Sermon Illustrations

Apart from God, there is no _HOPE_

Those of you who know me well, may know that before I was married, my closest and dearest friends were my parents and my brothers. As a result, some of the most painful times I have endured were when I went away to seminary. Living alone in a trailer in Arkansas, I can remember times when such waves of loneliness and homesickness would come that they would threaten to overwhelm me. Even so, does our soul suffer when it is separated from God.

I remember as a young child, watching on TV as the soldiers returned from the Vietnam War. I remember watching as the planes circled the airfield. I remember watching the plane come in and land. I watched as the stairs were pushed to the sides of the planes. As I watched, the soldiers would descend the stairs, and each one, as he reached the bottom, would stoop and kiss the ground.

Those soldiers had been separated from home. Many had been captured. Many had been imprisoned. Some had been tortured. But, through it all they endured. Through it all they had one dream, one hope that kept them going. The hope that one day the suffering would end, that one day they would return home.

Do you remember the account of the rich man and Lazarus? The Bible records that the rich man cried out to Abraham, and asked that Lazarus be allowed to come and dip his finger, and place a drop of water on his tongue to cool the flames that were consuming him. But, he could not.

From Gene Gregory’s Sermon: The Great Invitation

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