Friday, April 30, 2010
Speaking the Truth in Love
My purpose in writing this article is not to offend anyone, but to “speak the truth in love” for the salvation of souls. Each person we meet in our daily walk is a soul loved by God.
God said to Moses, “I AM who I AM”. This is what you are to say to the Israelites, “I AM has sent me to you”… Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say. (Exodus 3: 14 & 4:12)
“God works in mysterious ways”. I have heard that phrase often in my life and I know it is true, but God brought the reality of it home to me once again several months ago.
I had spent the afternoon at the Pregnancy Counseling Center and had seen several clients. As I and my receptionist were preparing to leave, the phone rang. The woman calling was a Grandmother. She was calling for her daughter who had just come home from the hospital after having had a C-Section, and she needed formula for her baby. I explained to her that we were getting ready to leave, but that if she could come right away I would wait for her. Our cupboards were well stocked with formula and I didn’t have anything pressing that I had to do that day.
She arrived about 20 minutes later. I talked to her about what we do at the counseling center and asked her if she had any religious affiliation. She said, “Yes, I am a Jehovah Witness”. She had been in the Jehovah Witness church for the past 20 years. I looked at her and without changing the expression on my face, I began to pray. As she talked to me I prayed that God would give me the right words to say. I realized this may be the only chance I would get to tell her the truth and I wanted to get it right.
I learned a lot about what the Jehovah Witness believe that day.
They believe Jesus is God’s Son, but that he is not God. They say that he was created after God created the world. In response to this comment, I referred her to Genesis 1:2 where God tells us: now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And then in verse 26: Then God said; Let us make man in our image, in our likeness…and finally I also referred her to John 1:1,2 where God tells us: In the beginning was the Word (Jesus) and the Word (Jesus) was with God and the Word (Jesus) was God. He was with God in the beginning. She listened very intently as I explained these things to her.
She then went on to tell me that Jehovah Witness do not accept blood transfusions because “Jehovah” forbids it in the Old Testament. I believe she was referring here to the O.T. sacrifices and how God forbade His people to eat meat with the blood still in it. He was specifically forbidding the “eating/drinking” of blood. The purpose of the O. T. sacrifice was to point the people to Christ, the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. These O.T. sacrifices became obsolete after the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross. God tells us in Hebrews 10:10, and by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
I pointed out to her that my own husband would not be with me today due to a medical condition he had at that time, if he hadn’t accepted blood transfusions. I informed her that blood transfusions are not against God’s will, but rather a gift which God makes available to us to save lives, and that we should use it as such and thank Him for it.
I asked her if she felt confident she would go to heaven when she died. Her answer to that was a definite “no”. She went on to tell me that she would be one of the many people who remained here on earth and that God was going to keep the same earth but take the evil away. Some people would go to heaven but she would not be good enough. She claimed that there is no hell. The bad/evil people will die and be buried and that will be the end of them.
I also asked her: How do you know you will be good enough to be one of the people who remain here on earth? She replied that as long as she tried hard to be a good person and made an effort to do Jehovah’s will, she would be good enough. She would also be expected to attend Jehovah meetings 5 days a week and admitted that she had not been attending regularly recently, but planned to be more conscientious in the future.
If you are a Jehovah Witness and are reading this article, I want to you to know that it is so much easier than that! We are saved through faith by God’s Grace. The word “Grace” means “Undeserved Love”. All people are conceived and born in sin (Psalm 51:5). As sinners we deserve only punishment from God, but because of his great love for us He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ to live a perfect life for us and to sacrifice Himself in our place. When Jesus died on the cross he took the punishment we deserve for our sinfulness upon Himself and gave us His holiness. Therefore when God looks at us as believers, he sees not our sin, but His perfect and Holy Son. We are still sinners and we need to go to Him daily in prayer with a repentant heart, but because of Jesus' perfect, sinless life, and innocent suffering and death, God does not hold us accountable for our sin.
I have not seen this grandmother since that day. I am thankful that God gave me courage and put the words in my mouth that needed to be said. He helped me use that “one chance” to her benefit. I pray that something I said will make a difference for her soul.
He tells us in His word, Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say. He was with me that day. I found myself quoting many passages from scripture. The words seemed to flow from my mouth and my heart.
What a privilege it is to speak in His name. To God be the glory!