Sermon Illustrations

The New Birth (John 3 & 2 Cor. 5:17)


Have you ever watched the show, "Hoarders?" It's about people who have a hard time throwing things away. They simply collect and, eventually, the clutter overwhelms them.

The thing about a hoarder is that, unless there is a change within, the garbage will collect again. There is a small farming town north of Manhattan, Kansas that had a notorious hoarder family living there. They had completely filled their front porch with bags of trash and it wasn't long before their yard and driveway were completely full of trash, broken refrigerators, stoves, worn out sofas, lawn mowers and an old car--and they didn't drive! And then one morning a sign was posted on their front door that read, "Moved Next Door." And they had--they had literally moved next door! It seems the inside of their house was just as full of clutter and trash as the yard and so they had no choice but to move. But you know they took some of their old trash with them, and it wasn't long until their new house was as trashy as the old one!!

While returning from Richmond last weekend, Vickie and I saw a car on I81 that was so full of garbage that the driver hardly had room to drive. The garbage was stacked higher than his shoulders and included everything from fast food bags to ... well who knows what else. This hoarder took his trash with him on the road.

Sometimes our lives can be that way--so cluttered with junk and trash that normal life seems impossible. We'll talk about needing a fresh start or a clean break--we'll want to just pick up and "move next door" hoping for a fresh start or a clean break with the past. But unless some deep change takes place at the core level of our very being, we end up cluttering up our lives with the same sort of junk and trash as before -- we'll even take it on the road with us everywhere we go.

That's where repentance comes in. That's where a new birth, as opposed to a new start, is required.

2 Cor. 5:17 says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"

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