Sermon Illustrations

This amazing poem about an imaginary conversion

is powerful - it uses New Zealand rural terminology.

You need to understand that if you are using it in New York

It is called Joe Bloggs dream.

It goes like this.

Joe Bloggs was just an average bloke,

He never went to church.

He wasn’t the religious kind,

He never got the urge.

He’d see his wife and kids go,

OK he’d say for them,

But not for stronger blokes like him,

And thought themselves “he men”

Well one day Joe was at a do,

With lots and lots to eat,

He stuffed himself with sponge and cream,

And pav and cakes too sweet.

Now too much cake can make you dream

And so it was with Joe.

For late that night he had a dream,

That filled his heart with woe,

Of all the dreams that shake you up,

And make you terrified,

Joe Bloggs dream’ it beat the lot.

Because – he dreamt – he died!

He dreamt he saw a great white throne,

It was God’s judgement seat,

It was the day of reckoning,

When God and Bloggs would meet.

Now Joe had never killed a soul.

He’d never robbed a till

He always kept his garden neat

And always paid his bills.

And so – he thought he’d done quite well

Compared to Bill, or Alf

But here he found – he found himself compared,

With the righteous Lord himself.

And God could see right through J. Bloggs,

All that in life He’d wrought.

Everything he’d ever said or done,

And even all he’d thought.

And Joe was real dismayed by this,

To find God was aware,

Of certain things he’s said and done, (he wished he wasn’t there.)

He saw himself a loathsome thing,

And felt an utter creep,

And he shrivelled up a lot more still,

When he heard God speak.

“Joe Bloggs your case is desperate,

And what of this my son?

He died that you might be forgiven,

If only you had come,

Through him alone you can be saved,

There’s simply no-one else,

But since you thought you were good enough,

Will you pay the price yourself?

Joe was really scared by now,

He had the wind up you can bet.

His hair stood up as stiff as wire,

And behind his ears was sweat

But then at God’s right hand Joe looked,

And saw Jesus the Son,

And on his hands some awful wounds,

That men like him had done.

“God loves you Joe” the Saviour said,

“He waits for you to come,

If you will follow where I lead,

A place for you is won.”

“Would you forgive me?” said Joe,

“And call me like a friend”,

“For sure.” He said, “I’ll come right now,

My life with you I’ll spend.”

He made to go towards the Lord,

And began with such a leap,

That he jerked himself to wakefulness,

That drove away his sleep.

And as he lay awake and thought,

Of God’s redeeming grace.

He’d heard about the ‘prodigal’,

And he was such a case,

He’d have to make a change from now,

He’d muck around no more.

He’d start by going to church next day,

And be faithful to the core.

He told his wife and kids next day,

As they had their evening meal.

His wife she quickly pinched herself,

To check that this was real.

Joe hardly even got the gist,

of what the preacher said.

For vivid memories of his dream,

Still raced around his head.

But when the preacher finished up,

And gave an ‘alter call’,

Joe stood up and gave a shout,

That echoed from the walls,

The clatter of his shoes was heard,

As up the aisle he sped.

The preacher stopped short in his tracks

And wondered what he’d said.

In all his years of ministry,

He’d never seen the like.

“It’s nothing that you’ve said,” said Joe,

“It’s what I saw last night.”

The people they were most upset

They called it a disgrace,

That Bloggs should let his emotions loose

Within that ‘hallowed’ place,

“I don’t care what you say” said Joe,

“But if you were to see,

The things revealed to me last night,

You’d sprint up here with me,

I saw with God I was not fit,

It shattered all my pride

But then I heard his gracious call,

When I dreamt I died.

Don Tayles

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