Friday, August 31, 2007

Good Sermon Illustration

In yesterday’s (August 30th) edition of The Commercial Appeal (the daily newspaper in Memphis), an interesting article by Richard Lardner of the Associated Press was placed on the front page. Lardner described a new weapon that American military commanders in Iraq have requested:

“Saddam Hussein had been gone just a few weeks, and U.S. forces in Fallujah, west of Baghdad, were already being called unwelcome invaders. One of the first big anti-American protests of the war escalated into shootouts that left 18 Iraqis dead and 78 wounded. It would be a familiar scene in Iraq’s next few years: Crowds gather, insurgents mingle with civilians. Troops open fire, and innocents die. All the while, according to internal military correspondence obtained by The Associated Press, U.S. commanders were telling Washington that many civilian casualties could be avoided by using a new, non-lethal weapon. . . . It’s a ray gun that neither kills nor maims. But the Pentagon has refused to deploy it out of concern that the weapon itself might be seen as a torture device. Perched on a Humvee or a flatbed truck, the Active Denial System gives people hit by the invisible beam the sense that their skin is on fire. They move out of the way quickly and without injury.”

The Application

We as Christians have the Holy Spirit inside us as a source of power to be utilized in spiritual battle. When we are used by God to share the gospel with non-Christians who are under the special conviction of the Holy Spirit, those non-Christians are made to feel a bit uncomfortable. Many of us don’t want them to feel uncomfortable, and thus we do not witness to non-Christians as often as we should. We should realize, however, that the non-lethal conviction that may even evoke images of a fiery hell is necessary for saving lives. Because of their hearing the gospel under the powerful conviction of the Holy Spirit, we will be able to see them moved out of harm’s way quickly and without permanent injury.