Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

Philip Yancey Describes the Revolutionary Call to Follow Christ

In his book What Good Is God?, author Philip Yancey illustrates what it is like to build upon the rock by hearing and keeping the words of Jesus.

Yancey wrote about the 2004 Ukraine election in which the reformer Victor Yushchenko challenged the entrenched party and nearly died for it. On election-day the exit polls showed Yushchenko with a comfortable lead, but through outright fraud, the government had reversed those results.

Yancey writes:

That evening the state-run television reported, "Ladies and gentlemen, we announce that the challenger Victor Yushchenko has been decisively defeated." However, government authorities had not taken into account one feature of Ukrainian television, the translation it provides for the hearing-impaired. On the small screen insert in the lower right-hand corner of the television screen a brave woman raised by deaf-mute parents gave a different message in sign language. "I am addressing all the deaf citizens of Ukraine. Don't believe what they say. They are lying, and I am ashamed to translate these lies. Yushchnko is our President!" No one in the studio understood her radical sign-language message.

Inspired by that courageous translator, deaf people led what became known as the Orange Revolution.

Yancey continues:

They text-messaged their friends on mobile phones about the fraudulent elections, and soon other journalists took courage … and likewise refused to broadcast the party line. Over the next few weeks as many as a million people wearing orange flooded the capital city of Kiev to demand new elections. The government finally buckled under the pressure, consenting to new elections, and this time Yushchenko emerged as the undisputed winner.

Yancey makes the following point:

Our society is hardly unique … like the sign language translator in the lower right-hand corner of the screen, along comes a person named Jesus who says in effect, "Don't believe the big screen—they're lying. It's the poor who are blessed, not the rich. Mourners are blessed too, as well as those who hunger and thirst, and the persecuted. Those who go through life thinking they're on top will end up on the bottom. And those who go through life feeling they're at the very bottom will end up on top. After all, what does it profit a person to gain the whole world and lose his soul?"

Related Sermon Illustrations

Building Homes with Too Much Sand Leads to Tragedy

While doing relief work in Haiti following the devastating earthquake there on January 12, 2010, Palmer Chichen observed firsthand the tragedy of building a house with a lot of sand ...

[Read More]

Market Researcher Explains the Lure of Peer Pressure

Martin Lindstrom, a former market research expert and author of Brandwashed, argues that advertisers know something that human beings have in common with birds and termites. Without ...

[Read More]