Some things happen for a reason. And today was no exception. Just as I was sitting down in front of the TV to enjoy a strawberry Sorbet, I heard a knock on the door. "Come in!" I said. The door didn't open. "Who could this be?" I thought to myself. So I went and answered the door. Lo and behold, two well dressed men in suits and ties were there with a smile on their faces. "You must be Mike," they said. "How did they know my name?" Just kidding. Earlier last week they had stopped by, but my roomate Wes told them to stop by another time when I would be around. So here they were, ready to talk to me.
The conversation didn't last long, so I'll just highlight a few things. I started the conversation by explaining how I was doing a sociology project on the afterlife beliefs of the JW's and that I was somewhat familiar with their beliefs. They seemed interested and asked me a little bit about my upbringing. I explained how I was raised in church and had been a Christian most of my life.
This is pretty much how most of the conversation went. They asked me questions and I answered. No pressure. No arguing. Just an easy conversation. Eventually they asked me if, when I was doing my research, if I noticed anything different about their beliefs. I told them that the most fundamental distinction between us was the doctrine of God. They agreed, but didn't seem to want to get into that at the moment.
Because I was obviously familiar with their beliefs on the afterlife, they began asking me about hell and what I thought. They couldn't conceive how a loving God could torment people forever. They compared it to a parent sticking their children's hand in the fire when they wanted to punish them.
I then explained that we can't always put Jehovah and His ways into human situations. Jehovah is infinitely holy and just. Therefore, if we offend Him in any way, it would take only an eternity to pay back our debt. Jehovah cannot just wink at sin. He must demonstrate His wrath on sinners. I honestly wasn't expecting the conversation to go in this direction, but they continued asking questions. "So what about the guy who has never heard of Christ? Is God going to send him to hell to if he doesn't believe?" I took it a step further. "Let's say he lived in the most remote tribe in Africa and has never heard of the Bible. Romans chapter 1:18-20 says that God reveals His invisible attributes through the Creation so that no man will be without excuse for not believing. Therefore, if they respond to the light that is given them, more light will be given. So that when judgement day comes, they will have no excuse." "But what about babies," they asked, "will they go to hell too?" "Well, the Bible says in Psalm 51:5 that we are sinful from birth, therefore God has every right to punish babies. In fact, we all deserve hell, both you and me. And that's why God sent His Son to die on the cross to pay the price that we sinners would have to pay. Therefore, because of what Christ did, sinners can have eternal life."
They only nodded. They acted interested. It may have only been an act. Or they could have been thinking, "i've never heard that before." Only God knows. But the good thing is, I gave them my number and told them that i'd love to meet with them and discuss more things in detail with them. And I knew all too well that a Jehovah's Witness will not refuse an invitation to discuss the Bible. Of course, they agreed. But I have no guarantee that I will ever see these men again. Thankfully, God gave me the opportunity to share the Gospel with them. These men now know that they are in need of a perfect Savior. They may not admit this to themselves. But in their heart of hearts, they know.
Please pray that the Lord provides this second opportunity and that He has grace on them and saves them.