Your Sermon Illustration Page


The sermon illustration is a story that may be used to help illuminate a Biblical truth. Please share your best sermon illustrations and stories that help drive home Biblical truths. You can submit illustrations at the bottom of this page. You can even comment on others that have been submitted. Thanks for your help in advance.

It is still true what Louis Banks said way back in 1902 in his book, "Windows for Sermons," when he said that dullness is no longer regarded as an indication of either a profound mind or a pious heart. The day has passed when people will scratch their heads and lift their hands in admiration over a sermon which is "so deep" that they cannot understand it.

People call it by another name now; they say the sermon was "muddy," or "dry," or "dull," or "uninteresting." The latter-day judgment is undoubtedly the better. The deep and profound sermons that nobody could understand were delivered by men who lacked either clearness of thought or the wise use of language to set their thought in a bright and understandable setting.

It is no longer a crime to have a style that can be at once comprehended. There is no premium on a book today, in any circle, because it is one that requires half a dozen dictionaries and an expert counselor to find out what it means.

In this quick, alert age in which we are living, men want to see the truth and grasp it at once. If you have anything worth while to say, you can get an audience for it only by presenting it so that it may be apprehended at the first glance of the intelligent mind.

There is no place where clearness and simplicity are more absolutely imperative than in the pulpit. The empty churches of the country are mostly empty because the man in the pulpit has not found out that sermons which are not interesting never win. And the use of the sermon illustration helps the sermon to win.

And a large part of these sermons are uninteresting for the lack of the illustrative faculty, or the proper development and use of it, on the part of the preacher.

We shall see the importance of the sermon illustration very clearly if we consider some of the figures which are used in the Scriptures to set forth the mission of the preacher.

In the first place, he is called a fisherman. Christ put his seal on that when he told those young net-menders by the Sea of Galilee that if they would follow him he would make them fishers of men.

Now the fisherman knows that fishing is an art requiring a good deal of self-sacrificing study; and any man who sets out to go a-fishing with an expert trout fisherman, or a good black-bass or salmon angler, will readily find out that it is not so easy to catch fish as it looks at first.

One of the points where the fisherman's wisdom counts most is in the choice of bait. He must lure the fish to his hook.

The fish is not consumed with anxiety to make his acquaintance. A young fellow went up into the Northwest for a summer's fishing. He was rich, and so he got up the most remarkable fishing rig that had ever gone into those woods. Such a fishing suit the natives never had seen. He had a different rod and a different sort of line for every kind of fish.

He had hand nets and gaffs and baskets galore. Ordinary people stood around with eyes wide open. There was a good deal of interest about the sportsman's hotel when the young nabob set off with two guides for his first day's fishing; and there was a good deal of amusement when he came back empty handed at night.

When he was asked what was the trouble, and if he saw no fish, he replied: "Oh, yes! I saw a great many fish, and some large ones, but the difficulty really seemed to be that I somehow failed to attract the attention of the fish." He was not a good fisherman.

Gospel fishing is like that. Men are taken up with worldly things. They are fascinated by the pleasures of society or they are intoxicated in the race for wealth. They have been caught, it may be, in the current of passion and self-indulgence. The noise and din of fleshly things come in like a flood to drown out the better intuitions and longings of the soul.

You must attract the attention of these people and awaken an interest in them before you can do anything to help them. The preacher may be good, he may be scholarly, he may be earnest; but if he does not seek out the proper bait to catch the eye and ear and heart of men and women who are indifferent and sinful, he will not catch them for his Lord. The sermon illustration is the bait.

Again, the preacher is called the messenger of good tidings. He brings the good news of salvation to men and women who sadly need it, and yet they do not know the depth of their great need. He must act the part of a messenger. The bringing of great news is sensational.

A messenger who has a reprieve or a pardon for a condemned man whose life may depend upon the speed of the messenger and upon his making himself known at the important moment, must make himself heard and seen. He must announce his mission so sharply and earnestly that it will at once reach the minds of the people.

The preacher is a messenger from God; he has good news to tell. Woe be to him if, through reading his perfumed essays or droning his goody-goody commonplaces, he fails to get his Master's message to the people to whom he has been sent! The messenger must appear in him.

There must be about him a certain atmosphere of haste, and an intensity of earnestness, a picturesqueness of speech, that will change the most indifferent hanger-on into an interested listener. He is the best messenger who will attract the attention of all the people to his message, and so present his message that the people will hear and consider it.

He is the best preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ who makes the most people see Jesus as "the One altogether lovely," and who forces home upon their consciences the claims of Christ as their divine Lord and the boundless love of Christ as their divine Savior.

