26 December 2009

Who's that knocking on my door?

For the past few years I would hear my friends talk about how the Jehovah Witnesses came knocking on their door only for them to either politely tell them to leave of just hide and wait them out.

I have been patient hoping I would be home when a JW or two would come knocking on my door.

Today was my day.

I was checking my email right around lunch time when I saw a full size pickup pull into my driveway. The way the truck pulled in I thought they were a little lost and was just using my driveway as a turn around. But the passenger door swung open first and then the driver's door and as a couple young men stepped out of the truck I knew it was the JW's.

I quickly turned to my right and grabbed a couple pamphlet tracts that go into more detail than the MDB's and I grabbed a hat (still had morning hair) and headed towards the front door.

My heart was racing a million miles and hour.

I opened the door (I think before they even had a chance to knock) and greeted them. One of the gentlemen gave me the quick, "We have some information we would like to talk with you about" line. It must have been a shock for them when I invited them to come on in the house.

We exchanged the introductions and then one of the young men (They both looked like they were in their late 20's or early 30's. Now that I'm almost 50 I can call them young men!) started talking about the world and it's condition today and asked me if I have ever thought about life after death, etc.

For the first 5 minutes or so I just let him talk. To be honest, I can't remember almost anything he was saying. It was like that Pink Floyd song, "Comfortably Numb" where the lyrics say, "Your lips move, but I can't hear what you're saying"

I was praying, "Lord, please slow my heart rate down. Please give me the wisdom and the words to say right now."

The young man said something about Jesus dying for the sin of everyone so, when they die, all could live in paradise.

Everyone, I said?


What about Hitler? Do you guy's think Hitler is in paradise?

Well, that's for Jehovah to judge.

The conversation went back and forth about the real reason for Jesus' sacrificial death, propitiation, the reality (or not) about eternal punishment, works versus faith alone in Christ, living a godly life, etc.

It came to a point where I tried to give the good person test but, like they have been trained to do, they avoided the questions and went back to other points they were trying to make.

After about 15 minutes or so they told me that they would be happy to come back and discuss a single topic if I liked. I told them that would be cool. I said, how about we talk about faith alone in Christ alone for salvation? They said that would be fine.

I gave the the tracts I had and they said that they were genuinely thankful for the kindness I showed them in letting them into my home and having a civil conversation about spiritual things. They said they have had a lot of people scream and yell at them and slam doors in their faces.

They said they would come back in two or three weeks after I have recovered from my surgery next week. I said that would be fine. I don't know if they will come back or not.

I figure if I can try to show them that salvation comes by faith alone in Christ alone I can also, by default, explain the Deity of Christ to them; show how Jesus is not a Archangel but is indeed God Himself.

The conversation didn't go as I thought it would go, but I'm sure it went the way it was supposed to go.

Stay tuned!


  1. I know the beating heart thing when JW's show up. But since we moved into our neighborhood 3 years ago and discovered it to be a favorite hit for JW's to go doorknocking on a regular basis, I don't get that fast beating heart thing anymore. I'm ready for them and always try to set the stage for the conversation.

    It's always interesting. Never boring. Always friendly. But I am firm in my stance and they always leave with a warning of their eternal fate in the reality of hell (they don't believe hell exists) should they continue to reject the truth of God's Word.

    Glad to know I'm not the only one who actually anwswers the JW knock. Good post! Thanks, Wayne.

  2. Being one of Jehovah's Witnesses myself, I can say that I appreciate both your concern and hospitality. While it's understandable that people are getting busier and busier these days, and so don't like being bothered, it's still nice meeting people who are polite.

    As to the faith versus works discussion, I'll just say that that is one of those topics on which we are usually misunderstood. I (nor any Witness I have ever known for that matter) have never believed that we can *earn* our salvation through good works.

    Some early Jewish Christians tried to hold themselves and others bound to the works demanded by the Mosaic Law. This, however, was no longer binding on God's people, as Jesus did all the works required by that Law to prove himself a perfect and righteous man. Though everyone prior to him had violated that Law to some degree, Jesus lived up to it and fulfilled it, actually earning the right to everlasting life as a perfect human, though he sacrificed that right on behalf of all those that put faith in his sacrifice.

