The reception of Fifty-two Evangelistic Illustrations and Fifty-two Soul-Stirring Illustrations reveals the need for this third volume.
It has been a joy for this author to collect these illustrations during the years of his busy ministry. Since the Christian life is a life of sharing, it is this writer's desire to share these illustrations with other ministers who may not have the time nor the source to secure illustrations for themselves.
These illustrations have been gleaned from the writings of the great preachers of the world who have lived in the past generations and those who live in the present. Some have been chosen from the sermons of these men while others have been chosen from various other writings. Whenever possible we have listed the author which will make the illustrations more useful to those who use them. We are exceedingly grateful to the various sources from which the illustrations which make up this book are taken.
These fifty-two illustrations in this book were specifically chosen to be used just before the singing of the invitation hymn. Each has an evangelistic appeal designed to stir individuals to make a spiritual decision for the Lord Jesus Christ. Here the minister of God's Word will find illustrations for fifty-two Sunday evangelistic services or fifty-two other evangelistic services. We have given titles to each illustration which we believe will be helpful to the user in choosing the proper illustration for each occasion.
These illustrations are sent forth with the prayer of the author that they may be used to enlighten individuals and encourage them to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. If this is accomplished then the labor of love spent in preparing this book will be well spent and the Lord Jesus shall have all the glory for this work which is sent forth in His Precious Name.
Hinton, West Virginia 1972
Our Lord Jesus Christ said:
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my father which is in heaven.
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity" (Matt. 7:21-23).
It is a tragedy that many who are church members and who hold offices in churches have never been born again. However, it is a blessing when those who have been church members and have held offices in churches recognize that they have not been born again and are lost and receive the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour.
Jack Hyles, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana tells of such an incident. Dr. Hyles said:
"For many years I have trained the deacons of the churches I have pastored to do the personal soul winning at the altar during the invitation time. As the people come forward to receive Christ as Saviour, the deacons also come forward to deal with them. I will simply say to a deacon, 'This man wants to receive Christ as Saviour, would you kneel and pray with him please.' The deacon takes his Bible, opens it, kneels at the altar with the seeker, presents the plan of salvation to him, and leads him to a saving knowledge of Christ.
"Once I went through this normal procedure only to have the deacon jump to his feet and come to me speaking in an excited voice saying, 'Preacher, I won myself to Christ! I won myself to Christ! I won myself to Christ!' I inquired as to the meaning of his statement. He then told me that for years he had known the plan of salvation but had never been born again. He related how that upon kneeling at the altar, presenting the plan to the seeker, he himself prayed the sinner's prayer and placed his faith in the finished work of Calvary. Yes, he had won himself to Christ, as he won another."
Are you a lost church member? If you are, won't you. follow the example of this deacon and receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour?
The Lord Jesus said: "... Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3).
Minister, Author, Educator, Hinton, West Virginia
There is an old story written in history books and one which reveals the tragedy of the Conemaugh Valley, the Conemaugh Dam. The engineers were sent to the valley. They checked the dam and said it was going to break. They pointed out certain weaknesses that made the dam unsafe. After they made their investigation, the engineers rode down the valley, and began to warn the people saying, "Move out! Get on higher ground! Get rid of everything and get away from the danger!"
The engineers went away and the people remained. Then the engineers returned a second time. They checked the dam again. Then they warned the people again, urging them to move before the dam broke and the entire valley flooded. This time the folks laughed. They said, "You were here a short time ago and nothing has happened. Everything is just as it was."
The engineers again went on their way, knowing that they had done their best. Then for a third time they came back—this was in the spring of the year. This time their warning was more urgent. They told every man, every woman, every child, everyone, "You must get out at once! Move out of here! Get to a higher place! To a safer place!"
The people again scorned their warning. "You are trying to get our land. This is rich and good land, and we are not going to move."
The engineers rode out of the valley. In fifteen days' time there came a man riding swiftly, on horseback as in the olden days, crying as he rode, "The waters are coming! The dam is breaking! The waters are coming!" He kept on shouting and screaming and crying, and still, they tell us, some people stood and laughed at him!
He was not out of their sight before they could hear the sound of the waters, for the Conemaugh Dam had broken, and in just a few minutes thirty-three hundred people had lost their lives. It took over six weeks to dig their bodies out of the refuse, the muck and the mire.
Listen! They had been warned, not once, not twice, but three times, even as I am seeking to warn you today to turn to Jesus Christ, to repent and believe, and receive Him as your Saviour.
—Lee Roberson, President-Founder of Tennessee Temple Schools, and pastor of Highland Park Baptist Church, Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Several radio listeners asked me what the click is they hear occasionally as I am preaching. It is the switch of a light on my desk. I turn the switch on, and immediately there is light. There is a power in the wire that is to me-ward, that is available to me.
The organ is quiet but there is a power in the line that is organ-ward and organist-ward, and when Mr. Penny turns the switch we have music for our closing hymn. We sing together by power generated at Niagara Falls. You cannot hear the thunder of Niagara, but you can hear the diapason of the organ, which is simply a transformation of the Niagara thunder.
If we come as poor sinners we can have all the power of Heaven for salvation, and best of all, you will not get any electric light bill at the end of the month. Salvation is without money and without price.
"Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.
For nothing good have I,
Whereby Thy grace to claim;
I'll wash my garments white,
In the blood of Calvary's Lamb."
May the Lord help you to yield yourselves to Him.
—T. T. Shields
Some years ago I was conducting meetings in Evansville, Indiana, with Dr. Earnest Reveal at the Evansville Rescue Mission. A few days before I arrived in the city, some of the men of the Mission had decided to put on the doors of his garage a special device to open the doors automatically.
Dr. Reveal was a crippled man. He wore steel braces on his limbs and walked with a crutch and a cane. It was very difficult for him to get out of his car and walk any distance. Therefore, they thought it would be a fine thing if they put automatic doors on the garage; doors that would open when the car approached them, and doors that could be closed by the simple pressing of a button.
When I arrived in Evansville, Dr. Reveal told me about his garage doors. I listened to his elaborate story and as he told it, I thought that the automatic doors were made for just one person, Dr. Reveal.
A few days after that I drove his car down the street, turned into the driveway toward his garage, and the doors opened for me. I thought that perhaps there was some special gadget on his car that caused his doors to open, so I tried my car and the doors opened the same way.
Christ is available to the poorest sinner, the most despised one, the most wretched soul in the world. He is available to the self-righteous, the dignified, the self-assured person as well. Simply come to Him, come in repentance and faith—come receiving Him. He will give you everlasting life.