Let’s say all of us are going on a trip together to Orlando, Florida. In order to get to the Magic Kingdom, we are going to fly together on an airplane. So, on the day of our trip, you drive to the parking lot, hurry through the tunnel to the terminal, check your bags, present your boarding pass, walk through security, and grab a snack in the coffee shop. After all these activities, you are finally ready to head to the happiest place on earth.
As the clock clicks down toward takeoff you look out the window to see a large winged vehicle with two jet engines attached and a pilot inside. A call is made to board this airplane and many of your friends begin lining up to walk inside. You, however, look out the window and notice that the vehicle is sitting just east of the terminal, blocking the path you would take to walk to Orlando.
You stand up in the terminal and voice your concern. Some of your fellow travelers are sympathetic to your objection and join you in your protest. “That thing is blocking the way to the kingdom! Move it or else!”
Others (who are now boarding this plane) respond and let you know that the plane is actually THE WAY to get to your final destination, so get on board and enjoy the flight.
You retort, however, that this vehicle is actually impeding progress, not creating a solution. After all, who does this pilot think he is that he knows the way to Orlando better than you?
After a few minutes of conversation back and forth, the pilot leaves the plane and comes out to see what the ruckus is about. He lets you know that he is actually the OWNER of Disney World, has flown there hundreds of times before (as he is a skilled pilot), and knows that the only way to get to the theme park in time is to board the plane and trust him to get you there safely.
What will you do? Will you trust the pilot and get on the plane, or see the plane as a stumbling block, preventing you from getting to your desired locale?
I am sorry to say, we are not all headed to Disney World together this summer, but this hypothetical story does hold value in helping us understand Romans 9:30-10:4.
God has offered to save us and bring us into His Eternal Kingdom. He has prepared the way for us by giving us many things. He has parked us in a world that declares His awesome power and creative expertise. He has tunneled into our world through His Son Jesus Christ to show us who He is and to teach us what it means to follow Him. He has handed us His Word, and offered to check the baggage of our sin so that we might be forgiven and free. In fact, He has offered us security in our salvation and offers to provide for our deepest needs as we await takeoff! As we sit and wait for departure, however, we are presented with a dilemma. The Gospel of Jesus Christ sits directly between us and Heaven, therefore we have two choices – we can either see the Gospel as THE WAY of our salvation, or as a stumbling block in the way of a more human pursuit. With Jesus as the Pilot, will we have the faith to board the Gospel and allow Him to deliver us in time?
This story sets the stage for our sermon this Sunday at Wildwood Community Church. This week’s message will focus on the Good News of Jesus Christ and invite us to board His Gospel by faith, seeing Him as THE WAY (not an obstacle) between us and eternity. See you Sunday at 9:30 or 11:00 . . . and bring a friend! We all need this message of hope and life.