OBJECT: Parrot in a cage
STORY WITH THE OBJECT
In my parent’s house, there is a parrot named George. The other day while I was talking on the phone with my dad, he told me, “I don’t know what is going on with George. I open the door so he can fly out, but he just stays inside the cage.”
TRANSITION TO THE SPIRITUAL
Maybe this seems like a funny story, but allow me to tell you that you, too, are in a cage. What am I talking about? Have you ever tried to do the right thing, but you couldn’t?
THE PROBLEM (LAW)
For example, have you tried to stop lying, but you keep on lying? Do you steal, even though you don’t want to? Maybe you are addicted to alcohol, drugs, or pornography. You are like George, trapped in a cage of sin. You want to be free, but you cannot free yourself.
THE CONSEQUENCES (ETERNITY)
I imagine that the majority of you, if you are honest, can identify with George. Inside your cage you feel guilty and you cannot truly enjoy life. Even worse, one day you will die and on that day, your cage of sin will drag you down to hell. Why? Because God is perfect and will not allow us into heaven with all of this sin in our lives.
THE SOLUTION (CROSS)
But I am not here to just bring bad news, but good news, too. In the same way George’s cage has a door, God has also given you a way out. 2000 years ago, he sent his son, Jesus Christ, to earth. Jesus never stepped inside a cage of sin because he lived a perfect life. But he died in my place and yours when he received God’s punishment for sin so we could receive forgiveness. With his death and resurrection, Jesus opened the door of our cage of sin.
THE CALL (REPENTANCE AND FAITH)
To escape from your cage, you must leave your sin behind and ask Jesus to give you a clean heart, free from sin. If you do this, God will set you free from your cage to live for him and go to heaven when you die. What are you waiting for? The door is open. Escape from your cage of sin while you have the chance because tomorrow might be too late.