    That being said, a *living* faith actually produces good, Christian works (not talking about works of the Law here). This means that those claiming to have faith, but do nothing to show love for God and others, are really fooling themselves, just as James stated plainly, "faith without works is dead." (James 2:26)


  3. Thanks for stopping TJ -

    You said, "I (nor any Witness I have ever known for that matter) have never believed that we can *earn* our salvation through good works."

    I'm glad you do not believe your goods works can save you. Salvation come by faith alone in Christ alone.

    When a lost person repents of their sins and places their trust in Christ to save him/her from God's wrath, God is faithful to save.

    What James is saying is that someone who says that they have faith and does not spend his life doing "good works" is deceiving themselves. Why? Because if they were truly saved and had the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ dwelling within them, then they would want to spend the rest of their life doing nothing but good works; thus glorifying the Father. (Mat 5:16)

  4. Thanks for your response Wayne; I think we're saying essentially the same thing. I didn't want you wasting your time on the assumption that we are trying to earn our salvation by works.

    An area worth discussing, in my opinion, is what Jesus' sacrifice means, i.e. why it was needed and what its value is. I find this often helps get to the root of our differences.


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  6. Thanks for the question TJ -

    I have been out of touch due to surgery this past Tuesday and I am slowly recovering.

    I think an area we need to make sure of before we talk about what Jesus' sacrifice means is, "Who is Jesus.?"

    Who do you think Jesus is TJ?

  7. Hi Wayne,

    I hope you're feeling alright. I don't mean to impose on your blog here, especially when you're recovering; so if you get tired of me, just say the word. :)

    Your question is an interesting one, because I believe that a discussion over the meaning of Jesus' sacrifice and a discussion on Jesus' identity are merely two sides of the same coin. So you're really getting at the same point that I am, though I'm framing the discussion through the lens of the ransom sacrifice.

    We start with the biblical premise that God created Adam sinless and perfect, and that only Adam's conscious decision to sin (which amounted to a rebellion against God's sovereignty) sold himself and any future offspring of his into slavery to sin and death. Godly justice requires like for like to cover over sin: "soul will be for soul, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot." (Deut. 19:21)

    By sinning, Adam had thrown away the right to perfect human life, living on earth forever, for both himself and his offspring. The only way to buy back that opportunity would be through a corresponding sacrifice of another perfect human life. Thus, the 'sacrificial lamb' had to be the equal of Adam - no more, no less.

    This is who I believe Jesus was, Adam's equal. Jesus was born under God's Law and fulfilled every requirement of that Law, showing himself to be perfect and righteous. For this reason, he is called "the last Adam." (1 Cor. 15:45)

    Would you agree with me up to this point?


  8. Thanks for the response TJ -

    It seems I am only able to get online for a short period in the evening time. Recovery is slower than I want it to be.

    You said, "This is who I believe Jesus was, Adam's equal."

    I'm afraid I cannot disagree more with that statement.

    Jesus was much greater than Adam. In fact, creation itself comes from the One greater than Adam. (John 1:3,10; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:2,10)

    Jesus is nothing less than God Himself. (John 1:1-3; 1:14; 1:18; 20:28; Rom. 9:5; Titus 2:13; Heb. 1:8; 2 Pet. 1:1; 1 John 5:20)

    Jesus is eternal. (Isa. 9:6; John 1:1,2; Rev. 1:8; 22:13)

    Jesus is omnipresent. (Isa. 9:6; John 1:1,2; Rev. 1:8; 22:13)

    Jesus is omnisciencent. (2:24,25; 21:17; Rev. 2:23)

    Jesus is omnipotent. (Isa. 9:6; Phil. 3:21; Rev. 1:8)

    Jesus is Immutable. (Heb. 1:10-12; 13:8)

    Jesus is God.

    Man needed a perfect sacrifice for the attonement of his sins. No mere man could have qualified for that role. The Bible is clear that ALL have sinned and fallen short of God's glory. (Rom 3:23; 5:12)

    Therefore God Himself, if man were to have any reconcilliation with Him, had to be that sacrifice; because only God is perfect.

    Enter Immanuel; God in the flesh!

