Free Christian illustrations on the Gospel that can be used in sermons and religious education – without charge or obligation.
These illustrations may be downloaded, copied or distributed without permission as long as no cost is charged and source is recognized.

The Road to Salvation

Road to salvation- Christian Illustrations by Ian CoateA tourist heard of a special place known as, 'Heavenly-Salvation' where everlasting accommodation was said to be free.  She eagerly grabbed her pack and headed off to see if the claims were true.  As she approached, a wild looking man who lived on the outskirts ran up to her laughing madly and speaking gibberish.  He welcomed her to Heavenly-Salvation and told her that if she wished to enter she would have to be his servant and give him all her money.  In disgust, the tourist thought, ‘These Christians are insane - I want nothing to do with them or their so-called free village.’  She quickly turned around and decided never to return.
Meanwhile, the citizens of Heavenly-Salvation scratched their heads in frustration.  They could not understand why so few tourists visited their lovely village - they were completely unaware that the village idiot was scaring them all away.

Salvation is a free gift - there is no cost.  God paid the account on the cross through Jesus Christ.  However, it can be very hard for the ‘Unbelieving-World’ to see the truth of Christianity through the forest of village idiots.  The world is filled with cults and crazy religions all claiming to be doing God’s will, but their obvious greed and weird practices are bringing the Truth into disrepute.  Sadly, these way-out teachings are the most vocal and the ‘Unbelieving-World’ judges all Christianity by the village idiots. 
Any person wishing for eternal salvation should ignore the village idiots and freely enter.  The bible says, ‘For grace you have been saved through faith (believing in Christ) that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God not of works lest anyone should boast, (Eph 2:8-9).’

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Working Our Way To Heaven

Working our way to Heaven - Christian Illustrations by Ian CoateThree men were being chased.  Suddenly, they came to a cliff top with the ocean waters far below.  Seeing the moon shining brightly in the night sky, they agreed that if they could jump to the moon, they would be safe.  The first man, a cripple, hobbled as fast as he could and leapt from the cliff.  He jumped less than a metre before he fell screaming to the jagged rocks below.
The other two men agreed that he hadn’t jumped far enough.  So the second man, of average fitness, took a running leap. He flew out five metres before he, too, plummeted to the jagged rocks far below.
The last man, the strongest of the three, decided he should take an extra long run-up to reach the moon.  So, at great speed he leapt from the cliff.  He soared through the air with outstretched arms in order to reach the moon, but he, too, fell short and plummeted screaming to the jagged rocks below.  He had leapt an impressive eight metres; however, he didn’t realize that the distance to the moon was 221 463 miles.
The distance between our righteousness and God’s righteousness is greater than the distance between the earth and the moon.  It is the distance between imperfection and perfection; the finite and the infinite; the east and the west.  It would be easier for us to jump to the moon than work our way into Heaven.  No matter how moral or how many good deeds we have done, we will always fall short.  If we could earn our own salvation, Christ died needlessly on the cross.  We are only saved through faith in Christ not by our meager good deeds. As Ephesians 2:8-9 states, ‘For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast’. The big question now is do we accept God’s gift or try to leap into Heaven by our own merit? (Romans 3:23)

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Joining the Royal Family

Christ Royal Family - Christian Illustration by Ian CoateFour poor little children lived with their wicked, self-serving stepfather who never fed or clothed them and beat them daily.  Quite clearly he didn’t care whether they lived or died.  One day, policemen came to the children’s house and arrested the stepfather for the murder of their mother.
When the news spread, a kind prince said he would like to adopt the children.  He then approached the four of them and said he had arranged the paperwork, paid all expenses and solemnly promised to always look after them.  All he needed was their signatures and they would then legally become members of the royal family for the rest of their lives, living in a palace of great splendour and many wonders.  The four children would surely jump at the prince’s gracious offer.  But it was not to be.  Incredibly, perhaps, one of them spat on the legal papers and kicked the prince in the shin.  Sadly, the ungrateful child wanted to grow up just like his stepfather.
Our stepfather, Satan, is the ruler of this world.  He was served an arrest warrant and his sentence is pending.  God wants to rescue us from our cruel stepfather.  He has done the necessary legal work and sent a gracious Prince (Christ) with the offer to adopt us into His family.  All we need do is accept this generous offer and sign the papers (believe in Christ).  Then we are adopted into the greatest Royal Family of all time - and beyond.  
What fools we would be to spit at Jesus Christ’s offer by rejecting Him as Saviour.  We must remember, if we keep Satan as our legal stepfather, we receive his inheritance.  Satan has only an eternal jail sentence to share with his family, but God has the riches of the universe to share with His. (John 8:44)

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Same Snake - Different Skin

Same Snake- Christian Illustrations by Ian CoateSnakes have the curious habit of shedding their old skin in favour of a new one. Yet no matter how many times they shed their skin they are still the same old snake.   

