Sermon Illustrations

H.A. Ironside’s Comment on H. D. Thoreau’s "A Different Drummer"

One of the most famous lines of the 19th century naturalist Henry David Thoreau was, "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer." Commenting on Thoreau’s defense of his personal oddities, Bible teacher H.A. Ironside said, "The Christian may well say this. If our inner ears have been attuned to the music of the heavens, we hear the drumbeat of the skies. Therefore, we must of very necessity seem to the world to be out of step with all that goes on down here which is contrary to the Holy Spirit who dwells within us."

Sad to say, it is sometimes impossible to distinguish those who call themselves Christians from those who don’t. They think, speak, and act like the average non-Christian. On the other hand, believers who are filled with the Spirit will not feel at home with the world’s philosophies and practices. They will resist conformity to its unholy standards, even though such a position is unpopular and may cause them to be ridiculed. They realize that as citizens of heaven, they are in the world but not of the world. They show by their conduct and attitudes the truth of that beloved old spiritual, "This world is not my home, I’m just a-passin’ through." They march to a different drummer.

Christian , we are told to walk just as Christ walked (1 John 2:6). If we are walking "in step" with the world, we’re "out of step" with heaven. He who walks with God will be out of step with the world.

From a sermon by Dennis Davidson, The Passion of Self-Gratification, 11/30/2009

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