Wednesday, 25 May 2011

What do you mean "What do you mean?"?

I had a brief encounter with a "Jehovah's Witness" on Saturday - I was sitting in my car with the window down waiting to collect some people, and the JWs were knocking the doors in this street. 

One of them came to my window and asked me would I like something to read, I told him it would depend on what it was.  He said, "You know how there's all this controversy about creation and evolution?"  I told him that was no problem to me, I happened to know the Creator, He was my Saviour.  The JW man enthused warmly!  He thought, however, that I could benefit from reading the Watch Tower material, but I told him that I had something far better than the Watch Tower Society could offer - I had the full and free forgiveness of all my sins, I was a child of God, and sure of heaven

I put it to him that he needed what I had rather than me needing what he had.  Think about it - he is a follower of a religion that has been guilty of loads of false prophecies and doctrinal changes, a religion that is guilty of blatant mistranslations, additions and omissions of Scripture, a religion that offers no certainty of salvation and no assurance of forgiveness.  Whereas, the Gospel offers a present, perfect, personal Saviour who saves and keeps those that trust in Him.

The JW man told me that he was really in the exact same position as me, so I asked him was he justified.  He asked me what I meant by being justified. 

Now just hold on a minute here - this is an organisation that claims to be the only organisation preaching the Biblical Gospel today, but there is one book in the Bible that specifically sets out the doctrine of the Gospel - the book of Romans, and it is a book that is full of the truth of justification.  It tells us that justification is something that we cannot attain by works, it is given freely to those who trust Christ, it is something that the believer has now, and it is something that guarantees the eventual glorification of the one who trusts Christ.

So I told him that I meant justification in the sense Paul used it in the book of Romans.  What did he do?  He changed the subject!  He ignored the question.  He said that Paul was not sure of having eternal life and it was something that he was pursuing and seeking to lay hold of.  I asked him did he know the passage he was trying to quote from - he didn't.  I told him it was Philippians 3 and pointed out that it had nothing to do with Paul seeking to get eternal life, it was rather that Paul was pursuing conformity to Christ and deeper knowledge of Christ.  He said he would look into it.  I hope he will, but notice what he did - I brought out passages in which Paul speaks about being in the present possession of justification and he simply directed my attention to a passage he felt contradicted that truth.  This seems to be a common feature of JWs - they don't explain verses that contradict their views, they just ignore them and go to a passage they think supports their view. 

But my point is this, I have asked this question to JWs in the past, and have never got a straight answer, "Have you been justified?"  For an organisation that claims it is based on the Bible and proclaims the Gospel, why would that be a difficult question to answer?

I'm glad I can say, by the grace of God, in the power of the blood of Christ, through faith, I have been justified.  Can you?