Sermon Illustrations

5411 The Key … After 29 Floors

Three men, John Newton, Louis Weatherford, and Samuel Preston, were out to find the best that this life had to offer. Willing to try anything, they were now on their way to New York City to “to the Ambassador Hotel, a twenty-nine floor building. Upon entering the hotel, they were greeted by a bellhop who took their bags and led them to the main desk. At the desk the clerk asked them what type of room they wanted and the three men replied, “Give us the best you have!” The clerk looked at the register and then told the men that the only one of this type left was on the top floor. The key was handed over and the bellhop led them to the elevator. After arranging their belongings in the proper order, the three men put on their tweed suits, left the key at the desk and were off to see New York City’s high spots. Hours went by and the three began to get weary; so they headed back to the hotel. At the lobby desk they were told the elevator had developed some complications and was not able to take them upstairs. The first few flights went quickly and easily and the three companions were joking and having a good time. Each flight seemed a little bit longer but the men kept pressing on. Five, six, seven floors were passed and each one meant that they were one flight closer to the top. The men, already weary from a hard night, began to slow down and the floors dragged by slower each time. The eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth floor was passed. “Almost halfway there,” said Louis. The other just grunted and they pushed on. Seventeen, eighteen. … they wondered if they would ever reach the top. On the twentieth floor Sam sat down and said he couldn’t go on. After resting a few moments the others finally persuaded him to try it. … after all only nine floors left and then those nice, soft mattresses, and fried chicken and. … , so on they went. Each flight seemed like a mile and it seemed as if it took an eternity to get there. All three men were now on their knees, crawling step by step in hopes of reaching the twenty-ninth floor.

Sam was the first to come to the door; so he reached down into his pocket for the key. To Sam’s amazement the key wasn’t there. He asked John if he had it but John said that Louis must have it. They both looked at Louis but all he had were several empty pockets. Here they were on the twenty-ninth floor just inches from what they considered “Heaven” and yet they could not get in. They had forgotten to get the key.

(Tan, P. L. (1996, c1979). Encyclopedia of 7700 illustrations : A treasury of illustrations, anecdotes, facts and quotations for pastors, teachers and Christian workers. Garland TX: Bible Communications.)