Perhaps, you have not been taught any type of Christian tradition. Maybe you have not been searching for answers to, “What must I do to be saved?” You may have even had bad experiences with churches and so-called Christians. This story is for you.
A farmer had an orchard of orange trees. His friend came to visit one day, and the farmer offered him one of his oranges to refresh him. The farmer was surprised when his friend refused to eat one of his oranges. This had happened on one other occasion, and it provoked the farmer to ask, “Why don’t you ever want to eat one of my oranges?”
His friend hesitantly responded, “I really don’t like your oranges.”
The farmer asked, “What is wrong with my oranges?”
The friend answered, “They are very bitter!”
The farmer looked at him with a puzzled look and asked, “When have you eaten one?”
He responded, “One day I picked one of your oranges, at the edge of the orchard, close to the road. I found it to be very unpleasant.”
The farmer roared in laughter. He explained, “The trees that I planted at the edge of the orchard are indeed bitter. I did this on purpose to discourage the children from stealing the oranges. However, the trees in the middle of the orchard are very good and produce a very sweet fruit. You just needed to come into the orchard, pick an orange, eat and enjoy.”
Many times a person on the edge of accepting the truth of Christianity and God’s Word experiences bitter things like guilt, conviction, and condemnation (blame). But, when he moves on into the midst of the church, he finds that the closer he gets to God, the more pleasant and sweet the Christian life becomes.
“O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him” (Psalms 34:8).