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Sermon Illustrations: Compassion

For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: (Phil 3:18) Can you imagine that? Paul's in jail, put there because of his faith by non-Christians. And as he writes, his mind goes back to the people who beat him, whipped him, jailed him - and he starts to cry.

A highwayman had been caught and was convicted of his crime. Waiting to be hanged, he was told by a priest that he was going to go to hell but that it was still not too late to repent. The highwayman looked at him and replied, "You live such comfortable lives, you could not possibly believe in what you believe. If I believed in the hell that you preach, I would crawl the length of England on broken glass just to make one convert."

On 3rd July, 1988, the USS Vincennes accidentally shot down an Iranian plane with 290 aboard. The ship's captain had thought they were under attack by an Iranian F-14 fighter. Most Americans were against paying compensation to victims' families because of the hostage crisis in 1979. Nevertheless, Reagan approved the compensation, and when asked by reporters about what message it sent, he replied, "I don't ever find compassion a bad precedent."