November 19, 2008

Why I Labor

Those of you who know me are aware of the fact that I have an apologetics ministry primarily directed towards the Jehovah's Witnesses. For many years I have researched, responded to, and evangelized them. I have burned many days of my life in this pursuit. Why? Why do I do it? Why do I burn so much time pursuing a people-group that is radically opposed to the gospel, that is indoctrinated endlessly to reject the biblical God-man who is their one and only hope for salvation, that is convinced wholesale that I am a pawn of Satan trying to deceive them?

Before I tell you why, let me rehearse for you a few reasons why I do not do this.

1. Fame - The JWs have been around a long time. In apologetics circles, it is certainly not one of the up-and-coming groups that has a lot of excitement surrounding it. They are 'old news' in the modern clamor of the 10-second sound-bite.

2. Money - This is not my job. It may be one of my passions, but I don't make a dime from it. I have a regular job, a family to care for, and a church to serve. Plenty on my plate before I ever get time to work on this.

3. Hatred - I don't hate the dear people I am trying to reach. They are deceived and are walking to their doom in denying Christ, just as I was before Jesus saved me.

4. Success - If defined in terms of converts, I am a miserable failure. JWs are not lining up on my doorstep ready to walk away from everything they know in order to embrace Christ.


So why do I do it? What has brought me through so many long years of labor?

1. Jesus - He calls me to the harvest field. No matter the size of the harvest, how can I refuse him? He has given me a desire to serve this way, given me a brain to use as he commands, and provided the resources that give me opportunity to pursue his purpose in this.

2. Truth - It must be spoken in the company of the lost. No matter the protestations made by the organization called The Watchtower that it alone possesses the truth - they have missed the true Jesus and he's exactly the one that Jehovah's Witnesses need to know.

3. An Evident Need - There are few Christians reaching out to Jehovah's Witnesses. The reasons for the lack are numerous. Evangelizing this group raises some very specific challenges which everyone is not well-equipped to handle. By God's mercy I have become equipped to meet these challenges.

4. Love - I find a fountain supplied by Christ in my life that spills over in concern and love for the dear people ensnared in the false religion of the Watchtower. I can't quite explain it... but it is there nonetheless. I believe this is also part of the Lord's equipping me for this work.


Those are some of the reasons why I labor as I do. Ultimately, I believe this is one very small part of God's grand design in working out his purposes among men and women, boys and girls. Don't get me wrong. It hasn't been easy. There have been plenty of times when I have wanted to walk away from this ministry but the Lord leads me back to it, heart and mind. It's not for everyone and I have tried to be careful in my teaching opportunities to make this clear to my students. Oh that I would be faithful in the harvest: plowing, sowing, and reaping as He enables me for the rest of my days.
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