Skin: The Beauty of Illustrations
[Part THREE of Presenting the Gospel]
(Section 9: Friendship Evangelism)
Copyright © Michael Bronson 1997, 1999, and 2000
Just as the body has three many parts (skeleton, muscle, and skin) presenting the gospel has three parts. Learning these three parts will greatly enable your ability to share Christ with others.
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Listed below are the illustrations to be used with the "Outline." The first table gives you a brief description of each illustration and the second table the actual illustration. One again, note that each illustration is designed to work with a particular phase.
|To show that being "close" to God’s standard will not get us into Heaven.
|To show that living a good life will not make up for previous sins.
|To show that God cannot ignore our sins.
|To show how God can forgive us and still not violate His righteous nature.
|To show why Jesus was punished in our place.
|To show that just knowing Jesus died for our sins is not enough to let us into Heaven.
PURPOSE: To show that being "close" to God’s standard will not get us into Heaven.
Five explorers were hiking through the jungles of Peru in hopes of finding the lost treasure of an ancient Aztec civilization. One day as they approached their destination, they found a deep canyon that had to be crossed. Although it was 20 feet across, their passion for unlimited wealth intoxicated their judgement. One by one, they tried jumping to the other side. The first two explorers jumped about 10 feet and fell to their death. The next two jumped about 15 feet, also falling to their death. The fifth jumped 18 feet. Although the fifth explorer jumped further than the other four, the end result was the same, death. Being closer did not help the fifth hiker.
Keeping most of God’s standards will not help a person into Heaven. Being close does not count. If you have not kept all of God’s standards perfectly, you are going to Hell.
PURPOSE: To show that living a good life will not make up for previous sins.
Kathy was late for work again. In her haste, she ran into another car. Obviously, Kathy was upset and she vowed to never rush or drive carelessly again. Assuming that Kathy is able to maintain this vow for 5 or even 20 years, it still would not remove the damage from her car. Driving carefully does not undo the damage done in a previous accident.
Likewise, if a person has become tired of sin and vowed to never sin again, it will not undo the damage brought on by his previous sins. Living a good and sinless life does not take away sin. Our faith in Jesus Christ is the only way our sins can be removed.
ILLUSTRATION: Unfair Judge
PURPOSE: To show that God cannot ignore our sins.
The Thanksgiving parade was in full swing when Carl walked up to the Governor, pulled out his gun and shot him. The Governor’s bodyguards quickly apprehended Carl and hauled him off to jail. When Carl went to court, the judge said, "Carl, there is no doubt that you committed this crime. There were hundreds of eyewitnesses, not to mention those who saw it on TV. I realize, though, that anyone can wake up on the wrong side of the bed and have a bad day. If you promise not to do this again, I’ll let you go with only a warning." Would this judge be just and right for doing this? Of course not! It is the judge’s responsibility to uphold the law.
Likewise, God would not be a just and righteous judge if he ignored our sins. His nature demands that He punish every sin. We will all one day have to stand before God’s judgment seat and give an account for every sin.
ILLUSTRATION: Judge’s Daughter
PURPOSE: To show how God can forgive us and still not violate His righteous nature.
Everyone’s eyes were upon the judge. He looked up and slowly pronounced the judgment. "Bonnie Jean, I find you guilty and hereby fine you the maximum possible: $10,000. The courtroom gasped in astonishment. The judge then got up, took off his robe and walked to the front of the bench. Taking out his checkbook, he wrote a check for the full amount. Turning to the courtroom, the judge said, "This is my daughter and even though I love her, I cannot overlook what she has done. Her actions still must be punished."
Even though God loves us, He cannot overlook the fact that sin had been committed. The penalty for this sin must be paid in full. This is what happened when Jesus was on the cross. He took the full punishment for our sins. If we personally accept this remedy for our sins, we will not be required to pay the penalty ourselves.
PURPOSE: To show why Jesus was punished in our place.
Picture two guys standing side by side. The first person is only 4 feet tall and weighs 80 pounds, while the second person is 7 feet tall with 350 pounds of solid muscle. If an experienced boxer were to hit each of these guys in the stomach, which of the two do you think would be hurt the most? The second guy would not be affected by the punch as much because he has a greater capacity for taking that kind of punishment.
Jesus has a greater capacity to endure spiritual damnation than we have. This is why Jesus took the punishment in our place. God punished Jesus as though He had committed each of our sins. Instead of having to be damned for eternity, He bore all of the punishment during His time on the cross.
PURPOSE: To show that just knowing Jesus died for our sins is not enough to let us into heaven.
The footsteps echoed off the old Gothic walls as the guard worked his way down to five block. His lantern barely gave enough light for him to see the name tag on the prisoner’s door. "Henry," the guard said, "pack up your stuff, you’ve just been pardoned." To the guard’s surprise, Henry Williams refused. He said that he had committed the crime and wanted to be punished for it. Since no one had ever refused a pardon before, a special congressional session had to be called. They decided that a pardon is not automatic; it has to be personally accepted. If it is not, the prisoner must pay for his crime as though he was never offered the pardon.
This is similar to the pardon God offers us. Although Jesus died for the sins of all the world, His pardon is not automatic. If a person does not personally accept this pardon, he will go to hell as though his sins were never forgiven.
Other Chapters in this Section
The Missile Principle
Earn the Right to be Heard
What Would You Say?
The Fireman's Job
You must show the Need before you Provide the Solution
Presenting the Gospel
Skeleton: The Frame that Everything is Built Upon
Muscle: The Power of Memory Verses
Skin: The Beauty of Illustrations
Discussing Evolution? Keep it Simple
Addition vs. Multiplication
Chart of Savings
Chart of Church Growth
A Practical Example of Sharing Your Faith
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