"I've Got
My Own


       little brochure the guy in the park
       gave him said: Do you know
where you'd go if you were to die right now?

   Of all the tasteless things to ask, Mark
thought, shaking his head in disgust.
   "Why, I ought to go back and answer
that moron. . . I THINK I
  Mark hurried back to
the park and found the man,
still passing out brochures.
   "HEY!"   Mark said, storming
toward the man.   "Can't you
keep your religion to your-

   The man smiled, extending a handshake.
"Hi, my name is Bob Lawson--"
   "Who gave you the right to go around
insulting people?"

   "Well, I'm not out to insult anyone.   But
as far as rights go, God gave it to me."
   "OH!   I suppose He e-mailed you!"
   "You could say that," Bob brightened his
   "And what makes you think He only talks
to you?"

   "Has He spoken to you, also?"
   "Then I highly recommend that you read
the brochure--"
   "READ IT?!"   Mark flung a crumpled
brochure to the ground.   "I've been religious
all my life--"

   "So, you don't know God, personally."
   "God doesn't go around--hey, where do
you get off saying I don't know God?"

   "You said you're religious."
   "That's right!   Been going to the same
church all my life.   My parents are even
buried there--"

   "Did they know God, personally?"
   "NO!   I mean, I suppose so.   I told you,
they were very religious . . ."

      "But did they know God?"
      "They were religious!   ARE
   YOU DEAF?! . . .

      Back and forth the
   conversation went until one of
   them finally realized a profound

To Mark, it was all about religion . . .
Mark Bruno was obviously offended by
Bob's attempt to "convert him" to another
religion.   Mark already had his own religion.
He resented the insinuation that his religion
wasn't good enough, or that his religion
was not the right one, or that his religion
didn't work.   Mark, viewed the whole
exchange as one religion versus another

However, If you listen carefully to Bob's
side of the conversation, you'll realize that
Bob wasn't pushing his religion on Mark.
To Bob, the real issue was not religion.

Bob wasn't even talking
about religion! . . .

"That's right!   Been
going to the same
church all my life.
My parents are even
buried there--"

The real issue is God, Himself . . .
To a lot of people, God is a mystery--an
impersonal force, existing way beyond the
comprehension of us mere mortals.   Many
assume that religion is somehow the go-
between, the middleman, the means by which
someone approaches God.   However, religion
never was, nor is now, God's method.

Religion is man-made.   Religion is man reaching
out, in the dark, hoping to get a hold of God.

Religion is a man-made institution that
unsuccessfully tries to bridge the gap between
God and man.   Many have been religious all their
lives and still don't know God on a personal
level.   God is not real to them.

Consequently, most religious people have an
unreasonable idea of what God is like.   They
assume that somehow, through mere church
attendance, and ritualistic participation, God is
appeased, or even compelled, to recognize their
"sincere" effort.   God is often viewed as some
benevolent "puppet" obligated to reward our
good intentions, no matter how impersonally we
may treat Him.   Try acting that way with your

You won't appease your employer treating him
like he doesn't really exist.   Why do so many
assume God is any different?   GOD IS REAL, He
is personable, He has feelings, He has a
personality.   (We were made in His image (Gen.
1:27).   That's why we all have personalities

That's the point Bob
Lawson was trying to make . . .

Bob wasn't pushing "another religion."   The Bible
teaches that God wants to get personal with

you and me.   That means we are to deal directly
with God--on a personal level, the way we
would any other person!   Some may think this is
blasphemous or sacrilegious.   Surely, they'll
reason, "God should not be trivialized in such a
fashion."   But such reasoning comes from not
knowing what the Bible teaches.
   We were, after all, purposely created in His
image, designed to easily interact with our
Creator on an emotional level.   In fact, God's
desire to fellowship with His creation has
always prompted Him to dwell with us.

For Example . . .
When Adam and Eve plunged the, then future,
human race into sin, we find God extending a
hand of restoration IN PERSON, not through
some impersonal religious ritual:
   "And the eyes of them both were opened, and
they knew that they were naked; and they
sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves
aprons.   And they heard the voice of THE LORD
the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves
from the presence of the LORD God amongst
the trees of the garden."
  Gen. 3:7-8

Please note who was hiding--it wasn't God.   It is
sad that most religions portray God as hidden,
not easily accessible, unless one entices Him
with the proper religious ritual.

