he said 'Throw her down again,' and they threw her down seventy-times-seven. And the fragments which they picked up filled twelve baskets full! NOW, whose wife will she be in the day of the Judgment?"

The story didn't say what the committee decided, but I have hope.

(From a sermon by Bobby Scobey, If the Church Became Unchristian # 4 - Behavior More Important Than Belief, 6/22/2010)

 
Contributed By:
A. Todd Coget
 
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[It’s Over Your Head, Citation: C.D. Monismith, Salem, Ore. Christian Reader, "Lite Fare."]
One quarter while teaching an adult Sunday school class, I decided, It’s time to be up-to-date and innovative. I need to try something new for our class.

We were studying one of the Old Testament books.
I found an overhead projector and tried to teach myself how to use it.
Then I wrote an outline on an overhead transparency to display for the class.

When Sunday morning came, I had the projector all set up.
At the right moment in the lesson, I flipped on the overhead.
The beautiful outline flashed on the wall for all to see.

To emphasize a significant spiritual truth in the passage, I grabbed one of the special markers, walked over and started writing in bold letters on the outline.
The class burst out laughing.

Why are they laughing? I thought to myself. This is the crucial point!
Then it hit me.
I was writing on the wall.
It seems I’d been a little unclear on the overhead concept.
The class wouldn’t let me forget it.
In fact, for many weeks they wouldn’t allow me to remove my brilliant insight from the wall.

 
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RICHES REVEALED IN THE TRINITY

There is a cartoon showing a lawyer reading the last will and testament of his client to a room full of greedy relatives. The caption reads: “I, John Jones, being of sound mind and body, spent it all!”

When Jesus wrote his will, He gave us all He had. Not only that but He also died so it could be in effect. (Hebrews 9:15-17)
We find our riches in ...

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Contributed By:
Nigel Heath
 
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Reading Someone Else's Mail

Have you ever read somebody else's mail? Come on, admit it. Surely there was a time you can remember when you saw an opened letter somewhere and you invented some reason why it would be the responsible thing to do to read it! Or perhaps I'm preaching to a congregation of truly wonderful saints this morning who would never have dreamed of reading someone else's mail.

And yet when it comes to reading the New Testament letters the strange thing is that, though it is very apparent that this is someone else's mail, the true Author the letter(God the Holy Spirit) knew full well that others would be reading it also, and so he was inspired to write it in such a way as to make it relevant for us also.

What might God be saying to you and I today?

 
Contributed By:
Dr. Larry  Petton
 
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A young preacher in Ft. Worth, Texas was trying to make an impression on a Pastor Search Team who had come to his church to hear him preach. The young man was preaching on the time in the Old Testament when God had enough with His disobedient people and finally said to them, "Ichabod!", which means, "The glory has departed!"

However, as the young pastor was preaching his hardest, he made a huge blunder. He said to the congregation, "Church, if you don’t obey God, if you don’t listen to God, if you don’t follow God......do you know what God will say to you? He will say.....MICHELOB!"

Once the laughter died down, the embarrassed young preacher apologized and tried his best to finish the sermon!

 
Contributed By:
Mike Kern
 
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Jeff, a Wycliffe Bible translator, was working on the island of Papua New Guinea to translate God’s Word into the islanders’ native language. One evening Jeff sat outside talking with his translator assistant, a local native he had spent months with learning the language and translating the New Testament.
As they sat outside looking up into the night sky, Jeff pointed at the moon and asked his assistant, "What is it?"
The assistant responded with his language’s word for the moon. "No," Jeff replied. "What is it?"
"Well," his assistant began. "When I was young my father told me a story. He said that his father’s father’s father’s father’s father once carved a great spear. He then took this large spear and, with all his might, hurled it into the sky, where it stuck fast. When we look at the moon, what we are actually seeing is the round end of that spear."
The assistant then turned to Jeff and asked, "What about you? What did your father tell you about the moon?"
Jeff chuckled and said, "In America, we are told that many years ago some men built a great big metal bird. When the bird was finished, three men put on special suits and climbed inside the bird. Then the bird took off from the ground and flew all the way up to the moon.
"They flew around the moon several times, then two men climbed into the bird’s head. The head detached from the body, leaving behind the third man, and flew down to the surface of the moon, where it landed. The two men got out of the bird’s head in their special suits and began to walk around. They discovered that on the surface of the moon there were no trees, water, grass, buildings or anything else; nothing but rocks and dirt.
"After looking around a bit, they opened up the bird’s head and took out a little car they had brought with them. They got in the car and drove around on the moon, collecting rocks and some dust. Then they planted an American flag and got back into the bird’s head, leaving behind the car. The head then flew back to the body still circling the moon, where it was reattached. Then the whole big metal bird and the three men flew all the way back to earth, where they landed in a great big lake and were picked up by men in giant canoes."
Jeff continued, "We actually have a museum in America where you can go and look at the rocks that the men brought back from the moon in the metal bird."
The assistant sat quietly for a moment pondering the story he’d just been told. As he turned to reply, Jeff, expecting some question about how the metal bird was built or what the rocks looked like, was amused to hear his assistant ask, "So, you mean to tell me they left a perfectly good car up there?"
"Yes," Jeff answered. "They sure did."
"Do you think they left the keys in it?" The assistant asked.
"I’m sure the keys are there," Jeff said. "Furthermore, the car was built by the American government. I am here from America, and as an American citizen, I give you that car! It’s yours!"
A smile broke out on his assistant’s face. He turned and gazed intently at the moon, as if searching for a glimpse of the vehicle he now owned, then turned and said, "But, how do I get it down?"
Jeff laughed and replied, "It’s your car, you work it out!"

 
Contributed By:
A. Todd Coget
 
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During Sunday school, our pastor, who was teaching the adult class, selected a middle-aged couple to act out the burning bush scene from the Old Testament. The husband was asked to supply the voice for God and his wife would read Moses’ lines.
All went well until they got to verse 15. The wife, as Moses, mistook her husband’s dialogue for her own and read, "Say to the Israelites, ’The Lord, the God of your fathers--’"
The pastor interrupted her. "Wait a minute. You’re not God."
Without missing a beat, her hus...

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Contributed By:
David Parks
 
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On her 60th birthday, a woman from Brooklyn decided to prepare her last will and testament. She went to her rabbi to make two final requests: First, she insisted on cremation. “What is your second request?” the rabbi asked. “I want my ashes scattered over Bloomingdale’s.” “Bloomingdale’s. Why ove...

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