I told him we are King James Bible only at the Bookstore and his demeanor instantly changed. Sensing a shift, I started to ‘wrap things up’ before they ‘hit the fan’, and reached out to shake his hand to say goodbye.
I was running around a lot this morning, getting stuff done for our upcoming Camp Meeting Weekend, and I stopped in to have lunch at O’Steen’s restaurant, one of my favorites food spots. I was wearing last year’s camp meeting t-shirt, the same one you see in the photo for this article, that has John 3:16 on the back of it. My lunch was uneventfully delicious, enjoyed in solitude, and when it was done I stood up to walk to the register to pay the bill. That’s when one of the oddest exchanges I’ve ever had took place between me and the people who were sitting at the table right behind me.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” John 3:16,17 (KJB)
The man who engaged me in conversation was fittingly named John, and he was there having lunch with his wife and another couple. The other 3 didn’t have much of anything to say, but John was quite outgoing and outspoken, like what you’d expect maybe an evangelist to be, and little wonder. John told me he had graduated from Bob Jones University many years ago, and I estimated him and his companions to be in their mid-70’s. Well, don’t you know it, John had something to say about the back of my shirt, and he was by no means shy.
He wanted to know why it only had John 3:16 and not verse 17, and that led to a short but animated discussion. Long story short, I gave him a card for the Bookstore and invited all of them to come visit sometime. It was at this point that the ‘rubber met the road’. John asked me if I had a certain brand of Bible commentary, and I told him we did not carry that particular one, but that we had some excellent commentaries. Then he asked me what kind of Bibles we carried, to which I said ‘King James!’. He said, “ok, that’s alright, what other versions?” I told him we are King James only and his demeanor instantly changed. Sensing a shift, I started to ‘wrap things up’ before they ‘hit the fan’, and reached out to shake his hand to say goodbye. He grasped mine, firmly, and with no intention of letting go, and said “promise me you will sell the other versions, that you’ll keep your mind open to the other versions so other Christians won’t be offended”. To say I was surprised, shocked even, might be an understatement. I assured him that everyone was welcome in our Bookstore, and there was no reason for anyone to be offended. But I could tell he already was.
Christian, we live in a day and age, the Laodicean Church period, where the ‘word of a king’ is not welcome, but the hundreds of modern version counterfeits are. I am glad I met John and his companions today, and for the conversation that my camp meeting shirt created. I hope they do come to visit the Bookstore. The last thing I said to him was that I was saved reading John 3:16 in a King James Bible on March 14th, 1991, and that by God’s grace I haven’t move an inch from that position in 32 years. I thank God to have His preserved word that I can stand on as my authority and source of absolute truth, and I was very thankful to be reminded of that today. I am thankful to have a King James Bible.
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