Sermon Illustrations

You can learn a lot about a person by listening to his or her last words. For example, it is reported that P. T. Barnum’s last words were “How were the receipts today at Madison Square Garden?” Supposedly writer Oscar Wilde said, “Either that wallpaper goes, or I do,” right before his passing. Another man is said to have quipped, “Everybody has got to die, but I have always believed an exception would be made in my case. Now what?” Gandhi is reported as writing, “My days are numbered. For the first time in 50 years I find myself in the slough of despond. All about me is darkness...”

Other men, great men of the faith, have made exceptional statements in their last words. For example, John Hus who died at the stake in 1415 for refusing to recant his belief that the Scriptures are infallible and the supreme authority in all matters said, “What I taught with my lips, I seal with my blood.” John Wesley, just before he died in his 88th year, sat up, looked at his loved ones weeping at his bedside, and said, "Best of all, God is with us." John Owen said, “I am yet in the land of the dying, but I hope soon to be in the land of the living." Some of the Apostle Paul’s last words are “The Lord will rescue me from every evil work and will bring me safely into His heavenly kingdom.”