Presenting the Gospel – Effective Methods in Witnessing to Jehovah’s Witnesses

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PRESENTING THE GOSPEL – Five Questions Leading Jehovah’s Witnesses to Jesus

Click Here to Listen to the MP3 Audio of Arnold Hoffman’s A Few Effective Methods in Witnessing to Jehovah’s Witnesses that presents how to use these questions most effectively in reaching Jehovah’s Witnesses.

NOTE FOR CHRISTIANS USING HOFFMAN’S APPROACH: Not every Jehovah’s Witness today makes as big an issue of “personal sins” that Hoffman said they do in his presentation. Hoffman gave this presentation over 20 years ago and there is more emphasis on Jesus in the Watchtower today than there was several years ago. Thus, while it is important to draw the connection between personal sins and Jesus’ death, don’t let it throw you off-guard if the Jehovah’s Witness you are speaking to does not react to this part of your presentation, like they did when Hoffman was witnessing to them. Just continue to move on to the part about dealing directly with Jesus in prayer for salvation, and use the verses below to provide a Biblical basis for this part of your presentation:

bullets Click here to view the one-page handy reference PDF of the following Questions

Use Key Jehovah’s Witness Terms When Sharing the Gospel:

“Tree” or “Stake” = Method of Jesus’ death

  • Do not use “Cross” as JWs view it as a pagan symbol

“Ransom Sacrifice/Provision” = Christ’s Death
“Adamic Sin” = Sin of Adam in the Garden of Eden

  • JWs view the “Sin Nature” as merely human imperfection

“Condemnation of death” = Reason for physical death on earth

  • JWs view that Christ’s ransom provision merely restored the right to perfect life on earth that Adam lost in the garden.

“Complying” with “Jehovah’s Arrangement” = Process of gaining Eternal life – Salvation

1. What did Jesus Christ Do for you on the tree?

  • 1 PETER 2:24: “And He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross [tree].”

    • What did Jesus bear “in” His own body?
    • “Our sins”? What sins are those?
    • What does the word “bore” mean? To carry?
    • Where did Jesus carry “our sins”? – In His Body
  • ILLUSTRATION: Our Personal Sins transferred to Jesus’ Body on the Tree

2. What caused the death of Jesus on the tree?

  • EZEKIEL 18:4: “The soul who sins will die.”
    • My personal sins caused Jesus’ death
    • There is a Double condemnation of death due to:
      • Adamic Sin Nature
      • Personal Sins
  • ILLUSTRATION: Traffic Ticket – Penalty must be paid. Judge cannot release you because you’ve “been good” most of the time.

3. What did Jesus say we must do in order to have our sins forgiven and to receive eternal life?

  • JOHN 5:39-40: “You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that bear witness of Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me, that you may have life.”
    • Who did Jesus say we must “come to” in order to have life?
    • Have you done this? Have you come to Jesus by asking Him to forgive your sins and to give you everlasting life?

4. Have you “prayed” to Jesus for salvation?

  • JW Argument: Jesus’ prayer – “Our Father” (Matthew 6:9) – prayer was not to Himself
    • Christian Response: Jesus’ disciples were already “clean” (John 13:10) so they could call God “Father.”
    • Christian Response: Change in Jehovah’s Arrangement
      • Before Jesus came to earth, people prayed to “Jehovah.”
      • After Jesus left earth, people pray to Jesus (John 14:14).
  • JW Argument: We go “through” Jesus (John 14:6).
    • Christian Response: We go “through” Jesus because we must deal directly with Him to get to Jehovah.
    • JOHN 14:14: “…ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.”**
      • Jesus receives and answers prayers. (See also 1 Corinthians 1:2, 9; Acts 7:59; 2 Corinthians 12:8-9)
    • JOHN 10:28: “…I give eternal life to them….”
      • Jesus gives eternal life— Not the Father gives eternal life “through” Me.
    • JOHN 6:45: “…Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.”
      • We obey Jehovah by coming “to” Jesus.

5. Why do we go “to” Jesus?

  • Jesus has the “authority” to forgive sins.
    • MARK 2:7, 10-11: “ …Who can forgive sins but God alone?’…the Son of Man has authority….to forgive sins.…’ ”
  • Jesus has the authority to “give” eternal life. One cannot give what He does not own or possess.
    • JOHN 10:27-28: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them….”
  • Jehovah’s Arrangement for life requires that we obey Jesus by going to Him.
    • JOHN 6:45: “…Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.”
    • Matthew 17:5: “…This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!”

OUR ANSWER TO A COMMON QUESTION CHRISTIANS ASK WHEN THEY ARE USING THIS APPROACH WITH JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES:

WHAT DO JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES BELIEVE ABOUT THE RANSOM SACRIFICE AND PERSONAL SINS?

“I have been discussing my faith with a Jehovah’s Witness and I ran across your website article, “FIVE QUESTIONS LEADING JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES TO JESUS – PRESENTING THE GOSPEL.” I also listened to Arnold Hoffman’s audio message, “A Few Effective Methods in Witnessing to Jehovah’s Witnessesand I have a question. Is it true that Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jesus only died for our Adamic sin, not all of our sin? If this is true, can you help me find the Watchtower literature that says Jesus only paid for Adamic sin? My Jehovah’s Witness friend says that he believes Jesus died for our sins, so I don’t understand why your website says they don’t believe that. Your answer will be a great help.”

OUR RESPONSE:

No, it is not true that Jehovah’s Witnesses say that Jesus only died for Adamic sin. They will tell you that Jesus died for Adam’s sin, as well as “our sins”, but the point made on our website is that the emphasis in the Jehovah’s Witness’ literature is focused more upon Adamic sin, than it is on our personal sins.

So while you will find Jehovah’s Witnesses who will tell you that they believe Jesus died for “our sin”, they will often struggle with saying “Jesus died for me.” Jehovah’s Witnesses tend to think of the ransom sacrifice of Christ more in terms of a general thought, “Jesus died for all mankind”, instead of applying Jesus’ sacrifice personally to themselves. So while we would say: “Jesus died for my personal sins; all that I DID wrong,” you will find Jehovah’s Witnesses, especially older, life-long members, struggle with this thought.

So when you share your faith with Jehovah’s Witnesses, it is best to emphasize the personal sins aspect of Christ’s sacrifice. You can ask your Jehovah’s Witness friend these questions:

  • “Do you believe Jesus died for you?”
  • “Do you believe that your personal sins put Jesus to death?”
  • “Since Jesus died for ALL of our sins, what sin can I do that Jesus’ didn’t pay for which would cause me to lose my eternal life?”

These questions go a long way in helping Jehovah’s Witnesses apply the ransom personally to themselves, instead of just thinking of it in a general way, applied to “all mankind” as it relates to the removal of Adamic sin nature.

I hope this helps. God bless you as you witness your faith.

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** Note there is a textual variance in the manuscripts of this passage. Some manuscripts do not have the “me” in this passage (like the KJV and NKJV bibles), however the oldest and best Greek manuscripts that we have available today contain the “me.”

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