Years ago, when I was a young man attending college, it was my turn to get up on Saturday morning and cook breakfast. Of course, I knew nothing about cooking anything, but it seemed simple enough. All I had to do was heat up some rolls for breakfast.
Well, that certainly was no problem. I would turn the stove on, let it get hot, stick the rolls in and from there, I would reap the reward of my efforts with some fine tasting cinnamon rolls.
No one else in our frat house was up at the time, so I proceeded to make the rolls on my own. What the heck, I thought, there is no way anyone could mess up good cinnamon rolls.
Then, the dilemma...I noticed there was plastic wrapping around the cinnamon rolls. I wondered what I should do with that plastic wrap. Do I leave it on or should I take it off? I struggled with the answer. I had none. I reasoned, if they did not want to have the wrap on the rolls while heating them up, they would have said so. Or why would they wrap them in plastic, if they didn’t want us to heat them up with the plastic intact? You can see how naïve I was when it came to cooking anything.
I thought if I heat the rolls up and the plastic remains on the rolls, what’s the worst that could happen? Frankly, I couldn’t think of anything. The wrap would probably just melt away. Or I thought the plastic wrap would somehow trap the heat and make the rolls even tastier. Or I could remove the wrap first and then heat them up, this way I would not have to worry about the wrap. Frankly, everything seemed so easy, until I had to deal with the plastic wrap.
Anyway, I made my decision. And I put the rolls in the heated oven. By then, some of my frat brothers were waking up and smelling the wonderful rolls heating up. I was so proud.
Now, it was time to serve up some of those hot, tasty rolls. My brothers were excited. As they feasted, their smiles turned to wincing and grimacing. I noticed they started to pass around toothpicks. It appeared they were trying to pluck stuff from their teeth.
One asked, “What did you do to the rolls?” “Nothing, I said. Just heated them up, so you could enjoy them.” “Well something is not right,” another said. “Did you take the wrapper off before you cooked them?” Now, I knew I’d made the wrong decision. That wrapper didn’t just disappear, like I thought it would. It melted into the rolls. That’s when I realized they were picking wrapper out of their teeth.
Sheepishly, I responded, “Was I supposed to take the wrapper off first?” Immediately, they threw down their rolls. And like a fine chorus, they responded in harmony, “Yes!!!”
I felt badly about what happened. The rolls smelled good, looked tasty, but were not prepared properly. And for this reason, my brothers did not like what they had eaten. They sort of banned me from ever cooking again.
When it comes to our faith, people have a dilemma. Their dilemma, “What to do with Jesus?” You know that’s a question each has to face. Do they reject Him? Do they receive Him? Do they ignore Him? Do they say they don’t believe in Him? Do they see Him as a great teacher, but nothing else? Or maybe they see Him as a prophet, but not a Savior? Possibly they see Him as a good man, but not Lord. Or they might see Him as a guide, someone who raised his consciousness to god level.
No matter how they see Jesus, truth is they have to deal with Him before they leave this world. And they will have to stand before Him after they leave it. Yes, you can go along in life, doing what you want to do, making what you want to make and then someone upsets all your plans and priorities by telling you about Jesus. Now, you cannot just ignore Him. You have to do something about Him. And that's the dilemma. What do we do with Jesus?
America spends billions on space exploration hoping to prove there is no God. Others follow this or that religion, thinking they have the way to heaven, not realizing that to have forgiveness of sin, there must be a blood sacrifice; not just any blood, but the blood from the man we call Jesus, who died for us on the Cross so we might be set free from sin and death.
There is nothing wrong with creating a dilemma in people's lives. They need to know about Jesus. So, let’s take the wrap off Jesus. Let’s let others know there is only one way to heaven. Let’s make sure they know there is nothing they can do to earn their way and there is nothing they can do to keep it. For in the end, on the Day of the Lord, those who reject Christ on earth will find out their choice to ignore, refuse or redefine Christ will leave a very bad taste in their mouth and an eternity to think about their decision.
Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). It’s time to take the wraps off and stop apologizing or remaining silent about our faith. We have the Truth, we have the Way and we have the Life. What else could anyone possibly need?
Yes, there is a proper way to prepare for heaven, but for anyone to get there, they first have to deal with Jesus.
Copyright 2010, GodFire Revival and Discipleship Outreach
Author: Lynn E. Sheldon
GodFire | Disciple Bible Study
Author writes and distributes discipleship material and articles to train believers in the Word.