6-Week Series: Against All Odds

Sermon Illustrations

Imagine a man standing in the middle of some train tracks, reading a

newspaper. You’re standing to the side of the tracks, and you notice that he doesn’t

seem to be getting off. In the distance behind him, you can see the train coming

toward him, you can hear the noise it makes. Strangely, though, he doesn’t seem to

notice. You scream at him and wave your arms. Get off the track, you scream. He

looks at you, and calls, I’m alright here, I’ll do something when I need to. By now,

you have no idea why he can’t hear the train quickly coming up behind him. You can

feel the vibrations on the ground. Get off, get off, get off, you scream. There’s a train

coming!! But he just looks at you and calmly says, "Give me a few minutes, I’ve got

plenty of time. Let me finish the paper!" You pick up a handful gravel and start

hurling it at him. One stone makes a hole in the paper right on the article he’s

reading, so he gets a bit annoyed. "I told you to leave me alone! I’ll do it in my own

time. Just go - " and he never finishes the sentence.

I’ll follow Jesus, one woman says. But not now. How about when I’m older,

when I really need it. You hear a splat as the train hits her.

The Gospel sounds good to me, says the father with his two children. But I’ve

got a family to bring up. Tell me about it later. You can hear the bones crack as he’s

flung off the track into the ravine below.

Yeah, I believe it, says the teenager. But I’ll do something about it when I’m

older. I’ve got to have fun with my friends now. The broken body is crunched under

the train wheels.

You see, friends, this is a desperate situation. Paul’s demand is urgent. "Now

is the time of God’s favour, today is the day of salvation. " Don’t receive God’s grace

in vain by hearing it but not doing anything about it.

We don’t know when God will demand our life from us. A guy I went to

school who died from a stroke at age 16 didn’t know. The rich fool mentioned in

Luke 12 did not know his life would be demanded from him after he had built himself

all his massive barns to store his wealth.

And nor do we know when Jesus will return. Like a thief in the night, we are

told, when we don’t expect it. It could be now, it could be tomorrow. God is patient,

but he has set aside a day.

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