Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Jehovah Witnesses at the Door

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A few days ago I received one of those visits from a couple Jehovah Witnesses. I thought “well good someone is at my door I get to witness the true Jesus too.” As most of you may already know they believe Jesus is the Archangel Michael and not God. After introducing themselves to me and offering some literature I replied “I have just one question for you. In the book of Revelation it say’s three times ‘I am the First and the Last.’” Then I questioned them “Who it that?” I received the answer I was expecting “Jehovah God.” I followed with “When did He die?” They replied “Jesus died, not Jehovah.” I agreed and stated “Jesus is the First and the Last.” I quoted the verses “…I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen.” (Revelation 1:17b-18 NKJV) I told them “Jesus is saying He is the First and the Last.” Of course they denied the Bible says that.

Here is the point where I learned a lesson I would like to share with you. They handed me their Bible with real small type and wanted me to show it to them. Here I am not remembering exactly where in Revelation it was at. For some reason I was thinking this verse was in Revelation 3 when actually it is in Revelation chapter 1. I was having trouble seeing such small type plus being in the wrong chapter I could not show them the verse although I quoted it word for word.

I think it would be wise to have a couple questions down to ask them the next time they come a knocking. One could go onto the internet and find some ministries who witness to Jehovah Witnesses and come up with some good questions which are challenging to their faith. The object is to plant a seed. We do not need to get into some big ole drawn out debate or anything, just be prepared to plant a seed. Of course it takes some prep work. One would want to spend some time mediating on the scripture and questions along with committing it all too memory. Of course, prayer is a must.

While I did not do the best of job witnessing to them, God can still use it because salvation is not dependant on me, but God. However that is not an excuse for not being prepared to “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.” (2 Timothy 4:2 NKJV)

And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.” But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
(1 Peter 3:13-17 NKJV)

I have decided to do some study and become prepared for when Jehovah Witnesses come a knocking. I do not need to become another Dr. Walter Martin or any other expert on the topic, but just get equipped with a couple questions with the goal of planting a seed. I also want to keep my Bible handy at the door because I know I would have found the passage quickly and easily from my own Bible. Another benefit would be when someone else comes to my door trying to sell something; they might see it and it will open the door to another witnessing opportunity.

What about you, do you have any Jehovah Witness witnessing experiences?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Relationship Not Hoops

Why do you suppose many times we rush through each day with little time for God? We are motivated trying to get things accomplished yet miss what is the most important. We may feel overwhelmed with things, yet not pray. Our eyes are on the things around us and not see Gods hand in our lives. Do we sometimes think “Why would God help me in this situation?” It can be easy to believe “How could God really care about little ole me? He is big and holds the entire universe in the palm of His hand. He can’t really care about me now can He?”

But without faith it is impossible to please Him,
for he who comes to God must believe that He is,
and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
(Hebrews 11:6 NKJV)

But God wants a relationship with us. He is faithful and true. He is not some far away God who gives us a bunch of does and don’ts we must follow just because He can. He is a God we can fully trust. His commandments are for our own good, not just a bunch of hoops to jump through which rob us from enjoying life. Think about this, He created us to spend eternity with Him. He wants to give us the keys to His kingdom. He came down from heaven to earth to die for us. He paid our sin debt, a debt we could not pay. Let us diligently seek to know Him more.

I want to make one thing clear to anyone who has not trusted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, He is the only way you will enter into the kingdom of heaven. You must repent and put your faith and trust in Jesus.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I Should Not Be Here

Before I was saved I can think of three times I should have died, yet the Lord preserved me while I was an enemy of God. The first time was a little over 30 years ago when I was driving my pickup truck in a remote area of New Mexico traveling over 100 mph. I was on was a long straight stretch with rolling hills. As I was topping of one of the hills I heard a loud voice in my head shout “slow down!” I immediately did. That made the difference between crashing into a deer or not; yet I did not give thanks to God or give Him any credit for saving me.

