Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Greatest Compliment I Have Ever Received

After two unreturned phone calls from a week ago I decided to leave a final message explaining that this would be my last attempt to get in touch with him. Right as the beep to the voicemail clicked over I began receiving a call. It was Josh … the Jehovah’s Witness I met with three times over the past couple weeks. We said our awkward “hello’s” and I quickly moved on to explain that I wasn’t intending to call for the third time in a row, but first wanted to make sure he was okay, and second to give him a way out in case he didn’t want to continue meeting/talking.

Being the polite guy that he is, he told me he thought it would be best if we stopped meeting because we are both firmly set in our beliefs. I tried to respond graciously and told him that I only want to continue our discussions if he is comfortable. But I couldn’t resist adding how much I appreciated talking with him, and the respect that I have for him for the willingness to examine his beliefs in light of Scripture. I also mentioned that our discussions were the highlight of my week each week, and that he has been the topic of discussion with my family and friends.

He responded by giving me similar feedback, and chuckled as he told me he thinks I would make a great Jehovah’s Witness. We both laughed. “Seriously though,” he said, “half of being a Witness is door to door work, and you are already so passionate about your faith that you are precisely the kind of laborer we need.”

Because I didn’t want to keep him I tried to wrap up the convo by leaving an open invitation if he ever wanted to stop by. “You are always welcome in my house,” I told him, “just gimme a call and I will make time for you.” At this point in the phone call I could honestly tell that he did want to continue meeting, which leaves me to wonder what’s going on behind the scenes – there could be any number of factors involved: his wife, friends at church, his church leadership.

Somehow I felt comfortable enough to throw in a quick challenge to him (especially if I may not see him again) to look into some of the examples I showed him in the New Testament that refer to Jesus as Yahweh/Jehovah. Specifically I brought up Hebrews 1:10-12, where the author attributes the text from Psalm 102 to Jesus, and also John 12 where John says that Isaiah saw Jesus’ glory in his Isaiah 6 vision. “Both of these are good points,” Josh said, “and I promise I will research these and all the issues we talked about … you know what, I do want to meet with you at some point in the future.”

And that settled that. Praise be to God. We don’t have a date, but I told him to call me when he is available to meet and we’ll make it happen.

Josh then said something that I really took to heart, “No one has ever explained the Trinity to me like you have. I really appreciate the time we’ve already spent talking about who Jehovah is.” This is by far the greatest compliment I have ever received. I told him that the reason I care so much about the Trinity is the same reason he cares about his perspective that Jehovah is a unipersonal being. I then added, “Like I said when we met, the reason I want to share my faith is primarily because I believe God is honored in the proclamation of His truth, and also because I care about unbelievers. I want you, Josh, to believe the truth because I care about you and want you to come to the true Christ in faith so that you will not pay for your sins in Hell for all eternity.”

Definitely caught him off-guard with that one. But he sincerely told me he appreciated my heartfelt emotions towards him. My wife suggested that we spend extra time praying for Josh, that the triune Lord of majesty might open up his heart to the truth and that He would be granted repentance unto life. My God can save anyone. Please, Lord, show mercy to my friend Josh – if it be Your will.

Thanks for reading,


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