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England’s Darkest Tourist Attraction

Sin Disobedience Spiritual Death

Source: “Welcome to the Alnwick Poison Garden, where everything wants to kill you,” by Lauren McMah, NEWS.COM.AU, May 14, 2016

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-08-26

Scripture: 2:16 ; Proverbs 8:36

Author: Illustration Exchange
6

ILLUSTRATION

Lauren McMah, with NEWS.COM.AU, reports:

AT FIRST glance it seems like a typical English country garden: lush trees billowing over manicured topiaries, pretty blooms dotted along gravel paths, and everything neatly enclosed in an antique-style, wrought-iron fence.

But on closer inspection, nothing here is really that innocent.

On the gate leading to this green oasis is a grim message, a genuine warning of what lurks inside: “These plants can kill.”

That is the sign that greets intrepid visitors to the Alnwick Poison Garden in Northumberland, UK, a sinister botanical wonderland that is home to 100 of the world’s most lethal plants.

Tourists have fallen ill and fainted here, having flouted stern advice to not smell or touch anything that grows inside.

... Among the deadly flora at Alnwick are foxgloves, atropa belladonna — also known as the deadly nightshade — and hemlock, the plant that killed the philosopher Socrates.

There is also ricinus communis, which can annihilate internal organs with a single seed, and nux vomica, which is the source of the pesticide strychnine.

Even some common plants are seriously dangerous: a daffodil bulb can kill a person, and leaves from the seemingly innocuous laurel hedge are not much safer.

... Datura is an incredible poison, but an amazing aphrodisiac, too, and you see it everywhere.

In Argentina, even nowadays, some people put a bell of datura ... on a baby’s pillow at night, then take it away after five minutes and the baby has gone to sleep. If it were left all night the baby would be dead in the morning.

APPLICATION

This is not the first garden to come with an ominous warning. Neither is it the first time that warning wasn’t heeded, with dire consequences.

Like Adam, we are free to enjoy most of what we find in life. But there are certain restrictions placed upon us by God.  Paul writes, “ … Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don't be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world” (Colossians 3:5, NLT).

But just as it was in the Garden, sin continues to hold an allure for us today.  Partake at your own peril, but don’t be surprised at the consequences that are sure to follow.

“And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die” (Genesis 2:16-17).

“But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death” (Proverbs 8:36, KJV).

LIght-years From Life

Church Health/Growth Spiritual Death False Teachers

Source: REVELATION 1-11 MACARTHUR NEW TESTAMENT COMMENTARY by John MacArthur, pp. 107-08.

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Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-05-20

Scripture: Revelation 3:1 ; Matthew 21:19

Author: John MacArthur
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ILLUSTRATION

John MacArthur, in his commentary on the Book of Revelation, makes the following astute observation:


The vast distances of interstellar space are unimaginably immense. The nearest starts to us are trillions of miles away. Those large distances have forced astronomers to come up with an appropriate measurement unit, the light-year. One light-year equals the distance that light, traveling at more than 186,000 miles per second, travels in one year—more than 6 trillion miles.

The enormous distance to even the nearest stars presents an interesting possibility. If a star 30 light-years away from the earth exploded and died five years ago, we would not be able to tell by looking at it for another 25 years. Though no longer in existence, the light from that star would go on shining as if nothing had changed.

John MacArthur is the pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, as well as an author, conference speaker, president of The Master’s College and Seminary, and featured teacher with the Grace to You media ministry.

APPLICATION

"That illustration," he concludes, "perfectly sums up the situation in many churches."

They still shine with the reflected light of a brilliant past. Looking at them from a distance, one might think nothing had changed. Yet the spiritual darkness of false teaching and sinful living has extinguished the light on the inside, though some of their reputation may still remain.

Such a church was the church at Sardis. It was reputed to be alive, but the Lord Jesus Christ pronounced it to be dead. The downward spiral depicted by these churches, beginning with the Ephesian church’s loss of its first love for Jesus Christ and continuing with Pergamum's worldliness and Thyatira’s toleration of sin, reached a new low at Sardis. The church at Sardis could well be nicknamed the First Church of the Tares. It was a church dominated by sin, unbelief, and false doctrine. Like the fig tree in Jesus’ parable, it bore leaves, but no fruit (Matthew 21:19).

Vaccinated Against Spiritual Ebola

Salvation Spiritual Death Witness

Source: "FIRST U.S. EBOLA CASE CONFIRMED IN DALLAS" by Jim Denison, posted DENISON FORUM ON TRUTH AND CULTURE, September 30, 2014

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-10-06

Scripture: Romans 3:23 ; Romans 6:23

Author: Jim Denison
1

ILLUSTRATION

Jim Denison of the Denison Forum On Truth and Culture blogged this past week (9/30/14) that he lives in the shadow of the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, TX. Normally, that might be a fact of little interest, but not this week. This week it was reported that the first Ebola case in the US was being treated there. Denison describes his initial responses of surprise and even fear--"Does this signal an outbreak here?" "Can you catch the disease from someone without knowing it?"

His questions were followed by a comforting realization: "The good news in America is that any hospital here is able to house and treat an Ebola patient safely.  While we are likely to see more Ebola cases as people travel from infected areas, we have the health care infrastructure to respond as needed."

APPLICATION

Finally, he asks what spiritual lessons can be learned from the advance of this tragic epidemic:

First, we will all die of something unless Jesus returns first. We all have spiritual Ebola, the disease of sin (Romans 3:23), and "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). Jim Morrison noted in one of his songs, "No one here gets out alive," a fact he proved by his untimely death.

Second, a vaccine for spiritual Ebola is available. Anyone who asks Jesus to forgive their sin and become their Lord receives eternal life in that moment. Jesus promised that believers "will never die" (John 11:26). When we take our last breath here, we take our first breath there. We step from time into eternity and from death into paradise.

Third, we who have survived spiritual Ebola are the best people to help others survive. As Ebola survivors are immune to the disease, so Christians are immune to eternal death. It is our honor and responsibility to share our cure with the world.

The first American Ebola patient is in my community, but spiritual Ebola patients live in yours. How will you bring them to the Great Physician today?

James C. Denison, Ph.D., is a cultural apologist, building a bridge between faith and culture by engaging contemporary issues with biblical truth. He founded the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture in February 2009.

The Ruins of St. Paul's Macau

Spiritual Death Religion Authenticity

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-04-07

Scripture: John 4:23

Author: Illustration Exchange
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In Dog Years, I'm Dead

Perspective Spiritual Death Worship

Contributed By: Larry Lewis | Date Posted: 2013-12-16

Scripture: John 4:24

Author: Larry Lewis
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What Good Is A Dead Cat

Spiritual Death Transformation Resurrection

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-11-21

Scripture: Romans 6:8

Author: Unknown
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Preaching to the Dead

Spiritual Death Legalism Grace

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-10-22

Author: Illustration Exchange
2

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You're Invited to a Death Dinner

Death Spiritual Death Cultural Trends

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-09-27

Scripture: Matthew 10:27 ; Luke 12:5

Author: Illustration Exchange
0

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Caught In Greed's Snare

Greed Priorities Spiritual Death

Contributed By: Fred Gates | Date Posted: 2012-07-14

Scripture: 1 Timothy 6:9

Author: Clovis Chappell
1

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The Perfect Landing

Sin Justification (Positional) Spiritual Death

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-07-07

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 5:21

Author: John Beukema
9

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