My book’s first chapter—”Here They Come-Now What?” begins with my childhood experiences involving Jehovah’s Witnesses. (pp. 1-2)
My parents followed a popular strategy of not engaging with Jehovah’s Witnesses either by hiding behind the curtains, pretending not to be home or by turning them away at the door by politely telling them, “No, thanks. I have my own religion.” (pp. 1-2)
I placed saving faith in Christ at age 17 through a verse-by-verse study of the book of Romans. Unfortunately, I didn’t develop a deep Bible knowledge, and I gave up trying to share the gospel with people because I wasn’t good at breaking the ice regarding spiritual matters. I felt guilty about not being a better witness for Christ and prayed that God would open the way of opportunity for spiritual conversations. (p. 2)
Several years later, Jehovah’s Witnesses came to my door, and I saw that as an opportunity to share the gospel. Unfortunately, I was totally unprepared. I had no idea what Witnesses believed. Not knowing what else to do, I gave my testimony about being assured of a place in heaven due to faith in Christ’s sacrifice. (p. 3)
The Witnesses used that opportunity to tell me that I wouldn’t be going to heaven. They cited proof texts the Watchtower claim support its assertion that King David and John the Baptist didn’t go to heaven and never will; rather, they will live in physical form on a paradise earth. From there, they went into a prepared Watchtower presentation about its two-class salvation teaching—“a heavenly hope” for Jesus and 144,000 “anointed” Jehovah’s Witnesses and “an earthly hope” for all the rest. I had no idea how to respond. (pp. 4-5)
Chapter 1 then discusses how Christians can learn from my early mistakes (pp. 5-9)
It addresses the threshold question as to whether Christians should talk with Jehovah’s Witnesses at all. If they don’t, they have no risk of getting drawn into the Watchtower religion. On the other hand, we can’t get through to them with the gospel if we don’t converse with them. And what about the command in 2 John 10-11 not to allow into our homes someone who doesn’t bring the teachings of Christ? That refers to not allowing false teachers to teach in our church fellowships, not to preventing us from inviting someone in so as to share the gospel with them. (pp. 5-7).
My mistake wasn’t in talking with Jehovah’s Witnesses but with trying to witness to them unprepared. Not only didn’t I know the Bible well, but I unwittingly walked into a well-rehearsed Watchtower presentation. The Witnesses were on autopilot, while I was at a total loss as to how to reply. (pp. 7-8)
Getting Through to Jehovah’s Witnesses was written to help Christians prepare so they can witness effectively to Jehovah’s Witnesses. (p. 8)
Doctrinal chapters cover the “what”—what Jehovah’s Witnesses believe and why and what Christians believe and why. (p. 8)
Approach chapters cover the “how”—how to come at things in ways Witnesses won’t expect. Why? To take them out of their prepared presentations and get them to focus on what the Bible really teaches. (pp. 8-9).
Next, there’s a word of caution not to have my book or similar materials out when meeting with the Witnesses. That sort of “opposition” might well lead them to terminate any further contact. Instead, the Christian should prepare between meetings and make their own notes to use when the Witnesses are present. (p. 9)
Chapter 1 concludes by casting a positive vision of how different the lives of Jehovah’s Witnesses would be if they received a well-prepared gospel witness—not only from you but from every Christian in your church and in all the churches in your community. (p. 10)
- Have you ever pulled the curtains and pretended you weren’t home in order to avoid talking with Jehovah’s Witnesses? Have you ever opened the door but turned them away by saying something like, “No, thank you. I have my own religion”? (p. 1)
- Dave says that all he knew about Jehovah’s Witnesses when he first started talking with them was (p. 3):
- They call God “Jehovah”
- They go door-to-door witnessing in pairs
- They offer people a magazine called The Watchtower
- They won’t take blood transfusions.
What else did you know about Jehovah’s Witnesses before you started reading Dave’s book?
- Did you know that Jehovah’s Witnesses teach these things?
- Jehovah’s Witnesses are Christians. (p. 3)
- They are the only true Christians in the world. (p. 3)
- King David and John the Baptist will never go to heaven; theirs is an earthly hope. (p. 4)
- Only 144,000 “anointed” Jehovah’s Witnesses will go to heaven. (p. 5)
- All the rest of those who will be resurrected will live on a paradise earth. (p. 5)
- Given these teachings, do you understand why a Jehovah’s Witness might tell you, “I have no desire to go to heaven, and I have no intention of going there. I have an earthly hope”?
- Please read Acts 2:34 and Matthew 11:11. Do these verses mean that neither King David nor John the Baptist went to heaven when they died and that they aren’t there now? Does it mean they will never go there? What do those verses really mean? (p. 4)
- Please read 2 John 10-11. Do you think this verse means it is wrong to invite Jehovah’s Witnesses into your home in order to share the gospel with them? If you do interpret those verses that way, where else could you meet with them for that purpose? (pp. 6-7)
- Which sort of preparation do you personally need the most—doctrinal understanding or witnessing tips (or both equally)? (pp. 8-9)
- In trying to get through to Jehovah’s Witnesses, why is it important to get them out of their prepared presentations? (pp. 8-9)
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