It was somewhere in the midst of our discussion of blood transfusions, the personhood of the Holy Spirit and the war in Iraq that my heart broke for the two neatly-dressed gentlemen at my front door.
My budding friendship with several members of the Watchtower Society (aka Jehovah's Witnesses) has drawn me away from my chores many a Saturday into the convoluted world of their cult. I'm beginning to wonder why they keep coming back to my door--I'm showing no signs of softening my position, and neither are they.
But these guys are making me ask myself some interesting questions. Mostly about why I'm home doing laundry and mowing my lawn while they're pounding the pavement spreading their version of "the good news."
It's easy for me to chalk their misguided zeal up to some form of demonic deception or rabid legalism. But what if they're telling the truth when they say they care about my soul? Their heretical theology and intrusive evangelistic tactics aside, JWs have an uncanny way of reminding the church why we're here: for the sake of the lost.
I find it easy to slip into the "virtual Christianity" that Reinhard Bonnke describes--sending a check, saying a prayer and leaving the rest to the experts. But ultimately the responsibility for taking the gospel to the ends of the earth rests in the hands of each of us.
As you will read in this issue of Ministries Today, this task remains unaccomplished, but the tools and opportunities we've been given for completing it have never been more diverse and exciting. It's as though God is saying to us: "Here you are. It's not going to be any easier. But I want to make sure every saint has an opportunity to speak, and every sinner has a chance to hear."
Not too many of us find this a particularly enjoyable task, and we're amazed by soul-winners for whom evangelism comes so naturally. But my weekend visitors have reawakened me to the exhilaration of sharing my own experience of knowing and loving the Creator of the universe. It's just too bad it took two highly-motivated cultists to revive my interest in personal evangelism.
Perhaps, that's why our gracious God is bringing the "ends of the earth" to our doorstep, in the form of immigrants, refugees, international students, the secular marketplace and, yes, even the Jehovah's Witnesses.
He's hoping we will rediscover the joy of making His mission our mission: to seek and to save that which was lost.
Opportunity is knocking. Will we answer the door?
Matthew Green is associate editor of Ministries Today. He invites your comments and questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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