Summary: Evangelistic Sermon focused at two things. 1. To draw attention to the unsaved listener to the felt need of salvation. 2. To cause the church to realize that desparate people are all around us.
Signals of the Soul
A. There are various signs, certain signals, that are given by men who are prisoners of war, or floating helplessly on the wreck of a ship, or stranded in some way. Signals that make their presence and peril known to a busy outside world. Signals that plea for relief. Signals that plead for help for someone in trouble.
*The minute gun at sea is a volume in itself. The sound of the gun telling of a ship in distress.
*The poor rag or bed sheet fluttering from a tree top on a rocky isle in remote parts of the ocean tells of the despair of a cast away. The fluttering rag speaking of hopelessness and helplessness for those who have no other consolation but rescue from passers by.
One story of a Vietnam POW tells how that he would gather shiny quartz stones on a remote prison camp so that he could signal to passing US planes. He would carefully gather (during work detail) the stones and slowly worked to arrange SOS. The shiny quartz crystals reflecting the sun signaled his need for rescue. It was a signal of an imperiled person hoping to be seen by someone who could help.
C. These signals declare existence, and suffering.
They are faint declarations of someone imperiled.
And they become a hail or farewell, a petition or funeral notice depending on when they are recognized.
Some are seen and help arrives…
and some are noticed too late:
The last flare shot from a wreckage of an airplane. The flare recognized by those who are unable to reach the wreckage.
The cloth noticed hanging in the tree by a passing ship on the ocean, but on arrival the relief party recognizes only a skeleton lying under its wavering somber shadow.
A. There are likewise signals that are sent from the deep within a human being.
How? Because inside the shell of the human body is an eternal soul.
From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
(Every action originates in the soul.)
B. The Human Soul
*The soul is that eternal part of every person. Some have said it is the real you. Body and Spirit formed the Soul.
The Body returns to the earth … the Spirit to God who gave it … but the soul lives forever.
C. I don’t think that there is anything more isolated, invisible and imperiled than the human soul. When imprisoned, it is the profoundest of bondages. When shipwrecked, it is the worst of calamities.
D. It is so walled in by flesh and bone, that we cannot see it with the eye. It can be so buried in ignorance, and prejudice, and sin that one cannot get a word through the thick walls and locked confines in to where the soul is sleeping. It can drift so far in evil that we cannot send a message to it. It can so petrify with despair and wickedness that we have no hope of making ourselves understood by what seems a captive in a fortress of flesh. A person locked behind the iron bars and stone walls of sins prison.
E. Scientists and humanists may question the existence of the eternal soul and that immortal personality. They say that they cannot see or find any sign of this captive, this shipwrecked mariner, this invisible nature created for God and for a higher life … They don’t see the suffering soul, starving and perishing for lack of relief. They don’t recognize the soul isolated and without deliverance.
F. But there are many who mark the signals going up from the soul. They see the signal calling attention to a deeper desire of the soul and are trying to bring help and comfort and liberty to the imprisoned, the entombed and the castaway; swelling the population of heaven with their efforts. They recognize there are souls in human bodies and they must be rescued. In a sense they have the unmistakeable proof that there are prisoners in the silent castle of flesh and bone and a starving sailor on a rock.
Not long ago we took a Christmas trip to my home in Illinois. We witnessed a wreck outside Marshall, TX. When I got to the seen the man was unconscious and unresponsive. What do you do? All I knew to do while all the people were gathering around this dying man was to pray. And as I prayed a single tear ran down this man’s cheek. Unable to signal me verbally, unable to tell me who he was or if he had a wife and children, unable to tell me where he was going, unable to tell me if he was a believer ... he signalled a message.