Sermon Illustrations


In a small town, the volunteer fire department’s telephone was answered by the policeman on duty, who would in turn sound the fire whistle to rally the volunteers to duty. One Saturday morning, the town chief of police, had just come on duty when the fire department phone rang. He picked up the phone and said, "Fire Department." A voice on the other end of the line frantically said, "Send the fire truck!" Then the caller immediately slammed the phone down.

The police chief stood stunned, not knowing what to do. In a few minutes the phone rang again. Quickly he picked it up and said again, "Fire Department!" Again the voice cried, "Send the fire truck!" Again the caller immediately hung up.

Realizing that someone’s house was possibly at stake, he rushed outside and scanned the sky to see if he could see smoke and therefore send the fire trucks in that direction. While outside, he also devised a plan as to how to keep the caller from hanging up so quickly if she called back. Sure enough the phone rang again, and he went running inside. Picking up the phone he quickly asked, "Where’s the fire?" The lady on the other end screamed, "In the kitchen," and slammed the phone down again.

(Source: James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited, Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988, p. 110. From a sermon by Author: Nathan Johnson, "A Patient Faith" 1/23/2009)

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