"Without the Bread of Life, You're Toast"
I saw this saying on a church sign driving down the road last week. It was on a church whose sign I make a point of looking at because they often have clever sayings like this. Most of the time they make me chuckle because they are so cleverly done. I like driving by there because I am always interested in what the new phrase on their sign is.
I chuckled at this one too, at first. And while I still find it clever, I couldn't help but to have some frustrating thoughts about it. It's not that it was a cute saying, I have no problem with that. The problem is that so often We leave it as a cute saying.
Realize what it is, exactly, that this sign proclaims. It says that if you do not have the Bread of Life (Jesus (John 6:35)), you will find yourself burning in Hell. To be honest I had a difficult time typing that last sentence. It wasn't difficult because of any doubt, but because there is no doubt. Placing it in writing just makes it more "real," so to speak.
You see, the phrase is much, much more than just a cute saying. It is a truth that we must understand, and one that we cannot leave as just a cute and clever saying if we want to be a people who do God's will.
There is no compromise with whether Jesus is the only way to Heaven. If there were some other way, any other way, He would not have had to die a horrible death on the cross. All the torment, all the pain, all the suffering and abuse and insults that He dealt with in His life would have been pointless if we could be saved by anyone or anything else.
In John 14:6 Jesus says "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." This is not an inclusive statement. It explicitly excludes everything else as a possibility for salvation. I ask if we believe it. If so, I ask another question that is just as important.
Do we live it?
Our friends, our families, our co-workers, our acquaintances, everyone we meet, needs to know about Jesus. They need to know about His saving love and sacrifice. They need to know how to meet Him in baptism to be forgiven and they need to know how to live in peace with God. You may notice that I have emphasized the word "need." This is not a small deal. It is everything.
I will be the first to admit that I am a terrible, terrible evangelizer. The sad truth is that I do not try nearly as hard as I need to, and often not at all. I am working on it. It is difficult and not my natural inclination, but I am working on it and will get better at trying to bring others to Jesus with God's help. I have faith that He can use even me.
I will be talking to people about Jesus going forward. I will get better about evangelizing new people and I will begin talking to my friends who are not Christians about Jesus. I will do better at being what God tells me I must do as His child. I will not let those around me down without a fight.
Because without the Bread of Life, they're toast.