Tactic #1 – “I’m a Christian Too!”

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Tactic #1

“I’m a Christian Too!”

I want to paint a scenario for you, and it’s one you’ve probably experienced, or at least it will sound familiar to you. A knock comes on your door. Two young men who are dressed in white shirt, nice tie, a name plate saying Elder ____. Maybe it’s a family, or a couple of ladies that come to your door. No particular uniform. But they say they are a representative of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or perhaps the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Kingdom Hall, or Watchtower Society. They invite you in to a Bible discussion, and in the midst of getting to know them, what comes out is that you’re a Christian, and from their lips you hear them say, “I’m a Christian too!” It doesn’t have to be a missionary, but could be a friend or somebody you’re talking to at the park.

Sometimes it can take an adversarial tone, where they say, “You don’t think I’m a Christian, do you?”

What do you do in that moment that won’t put up a barrier, won’t put up a wall, but tells them the truth, tells them how you really feel?

I find a lot of times this situation comes up and the cult member is trying to make you feel uncomfortable as a Christian. Because you are making a claim that they fall outside the boundaries of Orthodox Christian doctrine. So sometimes Christians just pull back when this happens because they don’t want things to become confrontational.

What do you do in this moment?

One of the greatest tactics that I have found with these groups is to take them to the gospels. The reason is that all of these groups want to claim Jesus, or claim Christianity, but a lot of them don’t know what Jesus actually taught, what the Bible actually says. I want to focus in on the gospels particularly because it’s the life, ministry and teaching of Jesus. It’s the death and resurrection of Jesus, which is the gospel. It is the foundational document, the manifesto, for Christianity. Especially when you get to those red letters.

We’re gong to use the King James Version. Why? Because this is the Bible that if any of these groups use a Bible, that’s the Bible they use, other than their own group’s translation, which are all train wrecks. That’s the Bible they’re going to carry with them. That’s the Bible that’s familiar to them. We want to be a good missionary. We want the stumbling block to be Jesus and not anything else. So we’re just going to take a section at a time. I’m not covering everything. There are great books called Reasoning from the Scriptures with all of these different groups. There are other books written by former members of these groups that do the same exact thing that we’re doing. The Scripture is loaded with answers for these various groups. It’s my conviction that the Holy Spirit anticipated every single heresy when he gave us the Bible. Even if it’s not something they were dealing with back then, he finds a way to word things so that it answers every single one of the modern day heresies and objections.

Faith vs. Works

Every single one of these groups is different from Christianity in that they are teaching that you have to do something in order to earn your salvation. You have to work alongside of Jesus, as if he is a co-Savior. They all have variations of it.

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21)

You can read this as almost a prophetic word. Jesus is going to save his people from their sins. The job of Jesus is to save people from their sins. You don’t save people who are able to save themselves, or better their situation. You save people who need saving and know they need saving.

That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:15-17)

What do you have to do to get eternal life? You have to believe. Jesus doesn’t list any other thing. On the other side, if you don’t believe, you don’t have eternal life.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. (John 4:10)

The gift of God is Jesus. Sometimes we get confused and think that the gift of God is eternal life. We receive Jesus, and everything God has to give he gives with Jesus. If you receive Jesus, you have received everything God has to give. There is nothing left to earn.

John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. (John 3:27)

It is a gift. A gift cannot be received unless it is given. Salvation, Jesus, eternal life, repentance, faith. All of them are described as a gift. In other places, God says that if you try to earn it, you can’t get it because it’s only given as a gift.

He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. (John 3:36)

If you don’t have Jesus, you are condemned already. The wrath of God abides on you. God doesn’t look at progress. He looks at you and asks if you have his Son or not. He who believes on the Son “has,” present tense, eternal life. Once you have Jesus, there is no giving away or taking away of eternal life.