When Adam lost the rulership of the world to a snake (Satan), all mankind suffered the repercussions and became citizens in the snake’s kingdom.  Through Adam’s original sin we inherit a corrupt (sin) nature which God cannot allow into His heavenly kingdom.  If we think we can get into Heaven by simply shedding our skin (changing our ways or morally reforming) we are fooling ourselves.  No matter how righteous we think we are or how many good deeds we have accumulated, we will always fall short of God’s perfect and absolute standard.  We may impress other people with our different ways but to God we are still the same old snake.  The only way we can possibly get to Heaven is by turning into a new creature.
The good news is we don’t have to turn ourselves ‘inside-out’ to become this new creature.  We can do nothing to earn or deserve salvation – we are totally dependant on what God has done on our behalf.  God made salvation easy for us because Jesus Christ did all the work on the cross by paying our entire penalty for sin.  When we believe in Christ, we accept God’s sacrifice on our behalf and He spiritually transforms us (in Christ - a Christian) and His perfect righteousness is imputed to us for eternity. 
If we were able to save ourselves, there would have been no need for God to come to Earth as a man in order to pay the price for everyone’s wrongdoings.  Salvation is as easy as believing in the Lord Jesus Christ.  The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8-9: ‘for by grace you have been saved through faith (belief), and it is the gift of God, not of works (good deeds), lest anyone should boast’.

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Maggots- Christian Illustrations by Ian CoateHundreds of maggots squirmed in alarm when a man opened his lunch box to find it infested.
‘Don’t worry,’ said one maggot to his maggoty friends.  ‘This man won’t mind us being here – we’re respectable, clean maggots.  We’re nothing like those dirty maggots on the other side of the sandwich - regurgitating all over the polony.  Those filthy maggots deserved to be tossed out.’ 
However, it was soon evident to the righteous maggots that the man didn’t discriminate one maggot from another.  He was plainly repulsed by every maggot that had ruined his lunch and quickly up-ended them into the rubbish bin. 

No matter how good we think we are, or how depraved we think others may be - we are all repulsive when measured against God’s absolute standard of perfection.  We may ask - how can God let mass-murderers or child molesters into Heaven?  In our sight, they are filthy, degenerate people - not worthy of saving.  However, in God’s sight we are all ‘maggots’ deserving of judgement.  What a blessing that God deals with us on the basis of grace instead of what we deserve or we would all be tossed into the bin (Hell). 
We go to Heaven on the basis of what God is able to do on our behalf - not what we have or haven’t done.  God took the form of a man (Christ) and died paying the price of sin for all.  He forgives all sin because of the death of Christ.  If anyone believes in the Lord Jesus Christ they will be saved, not through works lest any ‘maggot’ should boast.
(Romans 3:10, 23, Ephesians 2: 8-9) 

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Humanity's Decision

Humanity's Ship- Christian Illustrations by Ian CoateGod created a titanic ship called Decision that protected humanity from a sea of molten lava.  Decision had only one deck divided into three areas.  God put all humanity on the middle deck called Choice.  On the starboard side Jesus Christ resided and on the port side was Satan.  God then told all humanity to make one decision - choose a captain with whom you wish to sail. 
Jesus said to those on the Deck of Choice that he held the way to Heaven and urged them to quickly choose him.  The gates that separated the deck would soon shut and then the time for decision-making would be over - humanity’s ship would not sail forever.
Satan yelled back that there was plenty of time.  He lit fireworks as a distraction and many delighted people strolled to his side of the deck. 
Jesus Christ let humanity know that he had made an Eternal-life Jacket for every person.  He implored all to come to his side of the deck so they could receive life everlasting. 
Satan laughed loudly, saying Christ was a fool - humanity’s ship was unsinkable.  They didn’t really need a captain; in fact, they could all be their own captains.  He then lit more fireworks to dazzle humanity. Many people laughed at Jesus with his silly life-preserver and walked straight over to Satan. 
Yet there were still many on the Deck of Choice who couldn’t decide one way or another.  They listened to Christ and they listened to Satan but wouldn’t make a choice. 
Jesus again implored these people to believe in him and come to his side before the gates closed.  Once more he pointed to the Eternal-life Jackets, assuring the people that no one need go without.  Many heeded Christ’s warning and hurried over to let him fasten on their life-preservers.  Even so, many still stayed undecided on the mid-deck. 
Satan kept yelling to humanity to ignore Christ’s panic-mongering and to watch him instead as he lit the biggest firecracker of them all.  Those still on the mid-deck decided there was time enough to watch the big fireworks display before making their choice.  Satan lit the fuse.  The massive firecracker rocketed wildly out of control and crashed into the bow of the ship, causing a great explosion that ripped a gaping hole in the hull.  The sea of molten lava flooded in and, just as suddenly, the gates shut dead tight, trapping every soul where they stood.  And as the lava flooded in, the Ship of Decision started to lift and sink. 
Jesus Christ watched sadly as the huge pile of unwanted Eternal-life Jackets slide into the lava.  He wept at the waste.  He then told all those on his deck to pull the cord on their life-preservers.  Instantly, Wings of Righteousness popped out from their jackets and those believers in Christ flew up into Heaven.
Jesus was last to leave.  He tearfully watched as the other people fell screaming into the sea of lava, knowing that none needed to be there. 
As Jesus Christ turned to join his people, those still on the Deck of Choice yelled for him to come back as they hadn’t made their decision.  Jesus Christ sadly called back that the time for choosing was over.  However, the people on the Deck of Choice screamed that it wasn’t fair - they hadn’t chosen for Satan.
Jesus Christ replied as he turned away in sorrow, ‘Yes, you didn’t choose Satan but you didn’t choose me either.  Humanity’s voyage is now over - it was as inevitable as death.  Only those who believed in me have been given the means of escape.  Everyone else must go down with the ship.’
(Romans 6:23, John 3:18)

