Sunday, January 11, 2009
Is there hope for Jehovah's Witnesses?
When I logged on to my YouTube account a few months ago, I was surprised to see a message from one of my friends mentioning that NewAgeGamer (who I will now refer to as, Brian) had become a Christian. I hadn't been making videos on YouTube very long, but I spent a lot of time watching Brian's videos, because he was one of the few Jehovah's Witnesses who were making public defenses of their faith. But in addition, I thought Brian was a really sharp guy who not only had a defensible grasp on his own faith, but seemed to know the beliefs of Christians as well. The problem was, he was lost...very lost.
And though I am the first to admit that God can save absolutely anyone, no matter how deceived, if He so chooses, I had never witnessed a JW come to Christ. Though I had heard testimony after testimony of JW's leaving the Watchtower, I had never seen it myself. I used to pray and pray that God would graciously allow me to witness a JW come to Christ. I am a little reluctant to say this, but i'm going to be honest here; I had lost a bit of hope in God's saving power. Too many times had I involved myself in endless conversation and debate with JW's and seen absolutely no fruit. I had honestly gotten to a point where I began to wonder, "is this all really worth it? I know i'm just called to plant seeds, but would my time be more well spent elsewhere?"
It was truly an answered prayer to see a message from 21crosscheck21 that Brian had become born-again. And not only that, God had done to him what usually takes years for JW's to leave the Watchtower. That is, there is a lot of reprogramming that has to happen for one who has been indoctrinated with Watchtower teachings for so many years. But Brian's conversion was truly radical. It was as if he'd been going to church his whole life. It was truly a 180 degree turn from Watchtower theology to Biblical Christianity in pretty much every area. I was truly amazed at the change that took place.
Being a tad bit skeptical, I wanted to call Brian and find out what happened. Its kind of funny, because when I look back on the conversation, I remember really drilling him with questions. I really wanted to see how not only his doctrinal beliefs had changed, but his psychology as well. And if you've spent much time with Jehovah's Witnesses, you know exactly what I mean by that.
At any rate, through Brian's conversion, i've truly been brought back to trusting in God's saving power more now than ever before. And its made my interactions with Jehovah's Witnesses since then so much more hopeful. Even if I see no fruit as a result of our discussions, I have no idea what the Holy Spirit is doing with them on the inside. In Brian's case, he went through a year of questioning and doubting when no one who was watching his videos would have thought! But when the time was right, the Holy Spirit did to Brian what He has done to all of us who have become born-again; He took out that heart of stone and put in a heart of flesh.
Let me encourage you with something if you are witnessing to those who seem too "hardened" or "deceived" to make that decision to come to Christ: you are right. That is, all men are in darkness and incapable of coming to saving faith in the Savior...until something happens. Yes, until the Holy Spirit does that work, everyone is in a hopeless state. So don't give up. God can save anyone, no matter how deceived. Just keep doing what you were called to do; plant seeds and make disciples (Matthew 28:19). And don't ever let anyone tell you any different.
*CLICK HERE to go to Brian's YouTube site, where you can watch all his past, present, and future videos to come.