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Can't Serve Both God And The Devil

One of the worst train disasters in history occurred in the El Toro Tunnel in Leon, Spain, on January 3,1944. Over five hundred people died.

The train was one of those long passenger trains with an engine on both ends. On this particular day, when the train went into the El Toro Tunnel, the engine on the front stalled. When the front engine stopped, the engineer on the back engine started up his engine to back the train out of the tunnel. At the same time, however, the front engineer managed to get the front engine started again and attempted to continue the journey Neither engineer had any way of communicating with the other. Both engineers thought they simply needed more power. They continued to pull in both directions for several minutes. Hundreds of passengers on the train in the tunnel died of carbon monoxide poisoning because the train could not make up its mind which way to go.

The people on that train died because the train had one too many engineers. Many of us struggle as to which way to go with our lives-whether to come to Jesus or to remain in our sin. This indecision can cause us to miss out on the most important decision in our lives. Sometimes we think we can have it both ways, but we can't. We can't serve God and also serve the devil. Jesus Himself warned us against trying to live a double life: "No one can serve two masters" (Matt. 6:24a).

Hot Illustrations For Youth Talks
Wayne Rice, Zonderzan, pp. 208-209.


Can't Be Spiritually Asleep

Ed Hinton writes in Sports Illustrated that champion race car driver Dale Earnhardt was known for being so calm before races that occasionally he would take a catnap just before the start. While other drivers would have a pulse rate of 100 to 120 before a race, his would be less than 60.

But on August 31, 1997, at the Southern 500 race in Darlington, South Carolina, Earnhardt unintentionally took catnapping to a dangerous new level. At the start of the race, Earnhardt fell asleep at the wheel-he went into a semiconscious state but kept on driving. When he reached the first turn, he hit the wall but kept on going. At the second turn he again hit the wall, harder this time. He continued slowly around the track for two laps, looking for his pit but unable to find it. Finally he pulled off the track. Later he would say he remembered nothing of this.

Sixteen doctors examined Earnhardt to find out what had happened. They found nothing definite but suggested three possible explanations. A small blood vessel may have spasmed and restricted blood to the brain. Or he may have had a temporary short-circuit of the brain because of a previous accident. The third option was vasodepressor syndrome, in which the pulse rate falls rather than rises under stress.

The doctors didn't think the problem would recur, and they cleared Earnhardt to continue racing.

Frightening but true, it is possible, for a while, to drive over one hundred miles an hour and yet be asleep. In the same way, we can be busily racing through life-our eyes seemingly open, our hands on the wheel, our foot to the floor-yet spiritually asleep. Sooner or later, though, the trouble begins.

Choice Contemporary Stories & Illustrations For Preachers, Teachers, & Writers
Craig Brian Larson, Baker Books, p. 247.