Sermon Illustrations

“To the best of our knowledge, the New Hebrides had no Christian influence before John Williams and James Harris from the London Missionary Society landed in 1839. Minutes after going ashore, both missionaries were killed and eaten by cannibals” (John Piper, online paper).

Eighteen years later, Pastor John Paton, 32-years old, sensed God’s call to return to these people with the Gospel, but some objected. Paton wrote: “Amongst many who sought to deter me, was one dear old Christian gentleman, whose crowning argument always was, ‘The cannibals! You will be eaten by cannibals!’”

To this Paton responded: “Mr. Dickson, you are advanced in years now, and your own prospect is soon to be laid in the grave, there to be eaten by worms; I confess to you, that if I can but live and die serving and honoring the Lord Jesus, it will make no difference to me whether I am eaten by Cannibals or by worms; and in the Great Day my Resurrection body will rise as fair as yours in the likeness of our risen Redeemer” (John Paton, Autobiography, Banner of Truth, 56).

Death will soon serve each of us as dinner to worms, or maybe a few to cannibals! But not all who die, die. Will you, today, begin to call on Christ for ears to hear and power to obey his word, and so keep it and never see death?