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October 24, 2011 / pastorbillcooper

Visit from some Jehovah’s Witnesses

So, on Saturday, just as I was adding some comments about the Jehovah’s Witnesses to my sermon (on the Rapture in 1 Thess 4:13-18), guess who shows up in my driveway? Well, as much as I wish it was Publisher’s Clearing house, with a big check, God had something better in mind. That’s right, we got a visit from the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

After greeting them at the door and exchanging greetings, I listened, almost impatiently, as they went through their opening. I say impatiently, since I knew who they were and what they wanted. I also know what I wanted to share with them (the good news of the Gospel). But I didn’t want to be rude and interrupt. After the guy got to a stopping point, I asked if he would mind me stepping inside and getting a Bible. He said he didn’t mind.

So, I went in and returned with a copy of my Greek New Testament and a copy of the New World Translation of the Scriptures. Now, why would I use such a bible and not a KJV, NKJV, NASB, NIV, and any other Bible? Why would I use a bible that I knew was faulty? Because I didn’t want the translation to be a stumbling block to my presentation of the gospel. I know from past experience that if you point out something to them from the Bible, and don’t use their version, they will simply say that your Bible is faulty and dismiss your point. (As a sidenote, at one point, as I pointed something out – no, I don’t remember what – the guy said, “well that’s what your King James says.” I said, “no, I’m using your translation, not the King James.”) [Also, isn’t this one way of “becom[ing] all things to all men, that I might by all means save some”? (1 Cor. 9:22.)]

After going back and forth with the guy, with each of us trying to prove our Gospel, he finally asked what I thought the good news was. What an awesome question! I said that the good news is that Jesus died on the cross, was raised to life, and that by believing in Him as my Lord and Savior, I know I have a home in heaven and am saved.

I also learned a few other interesting things from the guy about their beliefs:

  • They believe that Jesus was not God but a sinless man
  • They believe all people are born with a sin nature (no, I didn’t get to ask if Jesus was a man, was He born with a sin nature, making Him less than perfect?)
  • They believe that Jesus’ death on the cross paid our ransom
  • They don’t believe in a New Heaven and New Earth as the Bible states
  • They didn’t explain what it meant to them to be “saved” – other than just said we need to study the Bible and live according to it

One question that the guy didn’t give an answer to (nor could a JW up north) was this:
John 20:28 says, “And Thomas answered and said to Him, ‘My Lord and my God!’”
Then I stepped them through the Greek NT and showed them that it literally says, “the Lord of me and the God of me” showing that Thomas called Him God. Then I asked, if Jesus was not God, why didn’t He rebuke Thomas or correct Thomas?

Now that I think about it, I think that this shakes their belief. Since Jesus didn’t say anything to correct Thomas, than 1 of 2 things have to be true. Either 1) Jesus is God, and no correction was needed or 2) Jesus, in not correcting Thomas, sinned and is less than perfect.

Anyway, I let them leave the second time the guy said that he could see they were not getting anywhere and neither was I. As they were leaving, I said I would pray for them. They said it wasn’t necessary. I asked if I could pray for them then and there and they said no.

I do pray for them, that God will open their eyes.

3 Comments

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  1. nathan russell / Nov 10 2011 5:13 pm

    That’s awesome. Its cool that I came across this blog. I am in bible college and one of my Greek class we was talking about how to use the Greek translation to show the Jehovah’s witness about the God we serve

  2. kengrantde / Feb 11 2012 11:13 am

    Well done – a good and constructive discussion – I plan on sharing this with friends.

  3. pastorbillcooper / Feb 11 2012 3:41 pm

    Feel free to share it over Twitter as well!

    Actually in doing more research, I think I have a new approach if I can ever encounter any JWs again. From what I found, it seems that they only believe in a monotheistic God. They see us as worshiping a false 3-headed God. So that may be why they didn’t want me to pray to (my) God about them.

    So, in addition to trying to witness to them using their own bibles, I’m going to try another approach. They do not believe that they can ever know for sure that they are “saved” and seem to base their “salvation” on works (such as door-to-door witnessing). I’m going to try to use verses such as 1 John 5:12-13 to show them that the Bible says that they CAN know for sure.

    KJV “12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”

    NWT 12 He that has the Son has this life; he that does not have the Son of God does not have this life. 13 I write YOU these things that YOU may know that YOU have life everlasting, YOU who put YOUR faith in the name of the Son of God.

    Though their text is slightly reworded (and some phrases rearranged) it seems to carry the same meaning: that one CAN know that they are saved. Then I’ll try to witness to them. And in witnessing, I guess we have to take the Jewish approach: that Jesus is the Messiah.

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