So, there I am, in my office (the Starbucks of St. Helens, OR, USA) minding my own business (by which I mean that of everyone around me), and I end up in a conversation with a cute little girl (probably about 7 years old). She’s all dressed up, lookin’ pretty, and she’s flanked by a small crowd of nicely dressed women (and a similarly dressed little boy of about 8 years of age). Okay, so there I am, talking to this little one. I asked her why she was dressed up so nicely. She said (with some help from the little boy and an older girl, probably 16, behind her) that they were off to share the good news with people. Somewhat surprised, I said, “Oh! Good! I believe the Good News that Jesus died on the cross to save sinners. Is that the Good News you’re telling people?” Then retorts the little sweetie, “Well, Jesus didn’t die on a cross; he died on a wooden stake.” This, of course, zeroed me in on the fact that they were not preaching the Good News, at all. Anyhoo, the boy pipes up and says, “The Bible says that it wasn’t a cross, but a stake.” So, I reply: “I bet you’re reading the New World Translation, aren’t you?” He nods.
Okay, so from there, I ask the threesome in front of me: “So, how is it that one can get to heaven?” Again, the boy pipes up and says, “By serving Jehovah.” I reply, “Isn’t it because Jesus died for your sins?!” “Oh, yeah.” That speaks for itself. But the JWs are not alone in propounding this particular soul-damning error. They are renowned, however, for the following one. I ask the three of them, “Is Jesus Jehovah?” All three answer in the negative. So, I (very, very nicely, I might add) say to them: “But Jesus himself said, ‘If you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins.” I offered a brief explanatory gloss, and repeated the text. “You don’t want to die in your sins, do you? Then you need to believe that Jesus is who said he is – I AM, or Jehovah.”
Well, there’s more to this story, because it turned out that an older woman of the bunch was sitting right around the corner where I could not see. She wanted to hear was I was saying, so I gave her the same message. This was interesting, because, at first, she didn’t know what I was saying and was genuinely engaging. The very second comprehended that I was espousing that Jesus is Yahweh (I always say “Jehovah” with the JWs… I find that it disarms them), she closed off. Her defenses went up, and she simply dismissed what I was saying. This conversational progression, all by itself, might be worth further study.
Here’s my closing thought. The little girl and the little boy were both (and they’re still sitting behind me as I type this) well-behaved, conversational and engaging, and super sweet. These sweet little ones are bound for hell, if they persist in the foul lies that their parents (and their Kingdom Hall) are teaching them. That makes me want to weep. Brothers and sisters: let us preach Christ (the One revealed in the Bible) and live Christ. Let us constantly extol our Lord, the God-man, Jesus Christ. Let us never forget that “if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins.”