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When God Knocks

When God Knocks - Christian Illustrations by Ian CoateA teenage boy, playing a computer game, heard a knock on the front door.  He chose to ignore it.  Soon after his mother came downstairs and asked, ‘Did you answer the door?’ 
The boy replied, ‘I didn’t want to - someone may have been there.’

We often deny God’s existence for many reasons.  Sometimes, it’s simply because we don’t want Him to exist.  We can be so preoccupied acquiring material things or fulfilling personal ambitions that we think our plans will be upset if we concede that there is a God.  Alternatively, we have accepted theories of evolution and atheism for so long we now consider them established facts – and nothing will move us from our faith in those beliefs.  
God reveals Himself in so many ways - through Creation, His Word, our conscience and various other agents.  Every person, without exception, hears God knocking.  But many of us don’t want to answer just in case someone is there and we have to stop what we are doing and adjust our thinking. 
God is a Gentleman!  He will not force entry into our lives.  It is up to us to answer the door and let Him in.  Understandably, no one wants to be disturbed by an unwelcome guest, but God is the Creator of the Universe and He comes bearing a great gift (eternal salvation).  We have so much to loose by ignoring God.  Furthermore, change that may occur in our life by answering God’s call will only be a change for the better. (Romans 1:20, Rev 3:20)

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After-life Insurance

Afterlife Insurance- Christian Illustrations by Ian CoateIt is sensible to insure life and property against possible loss or damage.   Most of us have insurance policies which guarantee compensation to save us in time of disaster - those who don’t, usually wished they had.

We may have covered ourselves with insurance in this life, but have we covered ourselves after this life?  What policy do we have to save us from divine judgement and eternal damnation?  We may have life insurance, but do we have ‘after-life insurance’?  
There is only one policy that saves us in the hereafter – John 3: 16, ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ 
Belief in Jesus Christ is all it takes to avoid eternity in Hell.  It is such a simple insurance policy to take out and it costs us nothing (Christ paid the price on the cross).  All that is required is a spare second and the tiniest bit of faith to believe in Christ for God to insure and eternally guarantee that when we die we will be in Paradise forever.
We have nothing to lose by believing in Christ and everything to gain.  DON’T DIE UNINSURED.  How sorry we’ll feel after realizing it was so easy to insure life hereafter. (John 3:36)    

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This is what the Bible clearly states:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son (Jesus Christ), that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8 -9

But God demonstrates His love towards us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

He who believes in the Son (Jesus Christ) has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. John 3:36

Further Verses
Matthew 1:21 / John 3:17 / John 5:24 / 1 John 5:13 / John 10:9 / John 20:31 / Romans 5:10 / Romans 10: 9-10 / Romans 10:13 / Ephesians 1:13 / 1 Thessalonians 5:9 / Titus 3:5-7

...Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved... Acts 16:31

Believe in Christ by Ian Coate
These illustrations may be copied or distributed without permission as long as no cost is charged and author is recognised.

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Thank you to the many people who have sat through a session of me reading Illustrations at them. Special thanks to my Mum, John Mennen and David Webb who have given graciously of their time to edit these Illustrations and to Alan and Caroline whose support has enabled these Illustrations and web page to come to fruition.