Here's the link to the mp3 of Sunday night's sermon on our words and works.
If you weren't with us Sunday morning, listen to Pastor Long's sermon, too. Very helpful insights into the testimonies of Christ - made me wish I had heard this before I went a few rounds with some Jehovah's Witnesses last week. What do you do when you talk to JW's? Here are a few thoughts that generally go through my head:
1. If you are able, keep them at your place as long as you can. At least that way, they're not proselytizing your neighbors.
2. As soon as you can, turn the topic of conversation to Jesus Christ. Be specific and make them be specific.
3. In response to their claim that Jesus is not God, don't use John 1:1 (they have a pre-baked answer for that one). Use instead things like Thomas' confession, "My Lord and my God" (Jn. 20:28) or John 5:18, where the leaders themselves understood that Jesus claimed divinity. [Don't get caught up in the discussion of Bible versions; it's an argument they like to use. Theirs is translated with deceit and JW presuppositions in mind.]
4. Better yet, when they speak of our Bibles not using Jehovah's real name (that's how they translate Yahweh and they deride all who don't - generally, Protestant translations use "LORD" for Yahweh), turn to John 8:58 ("Before Abraham was, I am"). The OT word "Yahweh" is built upon the verb "to be". Yahweh literally means the one who is - remember how God told Moses to introduce Him to the people: "I am who I am" (Ex. 3:14). So, when Jesus said, "Before Abraham was, I am", He was taking to Himself the very name of God, that name which JW's claim to value above all else. The two I talked to last Saturday had no answer for this - so they kept changing the subject.
5. Force the issue. Ask them, "Do you believe that if I don't convert to Jehovah's Witnesses, I will go to hell?" They, and the Mormons, are very hesitant to say anything that mean. We, however, do believe that, outside of a belief in Christ as God and Savior, there is no salvation. This makes things uncomfortable in the conversation, but at least they ought to know where you stand.
6. Invite them back. Invite them to church. Ask them to listen to your understanding of the gospel for a few minutes. Try to balance forthrightness with grace. Rattle their cage with God's truth, which, if done apart from malice, is an inherently gracious thing.
These thoughts assume a few things. First, that we believe Jesus is God, that He must be God for salvation to work, and that we are able to show our belief true by the Scriptures. Second, that we understand Jehovah's Witnesses as a false religion, one that traps people in lies and threatens to make your neighbors twice over sons of hell. Third, that we care enough to not just shut the door in their face.