Sermon Illustrations

Like many of us, I love listening to good Bible teachers on the radio. Great men of the past and great men of the present have given a great deal of time to explain and comment on the Word of God. We are truly blessed because of their efforts. My prayer is the Lord rewards them greatly when we stand before Him (1 Corinthians 3:8, 14).

But in nearly every broadcast or program, there is one thing that is just like fingernails on a chalkboard, squeaky hinges, or any other kind of annoying noise. I’m talking about the 1 to 2 minute “infomercial” that usually pops up about halfway through the message. It’s as if the announcer waits for the speaker to stop for a breath and then brings in the sales pitch: “you can enjoy the teaching of Brother Wordy for a generous donation of (some ridiculous amount), blah blah blah, and oh yes, we desperately need your financial support to keep this ministry on the air”—and it’s just a variation on the name and faces (and voices), for any given program.

There are a few exceptions, but not many. Mainly those teachers lived in yesteryear and prepared tapes in advance of their home-going to Heaven.

Now nobody would deny that ministries need money to stay on the air. It’s also true that there are many worthy ministries with good information. We can take advantage of their labors and reduction to writing of their studies. I myself have been blessed, motivated, encouraged, and challenged by material I’ve read and heard.

But the interruption in the middle—is there really a need for it? What would happen if, for example, your pastor is in the middle of a sermon, then pauses, and someone promptly jumps up and says, “Let me tell you about Pastor Parson’s latest series on birds in the Bible! Today is ‘The Goose That Laid the Rotten Egg’, and last week was ‘Owl-y Will I Seek Thee”! You choice of CD or cassettes; just fill out the offering envelope and write your preference. Don’t forget to give generously; we desperately need your faithful support!”—followed by, perhaps, a few bars of a musical interlude before the pastor (tries to) finish the message.

By the way, these “interludes” have been part of radio broadcasts for at least 15 years.

So again I ask, why the interruptions?

What do you think?

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.

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