Sunday, April 6, 2014

Update on me and church membership

I have joined a congregation. I am not there every Sunday but when I am we hold hands and pray the Lord's prayer together. We confess our sins as a group, all of us sinners and beggars coming to receive from the Lord. We confess our faith together and read the Psalms together. We pray together for the prayer requests of the congregation. We receive forgiveness. We partake of the Lord's Supper together. We are a family, and I love it.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

How good is good enough? Does God expect me to be perfect?

  • In Matthew 19 is Jesus teaching that no one is good but God. That no one follows every law. That someone will think that they do, but it isn't good enough. And once again, in verse 21, Jesus mentions the need to be perfect. Jesus is insisting that the only way into the Kingdom is perfection! We know that no one is perfect. (1 John 1:8-9; James 3:2) Yet here He is, the judge of the world, insisting on, demanding perfection! So how do we resolve this?(see also Matthew 5:17-20 and 48)

    Matthew 19: 16-25
    And someone came to Him and said, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?” And He said to him, “Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” Then he said to Him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER; YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY; YOU SHALL NOT STEAL; YOU SHALL NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS; HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER; and YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” 

    The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?” Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property. And Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. “Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

    When the disciples heard this, they were very astonished and said, “Then who can be saved?”

    "You must be perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect" says Jesus at Matthew 5:48


    "But wait a minute", I think, "David sinned and got punished, but God thought he was perfect enough to be in his kingdom, having salvation, how can this be?"

    Let's see what David has to say about it: "Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered." Psalm 37:21 and Romans 4:7

    Romans 3 explains about David: "First of all, the Jews were entrusted with the whole revelation of God. 3True, some of them were unfaithful; but just because they were unfaithful, does that mean God will be unfaithful?"

    20 For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.21 But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Mosesi and the prophets long ago. 22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.
    23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. 
    People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. 

    Now keep in mind our question, why is David promised God's Kingdom when we know he was not perfect? Read on in Romans 3:

    This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.

    When Jesus' sacrfice is applied to us... we are perfect. Forever perfect, even as we are still being sanctified. "For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy." Hebrews 10:14

    God declares sinners to be right in his sight, yes, perfect! When we believe in Jesus. Romans 3:26

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

When Jehovah's Witnesses invite you to their Memorial

Say that you think that it is wonderful that they are inviting as many people as possible to partake of the flesh and blood of Christ, 

When they deny it, ask them why they are not imitating Jesus, who invited everyone to partake of His flesh... 

show them John 6:53-54

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

"The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life." John 6:63

Galatians 3: O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. 2 Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? 4 Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? 5 Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith— 6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?

Christians today are bewitched by different words. Words that are not from God. They are told to find assurance of salvation (in other words put their faith in) their prosperity, their feelings, their obedience, their works, and/or their reasoning and knowledge. NO! We find our assurance and put our faith in GOD and His Words. His promises. In the cross. In Jesus.

John 3:14 "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life."

John 19:30 "It is finished."

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Evangelizing Jehovah's Witnesses part 2: The Good Person test

There is a popular evangelizing method that involves convicting a person of their sin by using the ten commandments. I thought I would share the thoughts I would have had as a Jehovah's Witness:

"Yeah I know the ten commandments, of course we should try to keep them."

"But everyone is imperfect and God understands this, besides, that's the old law under the Old Covenant, it isn't God's will for me today." 

"Yeah, I've lied, what's your point? I've repented from that. I don't do that anymore. Now I am focused on strengthening my faith and obedience so that I am ready to endure the end and obey God's direction to survive Armageddon."

"The Great Tribulation... that's what people need to know about.

I have to stay faithful through all of that or all of my work will be for nothing. I'll do anything as long as I get everlasting life in paradise at the end of it. What if I am not faithful enough? I have to make sure I obey the governing body now. I never know if one thing that they ask is the big test, my chance to get on the ark. I can't miss it. What if I miss it? I need to tell these people about Armageddon or they'll be destroyed and their blood will be on my hands."

"This Christian thinks I am so stupid that I don't know John 3:16? I know Jesus died to make up for Adam's sin. Without that I wouldn't have a chance at all. Now I need to prove to God that I am worthy to be in the New System. Then we will all be perfect. I definitely won't sin once I am perfect. Stupid Adam!"

"Yes, Jesus died for me when I was still a sinner. He did this as a gift. I have to show God that I am grateful and will work hard enough for Jesus' death not to be wasted on me."

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Church Membership

Trying to show true doctrine to JWs and X-JWs presents a challenge with church membership. As soon as they find out that you belong to a church, they assume that you illogically accept church beliefs that are unbiblical. A lot of Christian X-JWs let that keep them from ever becoming a member of a church. I let it hold me back for a while.

Finally I decided that I just want to be a Christian and get on with my life. I don't want to be identified to myself and others as an X-JW anymore, so to get over my fear of church membership I had to just jump in. Now I have finished membership classes at church, and I don't think I can do it... I get very nervous, afraid of being rejected if I miss a couple of weeks in a row. I have missed a month now. (I have an autoimmune disease and my daughter has been having chronic digestion problems.) And I feel that when I go back I can't promise to be a church member.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

How can you believe in the Trinity after being a Jehovah's Witness?

  • Three very important things happened before I came to believe in the Trinity (which is not perfect, as it is men's words and did you know that the words used in the doctrine are said to be used in new ways, so the term person as used in the Trinity doctrine does not mean person in the way we are used to using the term*). 
    1. I trusted in Christ to save me and no longer feared end times because of reading 1 Thessalonians 1:10. 

    2. I realized that my religious leaders were taking Christ's place as my ONLY Mediator from God and told Him, "Lord, I will never listen to them again, only you." 1 Timothy 2:5; Acts 3:22; Hebrews 1:1-2; 1 John 2:27

    3. I let go of the need to really understand the doctrine of the Trinity, because 1 John 2:23 says that it doesn't really matter.

    I believe in the Trinity now because after receiving Christ I was reading the New Testament and I saw that the Holy Spirit is of both the Son and the Father as they are one. I saw this in  Ephesians 4:4 and Romans 8:9, John chapter 14 and specifically the context surrounding and including verse 23.
    *From the Catholic Catechism: 251. "In order to articulate the dogma of the Trinity, the Church had to develop her own terminology with the help of certain notions of philosophical origin: 'substance', 'person' or 'hypostasis', 'relation' and so on. In doing this, she did not submit the faith to human wisdom, but gave a new and unprecedented meaning to these terms, which from then on would be used to signify an ineffable mystery, 'infinitely beyond all that we can humanly understand'. [Paul VI, CPC # 2.]"