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Acceptance Community Forgiveness Love for Enemies Sermon Illustrations

Welcome Home Mr President

Hubert Humphrey was a former vice-president of the United States. When he died hundreds of people from across the world attended his funeral. All were welcome, but one – former President Richard Nixon, who had not long previously dragged himself and his country through the humiliation and shame of Watergate. As eyes turned away and […]

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Forgiveness Revenge Sermon Illustrations

Tomas Borge

Tomas Borge was a leader in the struggle against the totalitarian regime that had dominated his country, Nicaragua. During the revolution, Borge was captured and put in prison. While there he was subjected to the most extreme torture for over 500 hours. After the revolution Borge was freed and become the Minister of the Interior. […]

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Belonging Forgiveness Grudge Sermon Illustrations Unforgiveness

Shoes on the Mantlepiece

There was once a very poor orphan who wanted nothing more in the world than to belong to a family. Finally, his opportunity came. He was eight years old and a family wanted to adopt him! Introductions were made, papers were signed, and just 6 days after his eighth birthday he left for his new […]

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Courage Forgiveness Grace Inclusion Love Sermon Illustrations

Welcome Mr President

Former US President Richard Nixon is infamous for his place at the center of  the Watergate scandal. He disgraced both the office of the President of the United States and the United States itself in the eyes of the world. When Hubert Humphrey, a former US vice-president died, Nixon attended his funeral. Dignitaries came from […]

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Forgiveness Grace Sermon Illustrations

Moving the Comma

Alexander III was Tsar of Russia from 1881-1894. His rule was marked by repression, and in particular by persecution of Jews. His wife, Maria Fedorovna, provided a stark contrast, being known for her generosity to those in need. On one occasion her husband had signed an order consigning a prisoner to life in exile. It […]

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Bitterness Forgiveness Sermon Illustrations

A Mother Forgives

In June 1973, Marietta Jaeger went camping in Badlands National Park with her husband, Bill, and their five children. As they slept in their tents one night, their seven year-old daughter, Susie, was kidnapped. Marietta suffered all the pain and emotional turmoil you would expect in such a nightmarish situation. In the days immediately following […]

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Forgiveness Sermon Illustrations

He Can’t Remember

There was a priest in the Philippines who carried the burden of a secret sin he had committed many years before. He had repented but still had no sense of God’s forgiveness. In his church was a woman who claimed to have visions in which she spoke with Christ and he with her. The priest […]

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Forgiveness Sermon Illustrations

Going Fishing

There was a little boy in the supermarket one day with his mother. He was having a particularly naughty day and his mother had forbidden him to touch anything else in the shop. While mum was going up an aisle she heard a huge crash, and turned around to see her son standing with a […]

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Forgiveness Sermon Illustrations

George Harrison Reconciles with His Sister

Former Beatle, George Harrison died in December 2001. During his final days his wife and child, and his sister, Louise were at his bedside. It was Louise’s presence that was especially poignant. You see, she and George had been feuding with each other for almost forty years. Their feud began when Louise opened a bed […]

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Atheism Forgiveness Grace Sermon Illustrations

Gabrielle Carey. From Puberty Blues to Faith

Gabrielle Carey is an Australian author most widely known for co-authoring Puberty Blues. In a later book, In My Father’s House Carey relates an incident that led to her conversion to Christ. Carey was raised in an atheist humanist household. Her father was a university lecturer with a passionate commitment to the left side of politics. Throughout her […]

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Forgiveness Sermon Illustrations

Dead Man Walking

“I paid little attention as the glare of headlights briefly illuminated my boyfriend Mark’s face and then swept on…” So begins Debbie Morris’s amazing story of suffering and forgiveness. On a Friday night in the 1980’s Debbie and her boyfriend Mark were kidnapped while on a date. One of the kidnappers was Robert Willie, the […]

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Conflict Forgiveness Sermon Illustrations

Building Bridges

Once upon a time two brothers shared adjoining farms. For over 40 years of they worked side by side, sharing equipment and helping each other out whenever needed. Then one day a rift developed. It began with a small misunderstanding and it grew into a major difference, and finally it exploded into an exchange of […]

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Forgiveness Sermon Illustrations

Bud Welch

Bud Welch lost his 23-year old daughter, Julie, in the blast that destroyed the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people in all. In a story entitled, “Where Healing Begins” (Guideposts Magazine, May 1999), he recounts the extraordinary personal journey to forgiveness that began for him on April 19, 1995. “From the moment I […]

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Forgiveness Sermon Illustrations

A Stain on the Sofa

John Ortberg is a teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church, Illinois. He tells the story of how he and his wife once traded in their old Volkswagon Super Beetle for their first piece of new furniture: a mauve sofa. The man at the furniture store warned them not to get it when he found […]

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Forgiveness God as Father Grace Love Sermon Illustrations

A Modern Prodigal

(Note: this is a modern retelling of the parable of the prodigal son. The details are fictional. When using the story adapt the details to your situation – eg city, etc. Also remember to point out at the end that the story is fictional) Jenny grew up in Rankin Park, Newcastle. In her early teenage […]