    This is why Paul said in 2 Cor. 5:19, "that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself…"

    And again in 1 Tim. 3:16, "God was manifest in the flesh…"

    And also in Heb. 1:3, we find that Jesus was "the express image" of God. "All the fullness of the Godhead" dwelt in him bodily.
    Col. 2:9.

    So although Jesus can be called a man, he is also justly called God.

    TJ, on this issue of the deity of Christ, I cannot be moved. I will die on that Rock.

    Until you meet me on this and agree that Jesus is God in the flesh, our discussion on anything else is a moot point.



  9. Hi Wayne,

    Thank you for your response. I can tell that you're anxious to list off your evidence. :) Please be patient with me for just a bit.

    You said, "Therefore God Himself, if man were to have any reconcilliation with Him, had to be that sacrifice; because only God is perfect."

    This doesn't make sense to me. If Adam wasn't created complete and perfect (in an obvious relative sense) then did God create him imperfect and sinful? Wouldn't that mean, as some critics allege, that Adam's fall was actually God's fault for creating him that way?

    And if mankind wasn't originally created perfect, why would a perfect one be needed to die on their behalf? What principles are at work here?

    You see Wayne, this is an area that I have yet to receive a clear answer on from those that want to minister to me. I'm always just told 'God HAD to die for you.' OK, but why?? How does that work exactly?

    When I read the Bible, I find that it clearly points to the pre-human Jesus emptying himself to become a perfect human being. By living up to all the requirements of the Jewish Law, he had actually *earned* the right to live forever as a human. But that's not what he came to do. He came to earn that right, and then freely give it up, sacrifice it, on our behalf.

    Thus, the perfect human life that Adam foolishly lost for all of his descendants, Jesus gave it back to any of them that put faith in his sacrifice. The payment was met, "[perfect] soul for [perfect] soul."

    This, to me, is the basic foundation for the message that the good news is built upon.


  10. Waynedawg: what verses were you quoting from for the proof of God's omniscience? The first two do not have the book referenced.

    Also, reading Isaiah 9:6, I don't see where it states Jesus is omnipotent in that verse. And.. I guess Revelation 1:8 implies omnipotence? Phillipians, however, seems pretty clear unless I am missing context somehow.

  11. Only on for a moment this morning...

    Joe - Sorry for the incomplete verse reference. That should be John 2:24,25 and John 21:17 that reveal the omniscience of Jesus.

    As for Isaiah 9:6, that was in reference to the eternality of Jesus; "...And His name will be called
    Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

    TJ - I will do my best to answer your question this evening. Jesus was fully God and fully man and, make no mistake (as you have been told by many well meaning Christians), God did NOT HAVE to die for anyone.

    God WANTED to demonstrate His love and freely gave Himself up as THE perfect sacrifice for the sin of man. That is the good news of the gospel.


  12. Hi Wayne,

    Please take your time, no pressure here.

    I just want to clarify that my question is specifically in regards to how God's death would bring about life for others. I've yet to hear a clear explanation, using biblical principles, that demonstrates that God would need to die in order to cover over the sin of a man.


  13. TJ - I appreciate your question.

    Why would a holy and righteous God need/have/want to die for sinful man?

    Here's an analogy that I found at carm.org to set up an explanation....

    Let's say I am at your house or apartment with my wife. We are talking about church and in my zeal I accidentally knock over your lamp. Now, this lamp is special. A dear friend gave it to you and it has great sentimental value, and besides, you need a light in your room. After a moment or two you realize that the damage is done and decide to forgive. You say to me, "That is alright, Matt. I forgive you for breaking the lamp, but give me ten dollars."

    Is asking for ten dollars after you've just forgiven me, true forgiveness? Certainly not! When God forgives our sins, He says He will remember them no more (Jer. 31:34). Forgive and forget are similar in spelling and similar in meaning. If you forgive me can you demand payment from the one forgiven? No, because a forgiven debt does not exist.

    Let's say that instead of asking me for ten dollars you turn to my wife and say, "Matt broke my lamp. You give me ten dollars for it."

    I ask you again. Is that true forgiveness? No. You are simply transferring the debt to someone who was not involved in the original offense.

    But, we have a problem. The lamp needs to be replaced. In true forgiveness, then, who pays for its replacement? (Think about this a bit before you go on to read the answer.)

