Sermon Illustrations

ILLUSTRATION: the story of the man who made a pet out of a rattlesnake.

The "Memphis Commercial-Appeal" tells of a man across the river in Arkansas who had a pet rattlesnake. He had found it as a baby snake, taking it, fed it, and made a pet of it. The reptile would come when he whistled, it would eat from his fingers. It would coil around his arm, and let him stroke its head with the palm of his hand, or the tips of his fingers.

One day he took it to town to exhibit it among his friends. They marveled at its gentleness at the way it would coil itself around his arm, and eat from his hand, and come when he was whistled. He went back home with his pet when suddenly, with only the slightest provocation, the reptile became angry. Quicker than the lightning flashes from the bosom of a Dark Cloud that pet Rattler buried its fangs in the man's arm. In a few hours the man was dead. In one quick instant with poisonous fangs, the serpent had written his death in his own blood. Two nights after that the man who should have been sitting with his family in their humble, but happy home was sleeping in the mud of an Arkansas grave. ( This illustration was used by a preacher named Robert G. Lee, born 1886 died 1978)

APPLICATION: if we make a pet out of a favorite sin, or sins, that sin has the poison of death in its fangs, "the wages of sin is death." God has called us to make a complete break with all sin and come to Christ and trust in him, God has imputed all of our sins to Christ at Calvary, and Christ drank the bitter dregs of God's wrath and placated it. God calls everyone to repent and to "depart from iniquity." We either depart from iniquity in this world, or we will depart from God in the world to come. Matthew 7:23 "And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

For those who repent and trust Christ their sins are washed away, and to know Christ is eternal life. John 17:3 "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."

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