Sermon Illustrations

In a recent article entitled “The Gym of the Soul” on, there is a quote from someone who says, “No matter what, you can overcome your past. With help, if you look to God, you can overcome your past and be reborn.” But it was not a preacher who was quoted, rather it was someone you might not expect. It was Sylvester Stallone, a.k.a. “Rocky.” Stuart Shepard tells the story of the turnaround in Stallone’s life. He tells how Stallone surprised the entertainment world by resurrecting his iconic movie hero, Rocky Balboa, for one last film. And while he was traveling and promoting the film, he told how his faith in Jesus Christ and his renewed commitment to the Christian faith was instrumental in his decision to make the final movie. The article quotes Stallone as saying, “I was raised in a Catholic home, a Christian home, and I went to Catholic schools and I was taught the faith and went as far as I could with it, until one day, you know, I got out in the so-called real world and I was presented with temptation. I kinda like lost my way and made a lot of bad choices.” The article quips, “No joke, said all the subscribers to People magazine. But, Stallone added, he’s been going through a change in his life. He’s realized that he was wrong to place his career and fame ahead of his family. ‘The more I go to church,’ he said, ‘and the more I turn myself over to the process of believing in Jesus and listening to His Word and having Him guide my hand, I feel as though the pressure is off me now.’ And, admitting that the analogy might be a little pedestrian, he made a correlation between physical and spiritual fitness. ‘You need to have the expertise and the guidance of someone else. You cannot train yourself,’ he said. ‘I feel the same way about Christianity and about what the church is: The church is the gym of the soul.’”