Sermon Illustrations

High Diver Training For Olympics Saved

2 Peter 3:9-10 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish , but everyone to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare

I for one am very glad that God waited! If God had decided to pull up the weeds years ago I would have been in the weed bundle. All of us are objects of God’s grace.

In 1967 Charles Murray was a student at the University of Cincinnati and was preparing for the summer Olympics in high diving. He was not a Christian and had never gone to church. One day he met someone in a class that was a Christian. His new friend shared with him that God loved him and wanted to have a relationship with Him. He honestly was quite skeptical but interested. So over the semester, he talked this friend about God’s love and how much he mattered to God. One night he decided to call his friend up. He said, “Tell me again those verses in the Bible that says God cares about me.” And his friend shared those verses.

After he hung up he decided to go over to the school pool to do some practice diving. Because he was preparing for the Olympics, he had special privileges and he could use the pool even when it was closed. At the University of Cincinnati, it is an indoor pool and of course the lights were off because it was closed but it has a glass ceiling and there was a full moon that night so he could see his way to the diving board. He climbed up the top of the diving platform, turned around to do his first dive backwards and stretched out his arms. When he did that the moonlight coming through the ceiling shown his shadow on the wall and formed the shape of a cross. He looked at that and for the first time Charlie felt God’s love. He realized that Christ had died for him. That is how much God loved him. And in that moment on the twenty-plus feet diving platform, he sat down and opened his life to God. He said, “Jesus Christ, come into my life and make a difference in my life,” and he became a follower right there twenty feet up. He was sitting there in the dark when, about five minutes later, a janitor walked in and suddenly flipped on the light. It startled Charlie. He got up and as he looked down he saw that the pool had been emptied for repairs.

Charles Murray did not deserve heaven. He could have ignored the shadow of the cross and jumped into eternal separation from God. Instead he found grace. Likewise none of us deserve heaven. The fact that anyone is saved is a miracle of grace. God is waiting for the right time, however that will be decided, and then sin will be dealt with once and for all.

From a sermon by Stephen Sheane, Harvet Time, 10/27/2009

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