Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

American Patriots Risk Their Homes for Victory

In October of 1781, General Cornwallis marched his British troops into Yorktown. The patriots to the south had wreaked havoc on his redcoat army, and he was hoping to rendezvous with the British Navy on Chesapeake Bay.

American and French troops, however, anticipating Cornwallis's plan, pounded them with cannon fire, while the French fleet cut off escape by sea. The British found themselves trapped.

Thomas Nelson, then governor of Virginia and a signer of the Declaration of Independence, was fighting with the patriots firing the cannons in Yorktown. Gathering the men, he pointed to a beautiful brick home. "That is my home," he explained. "It is the best one in town. And, because of that, Lord Cornwallis has almost certainly set up the British headquarters inside."

And he told the American artillerymen to open fire on his own house.

They did. As the story goes, the very first cannonball shot at Mr. Nelson's house sailed right through the large dining room window and landed on the table where several British officers were eating.

It is one thing for a man to talk about freedom. It is quite another to destroy his own home to help make that freedom a reality. Nelson understood, however, that to hold on to his current life would mean forfeiting the life he was so desperately seeking. A life of true freedom would cost him the stuff of his present life. It was a small price to pay.

On October 19, as the British troops surrendered, the Redcoat band played the song, "The World Turned Upside Down." The song was apt. The world's greatest super-power had just been defeated by an army that couldn't afford to put shoes on its soldiers' feet.

But how can you thwart an army willing to sacrifice everything they currently have, for something infinitely better waiting on the other side?

Related Sermon Illustrations

Leader Sacrifices His Home During Revolutionary War

The Declaration of Independence was signed by fifty-six men. In signing this document, they put their lives and their fortunes on the line. Treason was the word the British would use ...

[Read More]

Christ Demands Our All

Christ says, "Give me all. I don't want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want you. I have not come to torment your natural self, ...

[Read More]