Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

He Was a Drug-Fueled Rock and Roller

Rock and Roller Benjamin Budde grew up a small-town country boy in Ohio in a Christian home. He often heard the gospel and remembers asking Jesus into his heart on several occasions, but it wasn’t out of genuine faith.

What he wanted, more than anything, was to be special. He loved music and viewed it as his ticket to belonging. When his church needed a bass player, he was quick to fill the part. But eventually, he started to jam outside of the church, where people drank alcohol and smoked more than cigarettes. Before long, he joined in this new lifestyle. Learning about the drug-fueled exploits of his favorite musicians, he figured that drinking and drugging would help him become a more creative songwriter.

After turning 18, I got in trouble with the law for drinking, which got me kicked out of the church band. That was when I started playing in bars and nightclubs. As the shows grew bigger, so did my habit of drinking and getting high.

As I turned 20, my life began turning numb. On Christmas day, we found out that my mom had breast cancer, and nine months later she died. On the day of her funeral, I got a bag of dope and a bottle of whiskey and jammed all night, wondering how my Jesus-loving mom could have suffered such an unjust fate. I cursed God for it and decided I didn’t want to believe anymore.

By now his addiction was raging out of control. For nearly 10 years, he was popping pills, consuming whiskey like water, and snorting or smoking anything that would get him higher. Budde was in the process of losing himself, his friends, and eventually almost everything he had. It was hardly unusual for him to fall off the stage during a show because of his drugged stupor.

He met Arthur Williams, a blues harp player who had performed with some of the greatest blues legends like B.B. King and Muddy Waters. Through him he met and opened for legendary Chuck Berry, credited by many as the father of rock and roll.

I was over-the-moon excited to meet these icons. But the experience changed me in ways I didn’t expect. As I looked into their eyes, I somehow realized that music wouldn’t ever fill my emptiness. Meanwhile, my addiction deepened. Almost every night I blacked out and woke up in my own filth.

At the bottom of this downward spiral, I called a longtime friend, Missy. I told her I was sick. She spoke life into me! Sharing the gospel, she told me that Jesus has a plan and purpose for my life, but that I needed to quit drinking and drugging.

Lying on a borrowed couch in an apartment with no electricity, he looked through the only thing left from his childhood—a green tub of odds and ends. There sat his mom’s Bible, with the cover her handwriting all over it.

I started reading my mom’s Bible, turning to the Book of Proverbs because that’s what my dad would read to us growing up. Many passages grabbed my attention. “Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes?” (23:29). That was me, for sure. But the verse that really stopped me in my tracks was Proverbs 4:19: “The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble.”

I cried out to Jesus, and he saved me. He also started changing me by the power of his Spirit. This didn’t happen overnight … but by God’s grace I avoided falling back into addiction. Meanwhile, God gave me a greater desire to pray and read his Word. Missy and I have now been married for 11 years, and I’ve been free from drugs and alcohol the entire time.

Editor’s Note: Since accepting Christ, Benjamin and Missy have been blessed with the opportunity to do outreach ministry together, in part by hosting a Night of Hope, a concert geared toward helping people facing all types of addiction. Benjamin is also the author of War a Good Warfare: Fighting the Battles Within .

Related Sermon Illustrations

He Escaped from Iran but Not from God

In an issue of CT magazine, David Nasser shares the story of his escape from Iranian religious zealotry and coming to faith in Christ:

I was nine Wyears old when I decided that I hated ...
[Read More]

Former Bank Robber Becomes a Law Professor

Shon Hopwood grew up in a Christian home in rural Nebraska. When his high-school basketball career faded and college and the military fell through, he was left with a complete lack ...

[Read More]