There's definitely something to be said for "rightly dividing the word of truth" (II Timothy 2:15). Today I had two very nice Jehovah's Witness ladies knock on my door. Being a born-again-Bible-believing Christian, my eyes light up when people like them come to my door. I see it as a chance to witness about my faith. I figure if I listen politely to them, then they are obligated to listen politely to me. I don't know their names, so I will just call them Lady #1 and Lady #2.
First, Lady #1 tried to give me one of their Watchtower papers. I very politely said that I would gladly take one of their papers if they agreed to take one of my papers. I thought that would be a fair exchange. I keep a few gospel tracts right beside the door exactly for moments like this one, so I offered her one. She didn't really go for the "let's trade" idea and refused to take it. Oh well.
I told them very early in the conversation that I was a born again Christian, and that I believed the Bible totally and literally. I explained that Jesus had died for my sin, and I had accepted Him as my Saviour. Because I have asked Jesus to save me, He has promised me a home in heaven when I die. That's when the debate really got going.
Jehovah's witnesses do not believe in going to heaven. They believe that heaven will be on earth. To support this they quote Psalm 37:11, 29. They also use a passage in Isaiah where it says God "firmly established" the earth. I can't find that verse now because the words "firmly established" are not in that verse in the King James Bible, but they are in their translation (New Word Translation). It's amazing the corrupt doctrines that can be established as truth by using a corrupt version of the Bible. They believe that only the 144,000 in Revelation 7 will be in heaven. They also do not believe that Jesus is God or that there is a literal hell.
I praise the Lord for the godly teaching I've had. "Rightly dividing the word of truth" can only happen when one has "Stud[ied] to show himself approved unto God." I am thankful that God allowed me to attend Bible college and good churches where I learned how to study the Scriptures. Lady #2 took over fairly quickly from Lady #1 because it was quite obvious that Lady #1 was not able to handle some of the Scriptures and questions I was bringing up. Several times in the conversation neither woman had an answer to the Scripture I showed them that refuted their position. Whenever that happened they usually changed the subject.
Here are some of the Jehovah's witness beliefs that came up in our conversation refuted with Scripture.
1. Only 144,000 will go to heaven.
*John 14:2-3 "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also."
Where is the Fathers house? HEAVEN
Where was Jesus going? HEAVEN
Where is the place Jesus is preparing for me? HEAVEN
Where did Jesus say I would be? WITH HIM... and He's in heaven, so I guess I will be to.
*Ephesians 1:20; 2:6 "Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places. And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
Reading the rest of chapter 2 will clearly show that Paul is speaking about those who put their faith and trust in Christ for salvation (Eph. 2:8-9). No where in this passage does he say, imply, or even hint that these promises are for only 144,00 select Jews who believe in Christ.
2. Heaven is really on earth
*Acts 1:9-10 "And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel."
Jesus clearly ascended to heaven after His resurrection. According to the verses in #1, He is there preparing a place for me, and someday I will go to Him.
3. There is no literal hell
*Luke 16:22-23 "...the rich man also died, and was buried. And in hell lift up his eyes being in torments..." (also this passage says that Lazarus is in heaven when he dies... see #1... hmm)
*Matthew 18:42 "And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth."
*Revelation 20:14-15 "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."
5. Jesus is not God, He is only God's Son
*I John 5:7 "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." (note: This verse is removed from every modern English translation except the NKJV, and yet is is the clearest verse depicting the doctrine of the Trinity. Some translations have even split what is vs. 8 in the KJV in half and labelled the first part as vs. 7 and the second part as vs. 8).
*John 17:21 "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me."
*Philippians 2:6 "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God."
Sadly, much of what these women told me about their religion is a result of not rightly dividing the word of truth. The Scripture does hold the answer for truth. Lady #2 told me that she used to read the King James Bible, but when someone reasoned with her out of the New World Translation she saw the "truth" and stopped reading her King James Bible. I find this really sad because at one point she had the real truth, and she threw that away for a few verses taken out of context and doctrines based on the ideas of men instead of Scripture. It's really no surprise that the Jehovah's witness religion is filled with false doctrine because it's based on a false Bible. The NWT translation is translated from corrupt manuscripts. Lady #2 also told me that she's never met anyone like me who wasn't afraid to die and who could use their Bible (I showed them a lot of Scripture). I'm not saying this to be boastful, because when she said that it actually broke my heart. The first thing I thought was where are all the Christians? Why am I the only person she's ever met who is not afraid to die and who is looking forward to heaven? These people go knock on doors frequently, and she's never knocked on the door of another Christian who is excited about going to heaven!? How sad! I believe these cults are gaining converts because many Christians are weak in our faith, and we don't know how to use our Bibles to give answers to these people. I admit there were a few things in the conversation today that I could not immediately refute from Scripture. I know they were wrong, but I didn't know where the verses were to defend my position.
It's moments like these that make me realize even more the importance of knowing the Bible and studying God's Word. It's not enough to simply be saved and that's it. Bible doctrine is crucial. Lady #2 knew her stuff. She knew the verses to go to, and she knew how to defend her beliefs. How do I expect to show her that her doctrine is wrong if I don't know my Bible? I believe a lot of Christians are lazy when it comes to knowing the Scripture. They think it's too complicated or maybe it's just the Pastor's job to know all the theological stuff. What would I have done today if I had that mentality? My pastor lives 20 minutes away, and those ladies weren't at his door they were at mine. Since there were some topics I had difficulty with, I'm going to do a little more II Timothy 2:15 this week, and the next time I will be able to "rightly divide" those issues too.