The preacher is a prophet. He is not only to speak the message which God gives him, but he is to tell forth everywhere the story of God's dealings with men, and the love which he has even for his children who have wandered into sin.

He is a story-teller. He is to tell the story of Jesus Christ—the story of his coming from heaven to earth, the story of his life on earth, the story of his sacrificial death, the story of his resurrection and ascension. In a peculiar sense the whole Gospel of Jesus Christ is a series of stories.

The man who can not tell a story well should go to school to learn from somebody who can teach him, if he wants to be a successful preacher. There is a true sense in which the preacher's whole mission is to tell the story of Jesus. Profound essays or heavy, abstruse lectures are not valuable in telling a story. To tell a story well you must appeal to the imagination.

Your subject must be incarnated in individuals. The great passions of love and hope and faith, of fear and hate, must be pictured in personalities, so that the men and women who listen to the story may see it and in a way live it as they listen. You can never greatly stir men's hearts without this appeal to the imagination.

It is hard to understand how so many preachers could have made the great mistake they have in fighting shy of the imagination and of making any appeal to the emotions. Christianity's supreme appeal is to the heart of man. If we get his heart we shall get his head; but it often occurs that we capture his head and never get his heart.

Men's lives will never be greatly transformed unless we stir that great fountain whence the tears flow and whence the deep emotions rise up into the white-caps of interest and excitement.

It is needless to say that the greatest preachers have always understood these facts, and by the use of illustrations of every kind have sought to catch the imagination, arouse the interest, and stir the hearts of their listeners. Christ is the supreme story-teller among all the great teachers of mankind.

After hearing long sermons of some preachers, a reporter sometimes summed it up by saying, "Without a parable spake he not unto them." Christ embodied his supreme message in stories that the people could understand. Paul and Peter were good story-tellers.

The great preachers of the Reformation knew the power of the sermon illustration, and many of them added to it a marvelous development of the dramatic gift. In their own time men like Liddon and Spurgeon and Farrar and Pearse and Simpson and Phillips Brooks and Beecher and Moody and Talmage have been the men who knew the power of talking in pictures. Great preachers of today know the power of the sermon illustration as well.

It is folly to fight against God as revealed in all history by continuing to be careless or indifferent to the subject of sermon illustrations in sermons. The old cry that a sermon illustration weakens a sermon is solemn nonsense. Sermons are weak which do not have a sermon illustration or two or three, to let the light into them and illuminate them.

That is a weak sermon which fails to do the work for which a sermon is made, and that is a strong sermon which reaches the object of sermons...the bringing of a man to God or building him up in the faith.

There is one other thought worth noting about the sermon illustration, and that is that we are living in an age of pictures...a visual age as it were. Never before have the common people had so good an opportunity of seeing as well as of hearing about the interesting things of the world.

People today are forming a habit of mind which requires and demands all kinds of sermon illustrations. It emphasizes the reasons for following the footsteps of our Master and attracting and holding the attention of the multitude by a skillful use of parables.

Have A Great Illustration To Share That Will Illuminate a Biblical Truth?

Do you have any great illustrations?

Share them! Be a blessing to other preachers.

Share your illustrations in as full detail as possible.

[ ? ]

Upload an Appropriate, Original Picture (optional)[ ? ]


Click here to upload more images (optional)

Author Information (optional)

To receive credit as the author, enter your information below.

(first or full name)

(e.g., City, State, Country)

Submit Your Contribution

 submission guidelines.

(You can preview and edit on the next page)

How Other Preachers Have Illustrated a Sermon or Biblical Truth:

Click below to see illustrations from other preachers visiting this can read them and make encouraging comments. You can even comment on the comments, if you like!

Angels in a pickup truck? 
There’s not much better than a great vacation day, especially when the outside temperature is hot and the car’s A/C is cold! Such was the case one recent …

Thoughts on Opening a Snack Package 
The other day I noticed a male co-worker, trying to open a package of a certain candy product for his significant other. Now, we all understand the need …

There’s something about a good word! 
When was the last time you heard a good word from a total stranger? This happened to me recently, as I was walking from the parking lot to the building …

Ashamed When It Counted the Most 
Ashamed when it counted the most Text: 1 Cor. 3:13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be …

A lesson from a pair of brothers 
(Mat 18:1-3, NASB) 1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, "Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" 2 And He called a child to Himself …

I was 13 yrs. old living in the church parsonage back in the 50's. An elderly couple lived across the street from he front doors of the church. A church …

