Sermon Illustrations


In 1983 Robert Duvall wanted to make The Apostle because he felt that the motion picture industry had mostly ignored the work of the Holy Spirit. According to Duvall, filmmakers hardly ever made a movie that would actually show the truth about the Holy Spirit. If they did make a movie it is usually one that was patronizing and full of stuff that has nothing to do with the Holy Spirit or the Bible. Duvall wanted to realistically portray a preacher who was completely under the control of the Holy Spirit.

Duvall wanted to understand what these preachers went through and what they believe in order to be able to portray this in an accurate way so that the audience would understand. When he first approached various studios about this movie they wouldn’t go near it because it didn’t attack the evangelical community.

Duvall put off the movie for nearly 15 years, until he was able to finance it with his own money. The movie became so popular that he earned an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of preacher Sonny Dewey. Duvall who was raised in a Christian home and though he was taught to believe in Jesus Christ he never knew much about the Holy Spirit until he made The Apostle. It was during his research for the move that he felt the touch of the Holy Spirit as he sat in a church in Harlem.

In response to the popularity of movie Newsweek devoted an article to the concept that there was a resurgence of the Holy Spirit ministry in churches since the movie. According to a Newsweek survey taken after the movie was shown to the public, the survey found that 47% of people in churches claim to have an experience of the Holy Spirit ministry in their lives. What is interesting is that according to Newsweek survey they also found that a large numbers of people who didn’t even go to church say that they also had experienced the Holy Spirit ministry in their lives. I find it interesting that since the movie came out we now have people who have never went to church who have never sat under a teaching ministry and who very likely are not even saved say that they have experience the Holy Spirit ministry in their lives.

Today there is a tremendous amount of confusion and controversy that exists about the Holy Spirit.

(From a sermon by Eugene Morell, The Ministry of the Holy Spirit, # 1 5/21/2012)

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