Sermon Illustrations

Evangelism Quotes and Illustrations

1. Paul Harvey said, "Too many Christians are no longer fishers of men but keepers of the aquarium."

2. Paul Little in his book "How to Give Away Your Faith" defines witnessing: "Witnessing is that deep-seated conviction that the greatest favor I can do for others is to introduce them to Jesus Christ."

3. Elton Trueblood, the Quaker scholar, once compared evangelism to fire. Evangelism occurs, he said, when Christians are so ignited by their contact with Christ that they in turn set other fires. It is easy to determine when something is aflame. It ignites other material. Any fire that does not spread will eventually go out. A church without evangelism is a contradiction in terms, just as fire that does not burn is a contradiction.

4. Evangelism is not what we tell people, unless what we tell is totally consistent with who we are. It is who we are that is going to make the difference. If we do not truly enjoy our faith, nobody is going to catch the fire of enjoyment from us. If our lives are not totally centered on Christ, we will not be Christ-bearers for others, no matter how pious our words. [Show and Tell, Citation: Madeleine L’Engle, quoted in Christian Reader (May/June 1998, p. 50)]

5. Recently, I saw a letter written by a relatively new Christian to the person whose life had influenced hers so greatly. She actually lists about a dozen qualities she found contagious in the life of this older Christian. Listen to some of what she wrote: You know when we met; I began to discover a new vulnerability, a warmth, and a lack of pretence that impressed me. I saw in you a thriving spirit - no signs of internal stagnation anywhere. I could tell you were a growing person and I liked that. I saw you had strong self-esteem, not based on the fluff of self-help books, but on something a whole lot deeper. I saw that you lived by convictions and priorities and not just by convenience, selfish pleasure, and financial gain. And I had never met anyone like that before. I felt a depth of love and concern as you listened to me and didn’t judge me. You tried to understand me, you sympathized and you celebrated with me, you demonstrated kindness and generosity - and not just to me, but to other people, as well. And you stood for something. You were willing to go against the grain of society and follow what you believed to be true, no matter what people said, and no matter how much it cost you. And for those reasons and a whole host of others, I found myself really wanting what you had. Now that I’ve become a Christian, I wanted to write to tell you I’m grateful beyond words for how you lived out your Christian life in front of me.

Basically, she was saying, "Thanks for being a Contagious Christian." Reading a letter like that motivates me to live as a contagious Christian too. How about you? I’ll bet you want your life to count for a whole lot more than trinkets and toys and zeros on a pay check, too. From: Becoming A Contagious Christian

6. Recently I heard Dieter Zander, the pastor of the first GenX church in America speak at a conference about reaching people in the age of relativism. He cited a Barna study that asked people to use single words to describe Jesus. They responded, "wise, accepting, compassionate, gracious, humble." Then he asked them to use single words to describe Christians, they said, "critical, exclusive, self righteous, narrow and repressive."

"There is a difference between knowing the good news and being the good news," Zander said. "We are the evidence! How we live our lives are the evidence. Everything counts--all the time."

"With previous generations, a strong preacher could give a good message, even if the church was hypocritical and critical and people would still get saved," Zander continued, "but not any more. I’m seeing a change in what seekers are looking for. Not something they can relate to. They are looking for a transcendent God. They don’t want to be entertained they want to be transformed."

7. There is something wrong when people are leaving the church to find God

8. "It is our privilege to have world evangelism as a passion, not our responsibility to have as a burden." Mary Nordstrom

9. Jim Wallis writes in The Call to Conversion (HarperCollins, 1992, p.

108) his testimony: "When I was a university student, I was unsuccessfully evangelized by almost every Christian group on campus. My basic response to their preaching was, "How can I believe when I look at the way the church lives?" They answered, "Don’t look at the church, look at Jesus." I now believe that statement is one of the saddest in the history of the church. ...People should be able to look at the way we live and begin to understand what the gospel is about."

10. "Our English word witness comes from an Old English word we do no use very much anymore but we used it in Elizabethan times and afterwards. It is the word wit. ’To wit’ means ’to know’ A ’wit’ is ’a knowledgeable person.’ So a ’witness’ of some who knows something and testifies to it."

11. A free flowing river purifies itself and is alive with life. So also is the Christian who becomes involved with others in sharing the Gospel. That Christian will discover the reason for his or her existence. Being involved in the ministry of a witness is essential to finding the fulfillment we desire as humans.

12. Richard Baxter, the Puritan preacher of the 17th century conveys the urgency, the zeal of Christian witness when he said, "I preached as never sure to preach again, and as a dying man to dying men!"

13. Jesus issues the same call to all, but to different tasks. Someone put it rather quaintly: "to some, Christ calls ’leave boat and bay, and white-haired Zebedee.’" To some, the call is harder - "stay and mend the nets for me."

14. CT STUDD: "wealthy, nationally famous athlete put it all aside to disappear into the mission field: China, India, and then Africa. Lost from sight for 13 yrs without contact. WHY? ’Some people love to dwell near church with choir and steeple bell. But I want to run a rescue station a yard from the gates of hell.’"

15. Alexander Whyte said, " It would change your whole heart and life this very (day) if you would take Peter and Cornelius home with you and lay them both to heart. If you would take a four cornered napkin when you get home, and a.. Pen and ink and write the names of the nations, and the churches, and the denominations, and the congregations, and the ministers, and the public figures (men), and the private citizens, and the neighbors, and the fellow-worshippers - all the people you dislike, and despise and do not, cannot, and will not, love. Heap all their names into your unclean napkin, and then look up and say, ’Not so, Lord, I neither can speak well, nor think well, of these people. I cannot do it and I will not try. If your acted out...

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