Yet, the truth is, we, with our sinful ways, are
the ones hiding from God--a God who is more
than willing to make the first move toward
us--as He did with Moses: "And it came to
pass, as Moses entered into the tabernacle, THE
[God, Himself] DESCENDED,
and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the
LORD talked with Moses....And THE LORD

While you're trying to reach
God through religion, God is
personally reaching out to
you.   Only your sin
stands in the way.

speaketh unto his friend."
  Exo. 33:9-11
   It wasn't just Moses.   The Jews, while
wandering in the wilderness, were instructed to
build a tabernacle, a portable temple, to serve as
the earthly dwelling place of God.   "And let them
make me a sanctuary; THAT I MAY DWELL
  Exodus 25:8

AMONG the children of
Israel, and will be their God.
And they shall know that I
am the LORD their God, that
brought them forth out of
the land of Egypt, THAT I
THEM: I am the LORD their God."

Later on, once the Jews were in the Promised
Land, the tabernacle gave way to the temple in
Jerusalem, a more permanent dwelling place.
Still, God didn't stop there.   Eventually, He took
on flesh and came down to earth to meet us
FACE TO FACE!   The Bible, calling Jesus Christ
the Word, says, "In the beginning was the
Word, and the Word was with God, and THE
WORD WAS GOD....And the Word WAS

Jesus eventually ascended back into heaven,
and the Jewish temple was later destroyed in 70
A.D., but God had already planned another
dwelling place--the body of the born-again
believer.   "What? know ye not that YOUR BODY
in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not
your own?"
1 Cor. 6:19

Real, Bible-based Christianity means
a personal relationship with God . . .

Real Christianity is knowing God the way you
know your best friend.   Can you, as a religious
person, claim that?   Do you now see why some
risk offending you, in order to let you know that
God is reaching out personally to you?   Don't just
say, "No thanks, I've got my own religion."

   The issue isn't religion in the
   first place!   Religion is not the
   means to God--God didn't
   set it up that way, man did!
   There is ONLY ONE mediator
   between God and man--
   Jesus Christ, who happens to
   be GOD, Himself!

Jesus Christ died in your place . . .
The Bible says: "For there is one God, and ONE
MEDIATOR between God and men, the man
for all, to be testified in due time"
(1 Tim. 2:5-6).
Christ, God in the flesh, sacrificed Himself on
your behalf.   He paid YOUR sin debt by taking
YOUR punishment for YOUR sins.   Because, as
much as God wants to know you personally, He
can't while your sin stands in the way.

You can be as religious as you want, but unless
you admit that you are a lost, hell-bound, hell-
deserving sinner, who can't earn your way to
Heaven, you won't know God, personally.   You
must be saved; born-again (John 3:3).
   You must, as a confessed sinner, REPENT,
surrendering to God's will, and TRUST Jesus
Christ as your ONLY Lord and Saviour.   Please
continue reading the back page [below] for more
information . . .

IF you were to die today, are you 100% SURE
you would go to Heaven?
  The Bible says
YOU CAN BE SURE (1 John 5:13).

BUT FIRST, you must realize that what keeps you
from going to Heaven are your sins, because:
"...your iniquities [sins] have separated
between you and your God,"
Isaiah 59:2.
In fact, in God's eyes YOU ARE A SINNER: "For
all have sinned, and come short
of the glory of God;"
Romans 3:23.

SECONDLY, you must realize that there is
NOTHING you can do to save yourself and earn
Heaven: "For by grace are ye saved through
faith; and that not of yourselves: it is
the gift of God: Not of works, lest any
man should boast."
  (Eph. 2:8-9)   Baptism, good
deeds, church membership, self-righteousness are
all examples of good works that cannot save you,
because, "Not by works of
which we have done, but
according to his mercy he
[Christ] saved
Titus 3:5.

THE ONLY WAY you can get saved is through
Jesus Christ.   He said: "I am the way, the
truth, and the life: no man cometh unto
the Father, but by me."
  (John 14:6)   THAT'S
: "...while we were yet sinners, Christ
died for us
  Romans 5:8-9

THEREFORE: You must REPENT (change your
); admit that you are a Hell deserving sinner
and can't save yourself.   And call upon Christ, and
Him alone, to save you.   "if thou shalt confess
with thy mouth the Lord Jesus
[REPENT], and
shalt believe in thine heart
[TRUST] that God
hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be
  Romans 10:9

P.O. Box 815   Fargo, ND 58107

[Christian Helps Ministry (USA)] [Christian Home Bible Course]