The second time was a couple years later when I tangled with a barb wire fence while riding my dirt bike. A friend and I was going down an old dirt road which we had been on many times before. (It was not an official road.) The rancher who had rights to the land wanted to stop people from traveling this road so he put a barb wire fence across it. The road went to a place where people would dump trash, so he was trying to put a stop to the littering . I was wide open on my bike and did not see the fence until I was right on it. The top wire caught my neck and flipped me off the back of the bike. I got up, got back on my bike thinking lucky me and road home. I have a scar where the barb cut into my neck. Once again I did not give thanks to God or give Him any credit for saving me.

The third time was about 15 years later. This time I was a passenger and my friend was driving on a dirt road in the mountains of Eastern Arizona. He lost control, ran off the road, we flipped. I was not wearing a seat belt and half of my body went out the window. The truck landed upside down with me being pinned across my lower back between the door and top of the truck. I was unconscious only waking up briefly two times the rest of the day and night. Once in the hospital to hear the Doctor say they are flying me to Phoenix. Then I woke briefly on the plane. The next morning the nurse came to my room saying “you can go home.” I had no broken bones or any serious injuries, but I was stiff and sore for the next few weeks. I remember having to sleep sitting in a chair because it hurt too much to lie down. Still once again I did not give thanks to God or give Him any credit for saving me.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8 NKJV)

15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. 16 However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. (1Timothy 1:15-16 NKJV)

As I look back it is scary thinking what could have happened if Christ was not rich in His mercy toward me. As it says in Romans chapter 1, there comes a time when God turns us over to our sinful ways when we suppress the truth in unrighteousness. He could have let me die and I would be in hell right now. If you are not saved and reading this, maybe God has been working on your heart drawing you to Himself. Do not harden your heart or put it off, respond while you still may for the day will come when you will not be able. “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,” (Hebrews 9:27 NKJV) If you read my testimony “How I Came to Know Jesus” above you will know I fought against His salvation for many years. I have many times wondered had I rejected His salvation that day I received Him, would He have turned me over to my sinful ways. I am so thankful He did not and saved me. Thank you Jesus!

I encourage you to click here to read Romans 1:18-32. These are very powerful passages.

…Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:2b NKJV)

7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says:
“Today, if you will hear His voice,

8 Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,

In the day of trial in the wilderness,

9 Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me,

And saw My works forty years.

10 Therefore I was angry with that generation,

And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart,

And they have not known My ways.’

11 So I swore in My wrath,

‘ They shall not enter My rest.’”

12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; (Hebrews 3:7-12 NKJV)

3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all…. (1Timothy 2:3-6 NKJV)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Know Scripture Yet?

You know what it is like when you are reading Scripture and something strikes you profoundly and you just cannot continue on without stopping and pondering on it for awhile? Well that is what happened with me as I read of the resurrection in John 20. This verse stopped me dead in my tracts: “For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.” (John 20:9 NKJV) I read this and thought “What? They did not know the Scripture yet? How many times did Jesus tell them that He would die and rise again from the dead?” Thomas, even after learning of the resurrection of Jesus form those who already saw Him still did not believe. He said “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” John 20:25b NKJV)

The word “know” in John 20:9 is translated in some translations as “understand.” We are no different that the apostles or Mary Magdalene, we can know all about Scripture and still not know it. What I noticed, when they saw they believed and understood.

6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed. (John 20:6-8 NKJV)

18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her. (John 20:18 NKJV)

27 Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” 28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:27-28 NKJV)

The disciples spent all that time with the Lord seeing His miracles and hearing His teaching. He told them many times over that He would die and rise again, yet they did not understand. We can quote Scripture, hear teaching after teaching, spend hours in the Word and still not “know” Scripture. We must put on the Lord Jesus Christ and not only talk the talk, but walk the walk. James said “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (James 1:22 NKJV)

To illustrate my point, Scripture says:

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NKJV)

Suppose we are always complaining about what we do not have, our only prayer is at supper time when we say some canned prayer plus we take everything have for granted. We may be able to quote this passage all day long, but do we really know (understand) it? As we step out in faith and apply the Word in our lives, we see His work and our lives changed. Then we start to know Scripture and our Lord, not just know about Scripture.

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