: The Bible: Just another Book?
 
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Page Six

My Name is Larry Jones

My name is Larry Jones, and I am the editor-publisher of The Main Issue.

Since the delivery of the first issue, Evolution vs Creation, we have answered more than three hundred phone calls. Some of these calls ranged from extremely angry (“Don’t you dare put that dribble in my mailbox again!”) to highly encouraging. Picture a child who has been summoned to the principal's office, not knowing if he is to be scolded or commended, and you will have an idea what it's like to answer the phone.

Often people just want to know who produces The Main Issue. The conversation goes something like this:

“What group or church do you belong to?”

“I belong to Jesus Christ.”

“But what denomination are you?”

“I am not a denominational person.”

“Well then, what religion are you?”

“I am not of any religion.”

“But you must belong to something.”

“No, I do not belong to something but to Someone. I belong to Jesus. He purchased me with His blood. I am His property.”

“You mean you do not belong to a church?”

“No, I do not belong to a church.”

“But who puts this paper out?”

“Well, basically, I do – with some help from others.”

“But who are you?”

“I am a Christian”

“But what kind of Christian?”

“A real Christian.”

“What do you mean a ‘real’ Christian?”

“A real Christian is a follower of Christ. A real Christian is one who has a relationship with Christ, in the same way that you have a relationship with a friend.”

It seems like many cannot relax until they can categorize me; only then can I be either dismissed or considered ‘safe.’ I think its time to introduce myself so the reader will know where I am coming from and what The Main Issue is all about.

I am a local businessman, a husband, father and grandfather, a forty year resident of Kelowna, B.C. Canada. Spiritually, I identify with none other than the Lord Jesus Christ and with all others who have made that same decision. I live for Him and Him alone. I am not a denominational or religious person – simply because God has never made me one. (Actually. He has never made anyone a denominational or religious person. Anyone who is so has either made himself one or allowed others to make one of him.)

I am a Christian. I am a disciple of Christ.

I did not become a Christian by adhering to Christian principles, or by becoming a good guy, or by joining a church, or by performing a certain ritual, or by being baptized in water (I was later baptized in obedience to Christ’s command). God made me a Christian.

God made me a Christian when I submitted my life to Christ. That was in February, 1972. It was an experience, a spiritual happening. I was a different person from that day on. Something happened to me that day. God gave me a new life. Jesus explained it this way: “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” I was born of the Spirit of God when I submitted my life to Christ and received Him as Lord and Savior. I didn’t know about being “born again”: all I knew was that something very sensational and positive happened to me. If my life was worth a nickel, it was now worth a hundred dollars. I was “born again” of the Spirit of God, something I could never do for myself, something God will do for anyone who comes to Christ on Christ’s terms. Ever since I have had a burden to reach others for Christ.

Religionists (I define a religionist as one who trusts in his religion for salvation or to improve his life, or one who uses his religion to try to impress God) find it difficult to understand God’s simple plan of salvation. Or they are blinded by their love for their religion. Or their religious leaders prevent them from entering in. Religion holds a certain credibility with man, but not with God. When Jesus (who was called ‘Immanuel’ meaning God-with-us, who was actually God in the flesh) carried out His three years of ministry, He was continually confronting the religious leaders, who were called Pharisees. They and Jesus did not get along at all. While He spoke with compassion to the harlot, Jesus publicly decried the Pharisees, exposing their hypocrisy: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like whitened sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.” The people knew positively that Jesus did not identify with the religious, that He was saying, in effect, “I have nothing in common with them”.

Jesus was angered because these religious leaders prevented others from entering the kingdom of God (“you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for you neither go in yourselves, neither allow them that are entering to go in”). They used their unearned influence to keep the people from accepting God’s plan of salvation (Jesus), offering instead a counterfeit salvation that leads to eternal destruction.

Things are no different today. Millions are trusting in their religion to save them. They have been persuaded to do so by the Pharisees of our time. In spite of the tragedy of it all, I can’t help but see some comedy in the reaction of many. Yes, they can see so clearly the shallowness, the absurdity, of every other man’s religion but are blinded to that of their own. It's okay to publicly expose the Jehovah’s Witnesses, but Why did you have to touch ‘my’ religion? - just as absurd, perhaps more so.

Jesus still has nothing in common with them, the religionists. During His earthly ministry, Jesus did not perform absurd rituals or wear funny clothes or play the professional. The religionists, though they may think of themselves as Christians, did not learn those things from Him. Jesus was real, authentic, unassuming, meek, approachable. He had a servant’s heart. And He spoke the truth, with authority and without apology. He ate with tax collectors. Many of his disciples were fishermen. He noticed a widow. He mingled with commoners.

The religious leaders of today use the same tactics as the Pharisees to impress. They do not have the real thing – truth, authority, anointing – so they must use methods and things to impress the uninformed: professionalism, imposing titles, ecclesiastical hierarchies, religious prayers, differentiating clothing, religious sayings, impressive rituals, majestic buildings. They, like the Pharisees before them, use these things to control. They scoff at the simple gospel of salvation through faith in Christ and impose conditions and burdens. They add to and take away from God’s word. They will not enter into God’s kingdom and hinder others from doing so.

The intent of The Main Issue is to preach the gospel of Christ, and to expose alternatives as false and ruinous. The gospel I preach is the same gospel that Christ preached, the same that Paul and the other apostles preached, the same as the early church, the same as Billy Graham and most every other born-again believer. The gospel of which I write is the gospel that transformed my life, and the lives of millions.

Some ask me what right I have to push my opinions on others. I reply that I do not have opinions, that I merely repeat what Jesus has said.

If a person discovered a cure for cancer, would it not be his duty to tell others, even at the risk of being ridiculed and ostracized? Judge for yourself; but I must speak out.

Also, Jesus commissioned His people to preach His gospel to the lost (that’s you). Every Christian has been given “the ministry of reconciliation,” the responsibility of telling others the good news of Jesus Christ. The Main Issue is but one means of so doing.

And He warned us, “The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” In other words, anyone preaching Christ can expect to be treated in the same way He was. In the past few months, I have been called a bigot, a monster, stupid, narrow minded, ignorant, intolerant, evil, brainwashed, and some other things that should not be printed. We feel waves of oppression sweep over our home after each publication. But it's worth it, it really is. It is a privilege to preach the gospel of Christ, “the power of God unto salvation.”

Truth is. In other words, truth exists. Whether you have found it or not, it is a reality. Some have claimed to have found it and have not. Others don’t want it. Others dispute its existence. But there is truth. The Main Issue points to that truth.

Truth is not a philosophy or a religion or a creed. Truth is a person. That person is Jesus Christ. I have discovered that person; I have discovered truth. I challenge you to give The Main Issue fair appraisal, to determine for yourself whether it is logical, accurate and true.

The Bible: just another book? is the third of ten editions of The Main Issue. On this issue every other edition stands or falls. Why? Because The Main Issue is based entirely on the Bible. Find a weakness in the reasoning presented and you find a defect in the very foundation on which The Main Issue is built.

But adversely, if you are persuaded as to the supernatural qualities of the Bible, if you cannot find a flaw in the logic presented, if you are convinced that the Bible’s author is none other than God Himself, that the Bible is not man’s word but God’s word, then you would be wise to give this publication very serious consideration.

Happy reading!

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