Sermon Illustrations

I remember well when the Holy Spirit helped me come to a conviction that I was a sinner and needed a Savior. I was a young adult of 20, married, and the father of one child at the time. I had been running with the boys and come to the place of desiring a divorce from my wife. Also, I was doing drugs, dealing drugs, and had an unhealthy fear of dying. I decided to go to a “fortune teller” along with one of my friends to find out more about my fate. It was there in Buena Vista, Georgia that the Holy Spirit continued the process of convicting me that the Help I needed was God.

This evil fortune teller asked questions and planted thoughts in my mind that would later be used by the Holy Spirit to convict me of my sinfulness. Questions like is your wife pregnant? Has she ever had a miscarriage? Just be patient, wait, you’ll get your divorce in a year or so.

Well, we drove back home and when I got to the house Kathy asked me what the fortune teller told me. Of course, I didn’t tell her everything, but as we talked she said to me, “Bruce, you know the Lord gives you something and if you don’t live right, He’ll take it away!” At that moment the Holy Spirit convicted me that something was not right in my life.

My friend had asked me earlier if I realized I had been talking about death for over a week. Well, I was under conviction! I went on to work on Monday morning, but by 11:00 am I could stand it no longer. I went to my dad and said, “I’ve got to go.” He replied, “Where are you going?” “I don’t know, but I’ve got to go.” I walked right out with Dad’s mouth standing wide open, got into my car, and reached down for a Winston cigarette when a pain in my chest drew me to a fetal position in intense pain and weeping. “Help, help I yelled!” Then I sought to get myself under control. As this intermittent pain and suffering occurred I drove in front of the First Baptist Church in Dadeville where I had joined as a 10 year old and made a rededication as a teenager.

My thought was, “This pastor doesn’t know me and I don’t know him, but if I can just get all this stuff off my chest I’ll be okay.” As I stood in front of the Secretary this pain came one more time and I fell to the floor rolling and yelling, “Help, help!” Well, I finally got with the Pastor and shared with him for over an hour everything I had ever done wrong. His response was, “Bruce, everything you’ve shared with me is what the Bible calls sin and it says, ‘All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. And the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ Bruce, what you need is Jesus.” I said, “If Jesus is what I need, Jesus is what I want.” Right there in the Pastor’s Study we knelt and I prayed to receive Christ as my Savior. And it was the Holy Spirit who helped me know that it was Jesus I needed.