Loved One In the Witnesses?
There is no magical way to help a Jehovah’s Witness come out of the Watchtower and serve Jesus. The only way any Jehovah’s Witness will come out is if God calls them out, and they hear his voice. John 10:27-28 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” Although I have a Mother & Father, 2 sisters, and a grandad still trapped in the Watchtower I believe the bible gives us some advice that I think we can apply when reaching out to a Jehovah’s Witness family member.
1) Prayer – Luke 18:1, “And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.
Above everything pray for your family that they find the real Jesus. God hears our prayers, and he will help us. Ann Sanderson who wrote a book called “Fearless Love” spent 10 years consistently praying that when she was saved that her sister Lesley would also be able to feel the love of Christ. Praise God he answered and 10 years later Lesley came out and found the Lord. Our Lord does answer our prayers, but not necessary when we want or how we want, but he will answer. Also ask people in your church to specifically prayer for the individual you are trying to reach.
2) Show how proud you are to be a Christian – 2 Timothy 1:12 “For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him [a]until that day.
If your family member can see from the things you say and do you are proud to be a Christian that will shine through. You may feel strange about preaching outside a convention or preaching in a town that you know they are going to be in. However you showing that you are standing up for what you believe in will speak volumes to them. You have been saved through the gift of grace, that is what you believe – never feel ashamed to tell your family about that.
3) Tell them how Jesus has changed your life – Philippians 3:7-11 – But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 More than that, I count all things to be loss [a]in view of the surpassing value of [b]knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, [c]for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, 9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and [d]the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 [e]in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
The apostle Paul constantly shared testimony to people. If you have Jesus Christ in your life then he will have changed you and will continue to change you. As a Jehovah’s Witness they will change as well when they join the organisation. The difference is where as the Jehovah Witnesses will have to change based on their own strength, you will change by means of the power of the Holy Spirit. The burdens that are on a Jehovah’s Witness are very heavy (making sure you get plenty of hours in the ministry per month, working tirelessly for your salvation, only having friends that are in the organisation, no blood transfusions the list goes on ). As Christians we are sanctified not by our own effort, but through the Holy Spirit who works in our lives and changes us. We give our burdens to Jesus (Matthew 11:28), De-spite the claims of the Jehovah’s Witnesses – they rely on their own strength. So tell them how Jesus changed you and continues to change you.
4) Show them the love of Christ – Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
If Christ died for us because of his love, the least we can do is show love for our Jehovah’s Witness family. They will get angry with you, they will hurt you, they will be nasty, and they may even shun you. However never do it back (again prayer for strength), don’t forget to tell them always how you love them completely and un-conditionally no matter what they say to you. It may be that they have not spoken to you for years, but if you know they are in need of help (maybe they are older in years) then just drop them a line asking if you can help, even if they don’t want to talk just say “that’s fine – but I am letting you know if you need me I am here”. You never know the dialogue this could open up.
5) Remember that you are against the Watchtower, not the individual – Matthew 23:13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven [a]from [b]people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in”
Jesus never hated the Pharisees, he hated what they preached, he hated what they did, but he never hated them as people. That is why when these things troubled Nicodemus, Jesus did not turn him away but rather showed him how he could be saved. Remember that when you are exposing the Watchtower even rebuking the teachings keep highlighting “Please…my issue is not with you, it is the Watchtower teachings”. It may be that they still take things personally, but try to reassure the individual your issue is not with them, but with the doctrine.
6) Never give up – 2 Timothy 4:2 “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with [a]great patience and instruction”
You may think that you are wasting your time because you have tried for so long. Did God ever turn his back on you when you did not love him? No.
It will be frustrating and it will be hard – but never give up on your family or on anyone for that matter. They may not respond to your message, but one day they may well do.
7) Expose the Watchtowers false prophets – Deuteronomy 18:22 “When a prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Jehovah has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously.
Highlight the false prophecies of 1914 (Watchtower May 15th 1984), The failed prophecy of 1975 (Awake! 1966 Oct 8 pp.19-20) ….there are many more. Ask questions “Does this scripture in Deuteronomy not bother you?” “Matthew 24:11 says there will be false prophets, do you think the Watchtower could be one of them?” “Malachi 3:6, says God does not change, so why does the doctrine”. They may play the “new light” card, if they do I would ask “Does this mean God gives false light to start with?”. They then may say “the organisation is run by imperfect men that get things wrong” if they do you could ask “well as oppose to putting your trust in an imperfect organisation why do you not put faith solely in the perfect Jesus we have?” Exposing the Watchtower doctrine gets to the heart of the matter.
8) Your family may break up if you have faith in Christ – Luke 12:51-53 “Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; 52 for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
I know that that is not necessarily helpful advice for you, but this is what the Lord prophesied in the Bible. For me I take comfort in knowing that whatever happens in my family and in yours God is always in control.
9) Show them your salvation is guaranteed – Ephesians 2:8 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God”
You have been SAVED by the GIFT of grace through faith. The Jehovah’s Witnesses are not guaranteed salvation at all. You do your best in life and then maybe you will get through Armageddon if you’re good enough and done enough good works. The Jesus you believe in and have is far better than what they have. I would ask “Do you believe that the ransom was a gift?” They will answer “Of course” “If that is the case how can you work for a gift, surely that would not make it a gift?” Our works are as to filthy rags to God (Isaiah 64:6). Show them how much better the God of the bible is in comparison to what they have, show them the verses that relate to grace, the first few chapters of Romans are amazing if you do not have a Watchtower perspective. He can guarantee there salvation if they have but FAITH in the true God. It is important though if you can ask the Jehovahs Witness to read the bible, you ask them to read it just as it reads, and not as the Watchtower tries to interpret it.
10) Trust in God – Proverbs 3:5,6 – Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your path.
You may have been reaching out to your family for years, getting nowhere and don’t understand why. TRUST THE LORD. You may be confused why they are fooled by the false prophet of the Watchtower when the gospel is so simple. TRUST THE LORD. Your family may never turn to Jesus, they may never accept the gospel or the gift of grace. God of justice and righteousness and we must trust that everyone will end up exactly where they deserve when they die. TRUST THE LORD and keep them in your prayers.
I hope this helps
Blessings in Yeshua,