A lesson from a damaged lock 
Matthew 6:19-20, KJV 19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 …

Well the devil always wants to play tricks with you. and he always comes at you when you are doing the right thing. I think sometimes I am glad because …

Trust God in every circumstances! 
Me: God, can I ask You a question? God: Sure Me: Promise You won't get mad God: I promise Me: Why did You let so much stuff happen to me today? God: …

God Holds Us Together 
Shared by an anonymous doctor: A couple of days ago I was running (I use that term very loosely) on my treadmill, watching a DVD sermon by Louie Giglio... …

God's Grace 
There once was a man named George Thomas, pastor in a small New England town. One Easter Sunday morning he came to the Church carrying a rusty, bent, old …

Maturity and Experience 
A wealthy Old Gentleman decides to go on a hunting safari in Africa, taking his faithful, elderly dog named Killer, along for the company. One …

We Grow 'Em Big In Texas! 
Beau Elrod made a startling discovery on a local golf course in Cleburne TX . on Monday. While searching for golf balls, a weekly endeavor for Beau, on …

I Love This Doctor! 
Q: I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life; is this true? A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that's it... don't waste …

The belief that there was nothing and nothing happened to nothing and then nothing magically exploded for no reason, creating everything and then a bunch …

Fallen Soldier's Wife 
International Picture of the Year Second Place Todd Heisler, The Rocky Mountain News The night before the burial of her husband's body, Katherine …

Dying in the Service 
One Sunday morning, the pastor noticed little Alex standing in the foyer of the church staring up at a large plaque. It was covered with names and small …

Galatians 6:10 There's a story of a young soldier who illustrates this idea of "taking your opportunities" or "seizing the day" or "acting on a purpose." …

A Collector’s Item? 
Hard to believe, but I may have a collector’s item! In my own house! Now, before you start sending me “Can I see it?” types of emails, maybe I should …

A Tribute to Mrs. Elma Lee Spence 
Note: Mrs. Elma Lee Spence went to be with the Lord early in the morning of May 5, 2017, after a brief illness. Her name has not been changed. Rev. …

The Payment for the Parts 
One of the worst things that happens to anybody is a car accident. This happened to one of my sons not long ago. He was okay, just a few bruises, but the …

Remember your Creator 
Do you remember minibikes? They were smaller than motorcycles, and used a smaller engine. I thought they looked like lawnmower engines, but maybe they …

The House With The Unused Room 
Once upon a time I was interested in buying a home, and sure enough, one caught my eye! It wasn’t too far from where I was working, the price seemed reasonable, …

It’s Closer Than I Thought! 
There’s a certain brand of ketchup that my wife and her parents used for many things over many years. They hadn’t had any of it, though, in perhaps 30 …

Click here to write your own.

Hold that thought! 
Our church has a ping-pong table in our fellowship hall, and on occasion some of our younger members ask me to join them in a game. Now, I’m old enough …

What I Learned at the Recycling Center 
Recycling centers have always been something that fascinated me. Usually these companies are in buildings that were themselves built for another purpose, …

The Long Ride Home 
(Note: I used this illustration as part of a funeral message in January 2017) Back when I was 11 years of age, I really discovered pro baseball! We …

The sign was all that was left 
Some years ago I drove by a small shopping center in a Midwestern city. This particular shopping center had a display of signs, everything from a bookstore …

The “root” of the problem 
We used to live in a very nice house which had some live plants near the driveway. Most were nice, but there was one plant in particular that we absolutely …

"Coming Soon"--?! 
Many of us, I'm sure, remember the words, "Coming soon to a theater/store/restaurant (fill in the blank) near you . . ." The reason was to catch and hold …

Something for nothing? 
Something for nothing? Several years ago, I had to make an urgent flight across the country. One major problem was that the only airport with those …

Mercy and Grace 
I have an idea for a sermon and hoping Church leaders can use it to demonstrate God's love, forgive me if it's already been thought of, but I have never …

"Hey! Get your own!" 
A few years ago, my wife and I were traveling. Supper time was getting near, and we thought we’d get a drive-through meal. She wanted an ice cream cone, …

During the Viet Nam era I was stationed aboard a destroyer. On occasion we would experience rough seas, and the ship would pitch and roll, moving in a …

I'm a Southern Baptist, I do not have anything of how to start. I have had about three Miracles happen to me in my past. I like to someday preach this …

The Lord Jesus Christ is the heart of Scripture. In His challenge to the religious elite of His time, Jesus said something most appropriate for our day. …

