“Bible Teach”, Chapter 19, paragraphs 10-14 (pp. 187-189) discusses the importance of continuing to learn about Jehovah (10), to study the Scriptures (11), to think deeply on them (12-13), and to pray sincerely from the heart (14).
Paragraph 11 (p. 188) says, “Jesus wanted his followers to keep their love for Jehovah and for His precious Word of truth alive and burning brightly. After his resurrection, Jesus taught two of his disciples about some of the prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures that were fulfilled in him. What was the effect? They later said: ‘Were not our hearts burning within us as he was speaking to us on the road, as he was fully opening up the Scriptures to us?’—Luke 24:32.”
We can agree with all of that, but we need to stress that in order for the Word to burn in our hearts—as it did with the disciples on the road to Emmaus—we need to have a personal relationship with Jesus in which he opens the Scriptures to us.
This is a foreign concept to Jehovah’s Witnesses because they consider him to be an archangel.
Consider whether at this juncture you should reinforce points you have previously made using The Come to Jesus Approach from my book, Getting Through to Jehovah’s Witnesses: Approaching Bible Discussions in Unexpected Ways.
How do Jehovah’s Witnesses really view the preaching work?
Paragraph 15 (p. 189) states that you will find joy in your worship by “preaching the good news of God’s Kingdom.”
Paragraph 16 (p. 189) says, “Staying busy in such work helps you to remain in God’s love.”
Ask the Witnesses, “Does that statement mean that doing the preaching work helps you enjoy the unconditional love Jehovah shows you, or does it mean that Jehovah will stop loving you if you stop doing it?”
At this juncture, I would ask the Witnesses to give an honest appraisal. What percentage of Jehovah’s Witnesses do they think would stop doing field service ministry altogether if the Watchtower organization stopped requiring them to submit time records to the elders.
How would that change affect their own zeal in going door-to-door?
The answer they give you isn’t as important as getting them to give honest private consideration to that question.
Paragraph 17 (p. 191) gets back to your obligation to preach the good news of God’s Kingdom. It gives two reasons: (1) the end of this system of things is imminent, and (2) people need to know that now is the time for them to choose sides in the Sovereignty battle.
Paragraph 18 (p. 191) stresses the importance of attending Watchtower meetings.
Paragraph 19 (pp. 191-192) says, “Do not expect perfection from your fellow believers. Remember that all are at different stages of spiritual growth and that every one of us makes mistakes.”
While this statement seems innocuous, what it really means is that you shouldn’t complain or get upset if the reality of being a Jehovah’s Witness doesn’t match the rosy picture painted in Watchtower literature.
Next week, we will examine whether we have to earn our salvation.