Sermon Illustrations

The opposite of faith is mistrust and disbelief. In its more extreme form it is paranoia in which a deep and overwhelming fear is present.

The writer of our text speaks of 'confident assurance' and 'the evidence of things not seen.' We have faith in many such things, some of them abstract instead of concrete, such as 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.'

This idea has given shape to our nation over the centuries. It has motivated people to take the actions of public service, elected office, and military service. It has required of them sacrifice, including the ultimate sacrifice, their own lives. As I think about our faith in ideals such as 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness' I think about a line from the movie Gettysburg in which Robert E. Lee says to his second-in-command, James Longstreet, 'they do not die for us' by which he meant he and Longstreet.

Those who have served and died in far away places such as Verdun, the Ardennes Forest, Pearl Harbor, Tawara, 'Pork Chop Hill,' DaNang, and Baghdad, have died not for their leaders, they have died for us -- their families, friends, and even for those with whom they politically disagreed.

Those who rushed into the Twin Towers on that fateful and tragic September morning, did not die for us, they died for those they were trying to save and rescue. Those that were recently remembered right here in our city a few weeks ago who died serving our communities and state in the line of duty, died so that we might be free and safe.

They believed in this nation. Many believed in God. They believed in this great American experiment. They had faith, they had a 'confident assurance' that this radical ideal of democracy would work. And it has, hasn't it! (Not perfectly, but it has worked.)

Related Sermon Illustrations

  • Praying For People  PRO

    Contributed by Ralf Bergmann on May 4, 2002
    based on 8 ratings
     | 1,056 views

    Praying for People A hospital chaplain visited a delightful old lady in the hospital. As he approached her bed he noticed that with the index finger of one hand she was touching, one by one, the fingers of the other, with her eyes closed. When the chaplain spoke to her she opened her eyes and ...read more

  • Four-Eyed Living

    Contributed by Bruce Howell on Apr 17, 2004
    based on 1 rating
     | 858 views

    Four-Eyed Living There is a minnow-like fish called Four Eyes, which makes home in Central and South America. What's unusual about him is his large, bulging eyes. They are so situated on his head that he can spend his time cruising along the water with only the upper half of each eye above the ...read more

  • On The Evening Of April 25, 1958, A Young Korean ...

    Contributed by Christian Cheong on Mar 29, 2004
    based on 1 rating
     | 810 views

    On the evening of April 25, 1958, a young Korean exchange student, a leader in student Christian affairs in the University of Pennsylvania, left his flat and went to the corner to post a letter to his parents in Pusan. Turning from the mailbox he stepped into the path of eleven leather-jacketed ...read more

  • After A Divorce, A Mom Was Left To Bring Up Her ...  PRO

    Contributed by Christian Cheong on Mar 29, 2004
    based on 7 ratings
     | 562 views

    After a divorce, a mom was left to bring up her teenage daughter. She was becoming increasingly rebellious. One night the police called to ask her to get her daughter from the police station, because she’d been arrested for drunk driving. Not a word was spoken between them until the next ...read more

  • I'm Standing By  PRO

    Contributed by Bruce Howell on Apr 17, 2004
    based on 4 ratings
     | 554 views

    I'm Standing By An ocean liner left a British port during WWII and headed for a harbor in the U.S. Enemy ships were everywhere. The captain was given secret directions charting the route. Added were these instructions: KKeep straight on this course. Turn aside for nothing. If you need help, ...read more

Related Sermons

Browse All Media

Related Media