Sermon Illustrations

From Wm. Barclay’s commentary: One of the great stories of the Christian Church is that of Telemachus. He was a hermit of the desert, but the call of God told him he must go to Rome. Rome was nominally Christian, but still the gladiatorial games went on. Men fought with other and crowds roared with the lust for blood.

Telemachus found his way to the games, 80,000 people were there to spectate. He was horrified. Were these men who were slaughtering each other not also children of God?

He leaped from his seat, right into the arena, and stood between the gladiators. He was tossed aside. He came back.

The crowds were angry; they began to stone him. Still he struggled back between the gladiators. The prefect’s command rang out, a sword flashed in the sunlight and Telemachus was dead.

Suddenly there was a hush. The crowd realized what had happened – a holy man lay dead. Something happened that day to Rome, for there were never any gladiatorial games any more. The one man had let loose something by his death that cleansed an empire of a sin.

A reformation begins with one person. He need not begin it in a nation. He can begin it in his home or where he works every day. If he begins it in God, no man knows where it will end.

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