Last week, amidst a busy day, I saw a car roll down our driveway. It was not a convenient time and I had things I needed to do, but I assumed they were Jehovah’s Witnesses. I went to the door as they were coming up our steps and asked them the question, “Are you Jehovah’s Witnesses?” They said that they were, so, I went back inside to grab a couple of Gospel tracks and a flyer of our ministry for them. I showed them the pink and blue optical illusion Gospel tracks that we have and then the conversation went from there.
Initially, I couldn’t remember off the top of my head all of what Jehovah’s Witnesses believe and the difference between Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons, but shortly after the conversation began, I remembered what it was. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe in Hell.
Hell, is something very important to believe in. First and foremost, you need to believe in such a place because it is real and men and women will go there if they do not repent of their sins and trust in Jesus as their Savior. The Bible mentions Hell 54 times. However, the people at my front door did not want anything to do with the fact that Hell existed.
They believed that when someone died, they were just dead. That’s it, nothing happened after that if you didn’t go to Heaven. I said what about evildoers? What about a man like Hitler? Should he not receive punishment for what he did? You think that Hitler should just die and stay there and nothing happens to him? They mentioned the fact that they were angry at men like him too, but I pointed out the fact that if there is no future punishment for wickedness and evil doers, then what is even the point of them going door-to-door and trying to get people to convert to Christ?
The mom in the group said, “So you want people to come to Christ because they are afraid of going to Hell?” No, I am not saying that. Men should not be scared into serving the Lord because they are afraid that if they don’t they’re going to go to Hell. Men should repent of their sins because they see their sinful and wicked state before a Just and Holy God, as transgressors and violators of His Holy Law. Then they should be told of the sacrifice of what Christ did for sinners on the cross by taking their punishment upon Himself.
People should serve Christ out of a love for Him and His sacrifice, but how are you to see the awesome display of love that Jesus Christ displayed on the cross for you (John 15:13; 1 John 3:18), unless you first realize the sinfulness of your own state and the Hell that you deserve? The Gospel is not “good news” at all unless you are made to see the seriousness of your condition. Your conscience needs to be awakened and alarmed by the truth! Death, judgment, and Hell are awaiting you, but until you realize that, you will never see your need for someone to save you…Jesus Christ.
For example, if I walked up to you and said, “Hey, good news, I found the cure for your disease!” You would say, “That’s great, but I don’t have any disease.” So, therefore, you do not value any type of cure at all! However, if you knew that you were about to die and there were 10 clear symptoms that verified the fact that you had only days to live; and then I told you I found the cure for your disease, that news would have a completely different effect on you!
You see, we can be mad at a guy like Hitler all we want, but what we don’t understand is that in God’s eyes we are just as guilty. Did you know that God considers even hatred in your heart to be the same thing as murder? (Matthew 5:21-22) Do you realize that God struck Ananias and Sapphira (A husband and wife) dead in the Bible for telling one lie? (Acts 5:1-11) Did you know that if you even look upon a man or a woman to lust after them in your heart, it is the same thing as committing adultery in the eyes of God? (Matthew 5:27-28) You see, in God’s eyes there are no degrees of sin. Sin is sin, the transgression of God’s Law (The Ten Commandments – I John 3:4).
Whether or not you tell one lie or 10,000 lies you’re a liar. If you have never killed anyone, but you still hate someone in your heart, you’re guilty as a murderer in the eyes of God. There are so many things that we just don’t understand as human beings because men like to compare their righteousness to other sinful men. They say “Well I’m better than that guy over there who robs banks and steals cars,” but what you don’t realize, is that when you stand before God on Judgment Day you will be compared to His standard of righteousness and not the standard of other sinful fallen men. Whether or not you rob a bank or steal 50 cents from you mom’s purse you are just as guilty in the eyes of God because it is the condition of you being a thief in your heart that God sees, no matter how big or small the crime.
I explained these types of things and more to the Jehovah’s Witnesses. I explained how that because God is loving and because God is just, He must punish evil doers. In the same way that a good and loving judge presiding over a court room, under man’s law, must punish evildoers and bring forth justice upon their crimes. Even sinful man understands this concept. Can you imagine living in a world where there was no punishment for any crimes that individuals ever committed? What would keep them from being absolutely lawless and living destructive lawless lives? Nothing.
If we, as sinful men and women, know that there must be punishment for those who break the law, how much more do you think that a Just and Holy God will bring forth justice and punishment upon sinners who transgresses His Holy Law? Nevertheless, it was a spirited conversation (Much like contending for the faith – Jude 3:3). Then out came the reinforcements. The son, who was a young man who had been sitting in the car, got out to help Dad & Mom with more ammo (Carrying his iPad in hand). It turns out that they had brought the whole family with them, and I praise God for it.
You see, I did not want to debate with their intellect, but rather prick their conscience. It seemed as though the Holy Spirit was doing His work because I could tell that it was starting to seep into the dad’s heart a little bit. You could see it on his face. He said, “Well I need to read my Bible more” because with the Scripture I was throwing at them pertaining to Hell, he could probably see that he had missed a few verses in the Bible. He missed Scriptures such as Revelation 21:8, which reads, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” and Mark 9:43-44 where the Bible talks about Hell and going “…into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”
We’re not talking about just a place where you die and stay there and nothing happens to you without any kind of real punishment on account of your sin, as the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe.
At the end of it all, I found out that the mom had cancer and so I asked to pray for her, which I did. I trust that the Lord planted seeds that day that may not have otherwise been planted. The mom could be literally staring death in the face right now and I am so glad that the Lord counted us faithful to bring them to our front door. The Bible instructs us in 2 Timothy 4:2 to be ready in season and out of season. After my conversation with the Jehovah’s Witnesses, I wanted to do more digging in the Word, so I would be better prepared the next time a conversation like that with people who have those kind of beliefs landed at my front door. I pray that the mom would be healed, and that the entire family would know that the true and living God touched them and met them that day.
1 Peter 3:15 says, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” If you cannot do this, you need to ask the Lord to make your heart right and study the Scriptures until you can (2 Timothy 2:15). Remember, we must always be ready for the opportunities the Lord gives us, and make sure to take advantage of them. You never know when it could be somebody’s last chance to hear the Gospel.