    Who pays?

    You do!

    You're the only one left. Remember, if you've forgiven me the debt, how can you demand payment?

    Now, who was my offense against?


    Who forgives?

    You do.

    Who pays?

    You do.

    When we sin, who do we sin against?


    Who forgives?


    Who pays?


    Did you get that?

    God pays!

    How does He do that?


    2000 years ago on a hill outside the city of Jerusalem He bore our sins in His body and died on the cross (1 Pet. 2:24). He took our punishment: "Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried... He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him..." (Isaiah 53:4-5).

    God is just. God is merciful. God is gracious.

    In the justice of God, He took our place. In the mercy of God we don't get punished. In the grace of God, He gives us eternal life.

    Even though we are unworthy of salvation, even though we are unworthy of God's love, even though we are unworthy of mercy, even though we are worthy of wrath, God saved us.

    He did so not because of who we are, but because of who He is, not because of what we do, but because of what He did.

    God is love (1 John 4:16).

    God is holy (1 Peter 1:16).

    God is good (Psalm 34:8).

    We could never fathom the depths of His purity and kindness (Rom. 11:33).

    We could never, through our own efforts, attain Him.

    There is only one thing left for us. We must worship Him, love Him, and serve Him. He alone is worthy.

    Blessed be the name of the Lord.

    Hope that helps -


  14. Hi Wayne,

    Thanks again for your response.

    You gave the scenario where you accidentally break my lamp. Let's say, hypothetically (I don't think you would do this, lol), you get angry, pick up the lamp, and smash it on the ground. Wouldn't that change the scenario somewhat? Wouldn't you be liable to repay the value of the lamp?

    Adam's sin wasn't accidental, he knowingly broke God's law. Furthermore, $10 is something you could probably easily repay, whereas the debt Adam incurred, however, neither he nor his offspring would ever be able to pay. But it seems we agree that God did pay to cover that offense. The real question is: What was the cost?

    Given your analogy, if my lamp was broken, what would replace it that would restore what was lost? If you gave me an inferior lamp, not as bright, ugly as sin, with a switch that doesn't really work, would that restore things?

    On the other hand, if you gave me a lamp that was more expensive than all of the other furniture in my house combined, I would probably feel actually indebted to you because it's worth way too much. Wouldn't it be a lamp of the same type and quality that would actually restore what was lost?

    So in evaluating the cost of the ransom, we have to know what was destroyed and it's restorative value. I believe the Bible says that Adam destroyed his right (and by extension, his descedents' right) to perfect human life.

    The price to restore such a loss would be a payment of another perfect human life. Thus, the sacrificial death of a perfect man fully covers the purposeful sin of another perfect man to restore what was lost. Lamp for lamp, soul for soul.

    Doesn't this principle of justice at least make sense to you, even if you are not prepared to agree with it?


  15. Hey TJ -

    Whew, what a week! I went back to work on uesday and have not had time to even visit other blogs much less maintain my own.

    I am only on at this moment because North Georgia is in a kind of lock down from the great blizzard (being very sarcastic) yesterday. My street is a sheet of ice and only a handful of folks have made it to work this morning. I think I will try to go in around lunch in hopes that some of the ice will have melted by then.

    TJ, I think we could go back and forth from now until Jesus returns (And I don't believe He did so in 1914)and not come to a meeting point concerning traditional Christian doctrine and theology.

    I believe that I have provided an ample amount of Scripture reference above to prove that:

    Jesus is God in the flesh;

    Jesus is eternal;

    Jesus is omnipresent;

    Jesus is omnisciencent;

    Jesus is omnipotent;

    Jesus is Immutable.

    These truths are basic and traditional Christian doctrine and I cannot be moved from them.

    Jesus is not an angel. He is not Michael the Archangel. Jesus is not a lesser god among gods.

    Jesus is God. Immanuel; God with us.

    Thanks for the conversation and I hope you give careful consideration to all the Scripture I have provided you. I pray that you come to repentance and faith in Christ and in Him alone for your salvation.



  16. Hi Wayne,

    I'm sorry to see that you are ending the discussion. I was hoping to get to how you understand the ransom to work, using biblical principles.

    But I very much appreciate the time you gave me here.

    Take care,