Show me in the bible where it says a man should not drink Coke.
As a young believer, I had only one prayer request: “Father, please let me end up in heaven.” I attended services where the preacher would ask the congregation to make three prayer requests to the Lord. I would say: “Number one: Father please let me make heaven. Number two: please let me make heaven. Number three: please let me make heaven.”
One day, a friend came to see me. I had on a videotape of a concert by the gospel singer, Ron Kenoly. Looking at the film, she said excitedly: “This is what we are going to be doing when we get to heaven.” Surprisingly, I discovered that in spite of my obsession with heaven, I found the whole idea to be disagreeable. I thought: “How boring that would be?” I could not find anything exciting about spending a week singing praise songs non-stop, how much more spending eternity doing so.
Later on, the Lord asked why I was so determined to go to heaven; but I could not answer. I just knew I wanted to end up there. But he insisted I must have a reason. Finally, he dropped the bombshell. “Femi,” he said, “heaven is not for you. There is nothing in heaven that you like. There is no food in heaven. There is no sex in heaven. None of the material possessions you crave are in heaven. Why would you want to spend eternity in such a boring place?”
Yes, I admit I liked all those things, but I also liked the promise of heaven as well. However, according to Jesus, to love the world is to hate heavenly life. A person who loves his life in this world cannot at the same time desire to spend eternity with the Father in heaven. On the cross, Jesus turned his back on this world and opted instead for the glories of heaven. This should discourage Christians from the love of this life to the embrace of eternal life.
The sickness of life
At the pool of Bethesda, Jesus asked a man who had been sick for thirty-eight years if he would like to be healed (John 5:6). I found this to be such a strange question; I had to take it up with the Lord. Surely a sick man would like to be healed. But the Lord’s answer was even more puzzling. He said: “Femi, I asked him that because sickness was his life.”
At first, I was not sure I heard the Lord correctly. “What did you say?” His reply was emphatic: “I said sickness was his life. He had known nothing but sickness. He did not know what it means to be well. To heal him, I have to save him from the only life he knows, which is a life of sickness.”
But how can you save a man from life? I thought men were saved from death. “No,” said the Lord, “I save from life. That is the reason why I kill before I make alive. I kill man’s love of life.”
Fighting for my life
One day, the Lord said to me: “Femi, I want you to stop drinking Coke and Fanta.” I have never fought the Lord with as much ferocity as I did on that one. Coke and Fanta were my favourite drinks in the world. They were non-alcoholic, non-intoxicating and relatively cheap. Why then should I have to give them up?
“Show me,” I insisted, “show me in the bible where it says a man should not drink Coke. How is it a sin to drink Coke? Why are you so determined to take everything away from me?” “What if I told you to give it up for me?” asked the Lord. “But why would you even ask such a thing of me? I thought you were my friend,” I pleaded. “I also thought you were my friend,” the Lord replied.
Jesus says: “My Father loves me, because I lay down my life (John 10:17). I am ashamed to admit it took me no less than two years to lay down this aspect of my miserable life.
One day, the Lord told me to go and pray for a boy who was paraplegic. When I got there, the mother asked me if I would like to have a drink. I asked for Fanta Chapman and when I took a sip of it, the drink bit me on the lip (Proverbs 23:32). I know that might sound strange to you, but there is no other way of describing what happened.
I have not taken any Coke and Fanta in the last twelve years, and I will never take Coke and Fanta again as long as I live.