Sermon Illustrations

Is there enough evidence to convict you of being a Christ-follower?

Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge John Burlew was on the bench in April when Eric Hine, 43, of Cincinnati, came before him on a charge of receiving stolen property. Hine’s attorney asked for a low bond, saying Hine had a full time job and was a regular churchgoer. Burlew told Hine that if he could recite the entire 23rd Psalm, he’d let him out of jail with just his signature. Hine recited all six verses. Hine didn’t receive preferential treatment because he was a Christian but rather his quoting of Scripture validated his attorney’s claim. (This story is found at

I was impressed that Hine could recite the entire Psalm. I can paraphrase the entire Psalm but I’m not sure that I would be able to give it verbatim.

I once attended a church that had a large sign up in their activity room that read, “If You Were Arrested For Being A Christian, Would There Be Enough Evidence To Convict You?” That question has stayed with me through the years. Am I so loving, giving, and forgiving that people would conclude, “Oh, he must be a follower of Christ”?

How do people experience and know you? What does the evidence say about your life?