Service; Humility 
If anyone has ever done any flower arranging, you know the most important element is not really the flowers themselves. It is not the vase or container, …

Wicker Basket 
The story is told of an old man who lived on a farm in the mountains of eastern Kentucky with his young grandson. Each morning, Grandpa was up early sitting …

Daylight Savings Time 
When told the reason for daylight savings time, the old Indian said, "Only the government would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket, …

Seek the Greastest Gifts 
Piano Player If the world’s greatest piano player had never put his fingers to the keys he would have never known the gift that dwells within him. …

Italian Tomato Garden 
An old Italian lived alone in New Jersey . He wanted to plant his annual tomato garden, but it was very difficult work, as the ground was hard. His …

Wounded for Our Transgressions 
A young man was asked when he first trusted in Christ and was saved. His answer was, "When the bee stung mother." When he was a little boy he was playing …

The Tangled Web We Weave 
A lady ran over a mattress on the highway and decided not to worry, and kept driving. The ensuing jumble finally whipped around enough to tear a hole …

How To Dance In The Rain 
It was a busy morning, about 8:30, when an elderly gentleman in his 80's arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He said he was in a hurry as …

Noon Time Prayer! 
A minister passing through his church In the middle of the day, Decided to pause by the altar, And see who had come to pray. Just then the back …

Changing Jobs 
A passenger in a taxi leaned over to ask the driver a question and tapped him on the shoulder. The driver screamed, lost control of the cab, nearly …

Helicopter Ride 
Morris and his wife Esther went to the state fair every year, And every year Morris would say, 'Esther, I'd like to ride in that helicopter.' Esther …

The Buzzard, the Bat, and the Bumblebee 
The Buzzard: If you put a buzzard in a pen that is 6 feet by 8 feet and is entirely open at the top, the bird, in spite of its ability to fly, will …

Single Black Female 
This has to be one of the best singles ads ever printed. It is reported to have been listed in the Atlanta Journal. SINGLE BLACK FEMALE seeks male …

Click here to write your own.

School Prayer 
Guess our national leaders didn't expect this? On Thursday, April 30, 2009, Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School …

Maturity...Not Old Age! 
Julie Andrews Turns 69........ To commemorate her birthday, actress/vocalist, Julie Andrews made a special appearance at Manhattan's Radio City Music …

The Devil & the Duck 
There was a little boy visiting his grandparents on their farm. He was given a slingshot to play with out in the woods. He practiced in the woods; but …

Various Jokes 
There was a very gracious lady who was mailing an old family Bible to her brother in another part of the country. "Is there anything breakable in here?" …

Country Funeral 
As a young minister in Kentucky, I was asked by a funeral director to hold a grave side service for a homeless man, who had no family or friends. The funeral …

Fallen Soldier's Casket 
International Picture of the Year First Place: Todd Heisler, The Rocky Mountain News When 2nd Lt. James Cathey's body arrived at the Reno Airport …

Adam and Eve 
Did you hear about the preacher who got up to preach out of the book of Genesis? He had one of those loose leaf Bibles. He said, "And Adam said to Eve," …

A Christian's Ruby Ring 
John 3:18 One of our kings once gave a ring to his favorite, and said to him, "I know that at the council tomorrow a charge of heresy will be brought …

Words that Hurt, Words that Heal 
2 Timothy 1:1-4 "Mom, hurry! John fell off his bike and hurt his leg." Matt's words swept through the kitchen window, their urgency unmistakable. I …

Taking On Human Nature 
Hebrews 4:15 A little girl dressed in dungarees walked into a pet shop and asked whether they had a puppy with a lame leg. She had a dollar and she …

Science, Supernatural...or both? 
Science and revelation are different spheres, and governed by different laws. They are not contradictory, but supplementary; and there is only antagonism …

Click here to write your own.

Leave this page and return to my Free Illustrations page.

Leave this page and return to the Sermon Illustrations (types of Illustrations) page.

Leave Your Sermon Illustration page and return to Preachology Home page.

The Preaching Ezine

Click Here!

Subscribe to my free newsletter for monthly sermons and get a free book right now. Just follow the link above and get the details!

Ministry Leads

Click Here!

Anybody else want more leads and prospects for your Church, Ministry, or School, as well as, a means to follow up and communicate automatically?
Just follow the link above and get the details!


Your Web Page:
Want your own sermon web page? You can have one!
Your Outlines:
Share YOUR skeleton outlines.
Your Illustrations:
Share YOUR Illustrations.
Encourage other ministers
by sharing
YOUR great sermons!
Encourage us all
by sharing
YOUR great poems!