Strange question

I went to the dentist this week. In the hierarchy of things I dread, that ranks right up there with going for certain embarrassing medical procedures, and a bit higher than haircuts.

Don’t get me wrong. I would love to have a dentist as my best friend. I would trust a dentist with my kids and grandkids. It’s just that I don’t like what they do to me once they get me in their torture chair.

The other day, when my dentist was up to his elbows un-filling and filling my teeth, he posed a funny question.

Comfortable?” he asked.

“Comfortable?!!!” I mean he’s gassed me (the laughing variety, but I wasn’t laughing) and shot me with stuff that makes my lip and one side of my tongue feel as if they are hanging there like pieces of dead meat. His drill sounds like a prehistoric mosquito trying to bore through the hide of a tough, old mastodon. “Eeeeeeee EEEEE eeeee EEEEEE eeeeee!” His assistant chimes in occasionally with the saliva sucker, “Sluuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrpp-uh! Sluuuuuuuuurrrrpp-uh!”

He’s got another tool that sounds a bit like an air hammer, and other things that probe and poke, etc.

“Am I comfortable???” I guess that’s a relative question.

“Comfortable” compared to sitting in an easy chair next to an open fire with a good book, a nice cup of coffee, and an Irish Setter at my feet? In that case, no I’m not comfortable.

But comfortable compared to the time that other dentist hit a raw nerve and I nearly went through the ceiling of his office? Yes, I was very comfortable compared to that.

I couldn’t really discuss the philosophical ramifications of his question because my mouth looked and felt like a roadwork project (You know, with a sign that says, “You tax dollars at work!”) so I just said, “Uuuhhhh.” Now there are “uuuhhs” that mean “yes” and “uuuhhs” that mean “no” but this was a “yes, uuuhhh.”

It was still a funny question though. It got me to thinking about other questions I had heard or read.

The Lord challenged an elderly lady who had given up hoping for His promise to be fulfilled in her life with, “Is anything too hard for God?”

Paul confronts those who might waver in their faith with a couple of questions,

“So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us?” (The Message paraphrase from Romans eight).

Good questions. Here’s a vital query from the mouth of a tough-as-nails lawman, who happens to be on his knees, probably shaking like a leaf. “What must I do to be saved?

An earthquake had blown open all the doors of his prison. Bad news for him because in those days, in that place, if anyone escaped it was his life for theirs. He decided to get it over with and drew his sword to plunge it into his own heart when Paul cried out to stop him. “We’re all here!”

Paul and his buddy Silas had been singing like a couple of nightingales, warbling their praises at midnight. No doubt the jailer had wished they would shut up so he could sleep, but maybe not. I think something was working in his heart. Why else would he blurt out such a question if he hadn’t heard these happy guys tell of a Savior who loved him too?

What must I do to be saved?” Saved from the miseries of an eternal punishment separated from God; saved from the frustration of a life with no meaning; saved from the weight of sins committed and slavery to those same sins; saved from the ache of a heart that longs to know God but can’t seem to get it. Saved!

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you’ll be saved, Paul told him. Your family can come the same way.

Here’s my question: what does that mean, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,”? It means to turn away from sin and ask forgiveness from God. It means to believe that what Jesus did on the Cross of Calvary paid the debt that sin had put on my account in heaven. It means that I believe that Jesus is risen and at the right hand of God. It means that if I come to the Father in the name of His Son Jesus, asking for forgiveness, a new life, and membership in His eternal family, He’ll grant it gladly. Because of the Lord Jesus!

“What must I do to be saved?” What a great question–a smart question. Have you answered it yet? If not, why don’t you speak to the Lord about it right now?

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