REFUSAL TO BELIEVE
I once served a very wealthy congregation. Over the years the different members had donated various items to the church, many of which were quite valuable. The stained glass windows were valued and tens of thousands of dollars each; The communion table was an intricately carved piece of art, from a world famous artist in Germany - I have no idea how much that was worth; One of the many nativity sets the church owned was a life size set, with beautiful animals and very regal magi, worth tens of thousands of dollars, the list goes on and on - but the most prized item was a painting of the Madonna given to the church in the 1930s. It was housed in a special room that was temperature controlled and very secure.
Congregation members loved this painting. Brides would have their picture taken with it, and many a new baptized baby had his or her picture taken by this Madonna painting. A small pamphlet was even written about this valuable painting and given to visitors who toured the church.
A toilet overflowed in the basement causing extensive damage downstairs, and an unbearable odor lingered for weeks. This caused the trustees to check the current value of the long list of items the church possessed for insurance purposes. So, a well-renowned art dealer was contacted to appraise the various works of art in the church.
The man appraised the various items in the church and he saved the famous painting for last, as the trustees did not want the dealer in the room alone with the painting. Finally, the time came for the art dealer to appraise the Madonna painting. The trustees showed the art dealer into the room and were delighted with the astonished look on the art dealers face.
The art dealer quietly took the painting down and slowly looked the painting over. One of the trustees could not contain himself and blurted out, "So, how much is it worth?"
"Well," said the art dealer, "I need to give the painting a more detailed examination, but I am quite impressed, my first thought that it is worth...seven, maybe eight thousand dollars. This is the best forgery of this painting I have ever seen."
This clearly agitated the trustees and one shot back, "What are you talking about? This painting must be worth several hundred thousand dollars. This is no forgery, you don’t know what you are talking about."
The art dealer didn’t miss a beat and cooly replied. "If you don’t believe me, you can go see the original yourself, it is on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City."
Believe it or not, there were some in the congregation...Continue reading this sermon illustration (Free with PRO)
Related Sermon Illustrations
Contributed by Lou Nicholes on May 25, 2005
A custom of the natives in New Guinea is told. At certain times they have rituals, songs, and dances. They work themselves up into a frenzy and the ritual culminates in what are called “the murder songs,” in which they shout before God the names of the people they wish to kill. When the natives ...read more
Contributed by Byron Maynard on Apr 9, 2005
We have all heard the "Good New!"..."Bad News!" aphorisms. Here’s one with a little different twist. I have some "Bad News!...Good News!...Best News!" for you... The bad news, you are dying! It’s no joke, biologist tell us that every day, to some extent, each of us are dying...The cells and ...read more
Contributed by Brad Beaman on Jul 24, 2003
In the fifteen hundreds there was a protestant reformer in England by the name of Hugh Latimer. He was known as a great preacher of his day and he had many opportunities to preach. One of his opportunities was to preach before the King Henry VIII of England. He thought about his great ...read more
Contributed by Lynn Floyd on Jul 29, 2003
“The church is like Noah’s ark: The stench inside would be unbearable if it weren’t for the storm outside. It’s true—sometimes we stink and the world is stormy. But as imperfect as we are on this side of heaven, the miracle is that God in fact chooses to ...read more
Contributed by Jim Kane on May 25, 2004
Like Bill Hybels, I believe that there is nothing like the local church when it is working right. In addition, I agree with what he says after that sentence: “Its beauty is indescribable. Its power is breathtaking. Its potential is unlimited. It comforts the grieving and heals the broken in the ...read more
Contributed by Tom Shepard on Feb 18, 2016
This sermon looks at seven principles to win the battles of life. 1. Identify Your ENEMY 2. Don’t Be Driven By EMOTION 3. Take Your Problems To The LORD 4. Admit You Need HELP 5. Rely On God’s POWER 6. Relax In FAITH 7. Thank God In ADVANCE
Contributed by Sam Mccormick on Aug 14, 2017
God's grace as the avenue of salvation is sometimes seen as being in conflict with obedience of the believer as a requirement, without which salvation cannot be obtained. Which is it, or is it a combination? Can this dichotomy be satisfactorily resolved?