We have all been there. You have just sat down to dinner after a long day and there is a knock on the door. You are not expecting anyone so you know this is probably someone wanting something. You open the door to find two well-dressed individuals smiling at you as they hand you a pamphlet. They want to talk about Jesus.
This is a moment of terror for many people because more often than not the people that want to talk about Jesus are part of two major American cults; the Mormons and the Jehovah’s Witnesses. I know that this can be unsettling for many people but allow me to explain why it should not be for followers of Christ.
How many times do lost people knock on your door and ask you to tell them about Jesus? That probably only happens when the Mormons and JW’s come around. This should not be viewed as a negative event. This should be viewed as an invitation to share the Gospel with the lost in an intimate and open discussion. Here are some tips to making the most out of one of these visits:
Take the time to study some of the basic beliefs of these religions. There are plenty of resources available that would be helpful in understanding what they believe and how to answer their questions. A great book is Walter Martin’s classic Kingdom of the Cults. In it he addresses numerous cults that are present in America. You can study those that are in your community. If you are unable to invest a few bucks in a book then check out www.carm.org. Their information is quite helpful.
Know what you believe and why
One of the saddest claims that these cults make is that they have a better understanding of the Bible and what Christians believe than Christians do. Unfortunately this is too often true. Be sure that you are aware of not only what you believe about Christ and His death and resurrection but where it is found in the Bible.
If you are a new or immature believer do not attempt to engage these people by yourself. Their stated goal is to get you to question the validity of your beliefs. Ask your pastor or a mature Christian to join you when you meet with them.
Understand that they are lost
More often than not these individuals will try to pass what they believe off as a form of Christianity. It is in no way linked to orthodox Christianity. Do not be deceived. These are lost individuals that have been misled by Satan. If you will keep that in mind it will help you in your approach to the conversation.
Remember that you are not representing the tired father that just wants to enjoy a meal with his family. You are representing Christ. They have the door slammed in their face on a regular basis. Do not be that person. I have been door to door and sometimes the rudest people are those that claim to be followers of Christ. It amazes me when alleged Christians do not want to talk about Christ. You should always be willing to talk about your Savior.
I get it. These people always show up at the worst times. Sometimes it seems like they are watching and waiting until you sit down to the table or get immersed in a big project and then BAM! They are at the door. If they do catch you at a bad time or you feel unprepared let them know, then blow their minds and invite them to come back at another time. Set a date with them. This gives you the opportunity to study some more or call your pastor for advice.
Be clear about terminology
These cults use a lot of the same terms that Christians do but with wildly different meanings and implications. Be sure to define and have them define commonly used words like “saved”, “heaven”, and “sin”, etc.
Do not lose your cool
Whatever you do, do not lose your temper. Once you begin to tear down their beliefs they may begin to try to talk over you and interrupt you. Do not let that discourage you or anger you. If the conversation is unfruitful then kindly tell them that that is all the time you have for the evening. You are not the one who saves. God is. Your job is to bear witness to the truth. If you have done that faithfully to the best of your ability do not feel guilty about ending a conversation that has become unfruitful.
Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know
Let me give you a phrase that has gotten me out of more than one jam: “I don’t know. Let me look into that and get back to you.” For some reason people are afraid to admit that they do not know the answer to a question. No one expects you to have all the answers. Answer what you can and don’t be afraid to admit when you don’t know. This will build your credibility more than you know.
Our commission is to go to the world with the Gospel of Radical Grace found in Jesus Christ. It is not often that the world will come to us asking us to tell them about Jesus. Let us, therefore, take every opportunity to make much of the One who has adopted us through Christ.