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A Baptist preacher and a Methodist preacher lived in a small town.

Being quite young ministers, they rode their bicycles to the town’s only service station every Sunday morning to eat breakfast and discuss their sermons before riding off to preach to their respective congregations.

One Sunday morning, the Baptist preacher rode up on his bicycle, but the Methodist preacher walked up on foot. The following conversation ensued:

BP: “Brother, what happened to your bicycle?!”

MP: “Brother, I believe a member of my congregation has stolen my bicycle.”

BP: “Brother, that is a shame. But I know what we ought to do. I’m gonna help you get your bicycle back. When you get into your pulpit, I want you to forget what you were going to continue preaching. Instead, I want you to preach on the Ten Commandments.”

MP: “The Ten Commandments, Brother?”

BP: “Yes, Brother, the Ten Commandments. I want you To make them feel the fire, and I want you to make them feel the brimstone, and when you get to ‘Thou shalt not steal,’ I want you to bear down on it, and whoever stole your bicycle will get to feeling bad and bring your bicycle back.”

MP: “Alright, Brother, I can do that!”

With that, the young pastors went their separate ways.

The next Sunday, both men arrived at the service station at the accustomed time on their bicycles. The Baptist preacher was ecstatic at the apparent success of his strategy.

BP: “Hallelujah, Brother! A miracle has occurred! Did you take my advice? Did you preach on the Ten Commandments as I told you to?”

MP: “Yessir, Brother, I did!”

BP: “Amen, Brother! And did you make them feel the fire, and did you make them feel the brimstone?”

MP: “Yessir, Brother, I did!”

BP: “Amen, Brother! And when you got to ‘Thou shalt not steal,’ did you bear down on it, and whoever stole your bicycle got to feeling bad and brought your bicycle back?”

MP: “Well, Brother, not exactly.”

BP: “Well, do tell, Brother!”

MP: “Well, brother, when I got to the pulpit, I did preach on the Ten Commandments. And I did my best to make them feel the fire and smell the brimstone. And I fully intended to bear down on it when I got to ‘Though shalt not steal’. But before I got that far I came to ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery,’ and it reminded me where I had left my bicycle!”