I thought I would give you an update on Michael, the young Jehovah's Witness man who turned up at my house last week
Click below to see the update...
Firstly I wanted to say thank you to all who have been praying, for covering over myself, and for Michael to open his heart. I am truly grateful for all your support.
Well, Michael phoned me back on Tuesday night to say sorry for not getting back to me earlier. He said he was bogged down with exams. I asked him which exams, he said school ones. I asked him how old he was and he said 17...well, bang went my theory of him being in his early 20's!.
We agreed to meet tonight at our home. I did a lot of soul searching and praying prior to our meeting. More in that the Lord would humble me and keep me from getting into an argument. I am not a good arguer, I get too heat up, and say stupid things I regret later (just ask my wife!).
After exchanging small talk, I asked Michael how he became a Jehovah's Witness.
He told me about his family growing up Roman Catholics in Sudan before coming to NZ about 4 years ago. He met someone that told him that certain things Christians say are not in the bible, and that he was being lied to. So he decided to go to a meeting to learn more, and he really liked what they were teaching.
As my goal was to lead the discussion where I wanted it to go, I told him there were a few things in the JW doctrine I did not agree with. He asked me what in particular.
Me: Well firstly you do not believe that Jesus is God, and that is fundamental to our salvation.
M: He isn't God. God created Jesus.
I pointed out that Jesus was there in the beginning (John 1), and created the world (let 'us' make man).
Me: If Jesus wasn't God, then He died in vain
Michael frowned and was taken aback
M: That's a very bold statement to make, Craig!
I pointed out about man's sin and constantly falling short of his glory. What it took was a perfect sacrifice from a perfect being to pay the price for us.
M: Yes, God made Jesus perfect
Me: No, he was already perfect because He was already God. Since Jesus was the only one able to make the sacrifice, the only way we can reach perfection is to clothe us with Christ's righteousness. That way when God judges us, He will see the perfect righteousness of Christ in us, and pardon us.
We talked at length about this - M offering up scriptures to prove He wasn't God, and me countering by telling Him he must have been God, otherwise we are doomed.
Then he bought up the subject of the commandments. We turned to Deuteronomy. That suited me, because I wanted to steer the conversation this way.
M: These are the commandments that God is giving Moses
Me: Actually here Moses is reiterating the commandments to the next generation.
(I couldn't help myself there, as we are studying the exact thing on Wednesday night bible study, he he!)
M read the first commandment 'Love the Lord Jehovah with all your heart, soul and mind'
Me: Good luck with that.
M: What do you think that means?
Me: Exactly what it says, love God perfectly
M: But we can't do that
Me: Of course you can't. That's the way they work.
M: So we have to increase our faith so that we can do it.
Me: But you're never going to achieve it. God designed it that way. Laws are like mirror that can only show us how bad we are because we can't keep them. Jesus came to fulfil the law on our behalf. If we don't repent and put our trust in Christ for the forgiveness of sins, then we are judged by the laws, and when found guilty will receive a death sentence.
M: That sounds like a cruel God to me. Wouldn't He be a better God if He forgave us and gave us a second chance?
I gave M the judge analogy, how if I murdered everyone in his family, would he expect the judge to forgive me and give me a second chance?
M: No, I would want justice
Me: So would I. Any judge that lets people off is a bad judge. God wants justice, and because his standard is perfection, everyone who falls short will receive perfect justice. There is a second chance in that when I was guilty of violating God's law, Jesus stepped in and paid the price on my behalf. If I do not accept His mercy, then I am doomed for hell.
I wasn't getting through. He kept talking about working our faith in action, I kept countering with Jesus fulfilling the law on our behalf so we don't have to work at it.
Then I sat forward, and made eye contact with M. I wanted to sow some doubt in his mind.
Me: M, if I died tonight, then by your standards of salvation, I'm in, just, even at the lowest level. If you died tonight, then by the bible's standards, you're doomed. I want you to ask yourself 'what if I'm wrong about Jesus. What if He really is God?' I would hate for you to stand before the creator and hear Him say 'depart from me, you worker of iniquity, I never knew you.'. I don't want that to happen to you.
M looked at me for quite a while. Then the wall came down again.
M: Thank you for your concern, but I am confident that what I believe in is true.
Well, that about sums things up. This was just a summary of some of the points. We did discuss lots of other things like the new earth, and the second chance after death, both of which he cherry-picked out of context from Revelation.
The whole visit took about 90 minutes all up!
At the end M agreed to come back next Monday for another chat. We both agreed to research each others' questions.
Michael is an exceptionally intelligent man for his age. But he has been indoctrinated by a false gospel.
Please keep praying for Michael.
Pray that the seeds of doubt will cause him to question his faith (or lack thereof)
Pray that the Holy Spirit will break through his hard heart
Pray that God will strengthen me and keep using me as a tool to witness to him.
I will keep you posted.