Sermon Illustrations

“Gettin’ Up a Load Right Now!” Psalm 39: 5-13 Key verse(s): 5: “You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath.”

It was the end of the church year and Pastor Smith was really into his preaching. He loved “end times” because it was such a great time to “pull out all the stops.” He just found it easier and somehow more fulfilling to preach on the nearness of God and the imminence of eternal life. So Sunday found him climbing into the pulpit with a real “humdinger.” He knew that the first two hymns had already set the table for him, so he launched right into it. He repeated the sermon text, closed his book and then stared out at the rapt audience.

“If Jesus were to come today.” He spoke slowly. “How many of you would be ready to go to be with Him in Heaven?”

Preaching to a group of rather conservative and self-conscious Christians, he really didn’t expect a show of hands. Yet, this time he was so focused on the message of the end times that he actually did the unthinkable. “How many of you would be ready to be with Jesus today if this is your last day on earth. I want to see a show of hands.”

Slowly, first one, then another hand was raised. Finally, after but a few minutes (safety being found in numbers), every hand was raised from the front of the worship hall to the back. The pastor shook his head knowingly as he raised his eyes to the balcony in expectation of complete unanimity on the part of his congregation. Every hand was raised but one. There sat a little boy who resolutely refused to join the rest of the congregation. The pastor focused his gaze intently on the little boys spot.

“Son, don’t you want to go to heaven with the rest of your family?” The little boy smiled and looked at his mom and dad as they urged him to rise from his seat and respond to the pastor. “Sorry pastor.” He said. “I sure do want to go to heaven. But I thought that you were lookin’ to get a load up right now.” (Adapted from James Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited)

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