What do you do when a Jehovah’s Witness shows up on your doorstep? Do you turn the TV off, close the curtains and pretend that you are not home? Instead of going into a “raise the drawbridge” mode, how about sharing your faith with the Witness knocking on your front door? Here are some tips on how to do this effectively.
- Focus on essential doctrines: The Trinity, the nature of Christ (especially His deity), the bodily resurrection, and salvation by grace.
- Do not get sidetracked into secondary issues. JW’s are masters of leading a conversation. They will want to discuss the 144,000, blood transfusions, etc. Stick to the basics. If they begin to lead the conversation away from the basics, gently take them back to the issues you want to discuss. Do not let them guide the discussion—you should stay in charge.
- Always keep verses in context. In presenting their views, the Witnesses are trained in how to use proof texts. When they mention a verse, have them go to the text with you and consider the context. Be prepared to do the same with verses that you use.
- Share your testimony, especially regarding your new birth experience. Watchtower doctrine asserts that only the 144,000 are born again and will go to heaven. The average Jehovah’s Witness does not experience this, and has no assurance of salvation. Theirs is totally a works-based religion in which they witness and work in order to earn Jehovah’s favor. Be sure to emphasize your confidence in your faith experience with Christ.
- Manifest a spirit of love and compassion. Defend the faith firmly—but with great love. JW’s are motivated by fear. They live in terror of Jehovah’s wrath. Keep this in mind. Demonstrate to them true Christian love, and present to them the God of love, as found in the Scriptures.
- Present and defend the faith, but don’t argue. Remember, you can win an argument, and lose a soul!
- Do use the Bible to refute their doctrine and present Christian truth. It is a basic maxim of personal evangelism that you have to “get a person lost before you can get them saved.” If a person does not realize they are lost, they see no need for salvation. The Witnesses think they are the people of God, and theirs is the true faith. So you have to bring them to the point where they realize that the basis of their faith (Watchtower doctrine) is false. When you use the Scriptures found below, you are doing so with the goal of helping the Witness realize the error of Watchtower doctrine. You are not trying to win an argument, or just prove your point—so watch your attitude.
- Be patient. Most Witnesses will not be won to Christ the first time they hear the truth. You may have to share the truth with them over and over to be effective.
- Challenge them to read the Bible by itself, without reference to Watchtower literature. JW’s are trained to never study the Bible alone. They also refer to the Watchtower magazine or Watchtower Society books and literature when they study. If they will read the Bible only, God’s word can speak to them.
- As a general rule, do NOT accept their literature. They consider this a validation of their doctrine, and a tacit approval of their beliefs.
- Do not be intimidated by them. They know what they believe. They know the verses they want to use to prove their position. They will appear confident. But YOU have the truth. Do not be afraid to present the truth firmly and confidently.
- Pray! Pray! Pray! Pray before your discussion with them. Pray during the talk. Close your conversation with prayer. (They object to this, but if they are in your home, it is your right to pray if you want to.) And keep them in prayer after they leave.
Some Biblical Texts You Might Find Helpful
There are enough errors in the doctrines of the Watchtower Society that whole books have been written in refutation. If you want an in depth study of the Jehovah’s Witnesses consider books such as Jehovah of the Watchtower by Walter Martin, The Kingdom of the Cults by Walter Martin, and The Four Major Cults by Anthony Hoekema. However, without such a detailed study, you can still witness to a JW with Bible passages such as the following.
The Deity of Christ
- JW’s deny that the Deity of Christ. However, Jesus is explicitly called God in 2 Peter 1:1. (Note that in their Bible, the New World Translation, the text inserts “the” in brackets. Point out that the brackets indicate that this word is not in the original text. Jesus is called “God and Savior” in this verse.
- In Hebrews 1:6 we see God the Father commanding that the angels worship the Son. Yet, Matthew 4:10 says that only Jehovah is to be worshipped.
- Thomas calls Jesus “Lord and God” in John 20:25. Yet, Jesus does not rebuke him. Instead, He blesses him.
- In Revelation1:8 the Lord God (Jehovah) calls Himself “Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End,” yet in Revelation 1:17-18 the Alpha and the Omega is the one who died and rose again—obviously Jesus. So Jesus is the same as Jehovah! (Also see Revelation 22:13, 16.)
The Holy Spirit
- Watchtower doctrine teaches that the “holy spirit” is the active power of God at work, but is not a personal being at all. However, the Bible is clear that the Holy Spirit is a divine Person who speaks (Acts 13:1-2), teaches (John 14:26), comforts (Acts 9:31), can be grieved (Ephesians 4:30), can be lied to (Acts 5:3-5) and helps us (Romans 8:26).
- In Acts 5:3-5 we see the Holy Spirit is the same being as God.
The Bodily Resurrection
- Jehovah’s Witnesses say that Jesus did not rise bodily from the grave, but was resurrected a spirit being. However, in John 2:19-22 the Lord Jesus makes it plain that He will raise up the very same body which would be crucified.
- Luke 24:39 plainly presents Jesus as a bodily, physical being after the Resurrection.
By sharing your faith and trusting in the Holy Spirit, you can be an effective witness to a follower of the Watchtower Society… and the Lord can use you to bring Witnesses to salvation in Christ.