Sermon Illustrations: Deception
Currency lads (sons of early Australian convicts) used to have fun with the early settlers fresh from England: "When the kookaburra's laughter rang through the trees, a local would grab the new chum's arm and croak, 'Did you hear that? Don't worry, it's only old Joe, the black fella. He eats people, you know - he comes out at sunset. If you hear him in the bush, just come running into the streets yelling and we'll see what we can do to help you.'"1
A 15 year old boy gave his life to Christ one Sunday after being in our home group for nine months. He went home and told his parents he'd given his life to Jesus. They said, "But you can't do that without parental permission till you're 18." The same parents, when their daughter turned 17, rented an R-rated video with explicit sex, watched it as family, and said, "Welcome to the adult world." She goes to night clubs, gets drunk, and sleeps with her boyfriend in the parental home. And they're worried because their son is getting involved in a church!
My children used to love eating sweets called "warheads". Warheads were sour in the extreme. But, wanting to share the pain, my children would pop one in their mouth, their face would cave in, then they would smile and say, "Want one? They're really nice." In the same way, Satan hides the real consequences of sinful actions.
In China, parents of twin boys hoped to save money on their sons' education, so they sent one twin to school on odd days and the other on evens. The teachers figured it out after six months.
During World War 2, the Allies sometimes made wooden tanks or trucks to trick the enemy and draw their fire. Enemy planes flew overhead and they couldn't tell the difference so they'd waste their bombs. It worked for a while. At least till the Germans started dropping wooden bombs. The Germans also had a sense of humour.
The US Treasury Department has a special group of people whose job it is to track down counterfeiters. They are not trained by spending hours examining counterfeit money. Rather, they study the real thing.
A student in the US put his entire high school up for sale on eBay. He even promised to throw in the school's chess team if offers got past $5. He got over a dozen bids, the highest at $14,000, before he declared the auction a prank.
When Pastor Bob Wright appears naked before his congregation of Christian nudists, he feels no shame about his lifestyle. "I think it's a holy and reverent act," said Pastor Wright, who yesterday gave communion in the nude to more than 200 Christians at the Pacific Sun Nudist Resort at Donnybrook, north of Brisbane. The 51-year-old is the first Australian priest to "come out" as a naturalist and believes yesterday's service was a world-first. But he says he is not the first to strip before delivering a sermon. "In the Old Testament, they had to go naked or remove their shoes because they were on holy ground," said Pastor Wright, who was ordained by the worldwide Acts of Missions church three years ago. "I was able to come to grips with being a naturalist only recently. I was struggling with what people in the church would think when they found out," he said. "There's nothing wrong with being nude. When I realised God was against sexual immorality but not nudity, I was right." Pastor Wright said he told church elders of his membership of the Donnybrook nudist group 12 months ago. His story came out after friends at Donnybrook convinced him to help combat public protests against Raw, a three-day nude rock festival in the northern New South Wales coastal town of Cabarita. Cabarita residents against the festival were backed by Tweed Coast Community Church Pastor Graham Eggins who said the event offended "common decency". Pastor Wright telephoned Pastor Eggins to tell him how many Catholics, Seventh Day Adventists and other Christians he had met at the nudist camp. "I told him there is more to a naturalist group than you realise," the former gem cutter said. "I explained that nudists are people who like to go naked and run round with other people in nude resorts. That's nudists. A naturalist lives a lifestyle that includes nudity, but is about healthy lives, healthy foods. It's not just running naked." Raw has moved to Caboolture after the Tweed Shire Council said a permit decision would be made on April 20, two days before it was supposed to start. Pastor Wright does not usually conduct services. He works on the streets of Buranda in south Brisbane where he counsels 20 and 30-year-olds living rough. Sunday Mail 27-3-05
Self-deception: A man bought a new Jeep Grand Cherokee, so to celebrate, he and his four friends drank a lot of beer and went duck hunting. They got the hunting dog, guns, decoys, dynamite, more beer, and drove onto the frozen lake. First they had to blow a hole in the ice for the decoys, but it was too risky to plant the dynamite and run for it. They might slip over. So they decided to toss the dynamite. The Jeep owner felt he was the best thrower, so he walked out a few metres, lit the fuse, and threw it as hard as he could. Remember the hunting dog? Born, bred and trained to retrieve, he tore off after it as soon as the stick left his master's hand. Five men yelled frantically at the dog, but the dog ignored them, grabbed the stick, and headed back, tail wagging. His master got his gun and shot at the dog, but couldn't stop the dog with duck shot. Realising that his master was totally insane, the dog ran for cover - under the Jeep Cherokee. Moments later, there was an explosion, and the dog and the Jeep sank to the bottom of the lake.
A preacher visited an old lady from his congregation. As he sat on the sofa he noticed a big bowl of peanuts on the coffee table. "Okay if I have a few?" he asked. "No not at all." They chatted for an hour and when the preacher stood to leave he noticed that instead of eating a few peanuts, he'd emptied most of the bowl. "I'm really sorry for eating all your peanuts, I meant to eat just a few," he said. "Oh that's okay," she replied. "Ever since I lost my teeth, all I can do is suck the chocolate from them anyway."
Rat poison: 99.99% good food.
A newsboy was standing on the corner with a stack of papers, yelling: "Read all about it. Fifty people swindled! Fifty people swindled!" Curious, a man walked over, bought a paper, and checked the front page. Finding nothing, the man said: "There's nothing in here about 50 people being swindled." The newsboy ignored him and went on, calling out: "Read all about it. Fifty-one people swindled!" Good Mail, Sunday Mail, 24-8-08 p 55
A wealthy banker was out duck shooting. He took aim, pulled the trigger, and moments after the shot rang out, a duck fell out of the sky and into a nearby farmer's field. Naturally, the farmer claimed it as his own. The banker, not wishing to go home empty-handed asked if they could come to some kind of understanding. The farmer replied, "Sure we can. I'll kick you in the groin as hard as I can. Then you kick me in the groin as hard as you can. And whoever makes the least noise keeps the duck." Thinking that he could kick at least as hard as the farmer, the banker said, "Okay, you've got a deal." So the farmer kicked the banker as hard as he could and the banker fell to the ground screaming in agony. Having finally recovered, he got to his feet and said, "Right, now it's my turn." "No way!" said the farmer. "You can keep the duck."
Baboons are inquisitive creatures. In order to catch one in the Kalahari Desert, the bushman digs a hole in solid rock large enough for a baboon's hand to pass through while extended. He does this while making sure the baboon is watching. Then he drops in some nuts. The baboon is so curious that after the man has gone, he goes to the rock to investigate and puts his hand in the hole to get the nuts. Once his hand is in the hole, the bushman runs to catch him, because as much as the baboon wants to escape he will not let go of what's in his hand, and he cannot get his clenched fist back through the hole. The bushman then feeds the baboon salt, making him extra thirsty. As soon as the baboon is released, he leads the bushman to water.
More than one in five smokers think the dangers of smoking are exaggerated, and half of smokers don't consider lung cancer to be a smoking-related illness. Reader's Digest April 2009, p 18
1 Garvin, Mal Us Aussies p31