Jan 30, 2012

The Missionary at the Door

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations..."
Matt. 28:19

"To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter."

I'm in the middle of reading Ray Comfort's The Evidence Bible - a poorly titled book that uses some books of the Bible to help Christians understand that God wants us all involved in evangelism - evangelism of a biblical fashion. As I read it, I'm struck by the thought that for the average stay at home mom, evangelizing to those who are going door to door preaching is a not to be missed opportunity.

I admit that in the past I've hesitated to engage those who come to my door for religious reasons. Part of my reluctance was that I had small (and demanding) children waiting for me. And part of my reluctance was not wanting to get caught up in an argument that would lead no where. But my views have changed. I know that while I probably won't have a Mormon or Jehovah's Witness - the missionaries who usually visit my home - repent at my doorstep, I can at least plant some seeds. This isn't hard to do, even if you have young children - as long as you plan ahead. Here's what I suggest - always using a most respectful and loving tone:

Step 1: Ask the person at your door who Jesus was. If their answer is not that Jesus was God, who suffered and died to pay the price for our sins, then you know you are talking to someone who is not a Christian - even if they think of themselves as one.

Step 2: Open your Bible to the book of Hebrews. (I don't recommend asking the visitor to open his or her Bible, since it's my understanding some religious groups alter their Bible's wording, apart from any of the well known translations.) Within a few verses, you'll read that God says Jesus is higher than the angels, that he told the angels to worship Jesus, and that God said to Jesus, "You are God."

Jehovah's Witnesses: If your visitor is a Jehovah's Witness, know that his or her church teaches Jesus is God's literal son - and an angel. The Hebrews passage, then, makes it absolutely clear Jesus was not an angel. To argue it away means you can't read the Bible by itself - you must add other, non-biblical religious writings - something you can politely point out.

Mormons: If your visitor is a Mormon, know that the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints teaches that Jesus is Savior, God's literal son - and a god. This is distinct from believing Jesus is God.

Both: Jehovah Witnesses belief in salvation by works; baptism is also a requirement for salvation. Morman ideas about salvation are also extra-biblical. So you might ask: "What do you have to do to go to Heaven?" A biblical response is that we must repent of our sins (Rom. 3:23, Rom. 6:23), believe Jesus is God, know that Jesus paid the price for our sins (1 Cor. 15:3-6, Rom. 10:9), and do our best to obey him every day (John 14:15,21-24, 1 John 3:18, Rom. 13:8-10; 1 John 2:5). Salvation comes from God's love and grace, not through works, as Ephesians 2:8-9 makes clear.


That's it! You've just given your visitor food for thought. You've planted a seed. In about 10 minutes, you've shown a person who has a desire to follow God where they can find him.

To make the process even easier, I suggest you use color coded sticky notes to mark pertinent passages in a Bible you keep right by the door.
(Or you could print out this post and keep it in your Bible.)

7 comments:

  1. Great information!

    I'd like to add that BlueLetterBible.org has some references as well if you're wanting to go more in depth and be even more prepared. The links is: http://www.blueletterbible.org/study/ Scroll down to the section labeled "cults" and there's a bunch of info--including a QRG for when you have them at your door.

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  2. Hmm... Our views differ a little here. However, a suggestion is to have ready the plan of salvation in the form of a flyer or brochure to hand to them at the door.

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  3. You've made me curious, Loretta. Do you think my approach is incorrect?

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  4. I've had this tab open for a few days and am just now getting to reading it. Now I feel silly for asking you about that quote! :) Thanks for sharing this!

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  5. My feelings for not allowing them into my home is based on 2nd John 9-11 which says, " Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds." From the New King James Version.

    Also, I'm uncertain - are you teaching that baptism is a necessary act of obedience required by God, or not?

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  6. Oh, Interesting, Loretta! It never even occurred to me to let them in the door. I always talk to them on the porch, or standing in my doorway. I can't imagine the Lord wouldn't want us to spread the gospel to the mislead.

    No, baptism is NOT necessary for salvation, as some religions teach. It is, however, an act of obedience once we are saved.

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  7. No, the Lord doesn't want us to keep the gospel from the mislead, we're to follow the great commission. Mark 16:16 is what I had in mind about baptism - there are two acts to follow.

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