Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Funerals, Deceit, & Heresy

I just returned from a graveside funeral for an old saint in our church. She died 2 days before she turned 92. She has been in very poor health in a nursing home for quite some time. But, of course, now she walks the streets of gold!

By all accounts, this is one of whom it can be said, "she was a faithful servant". She taught Sunday School for more than 50 years. She taught Royal Ambassadors and Girls in Action. She was an ardent supporter of Vacation Bible School.

Yet she carried a terrible, heart-breaking burden.

She had a grave-side service because her family's church would not allow her to have a church service in their facility. They did not use our church facility because they do not recognize us as a worthy church. The strange thing is, however, they asked our associate pastor to perform the service, knowing that it was going to be a Baptist service.

All of her children, somehow, are Jehovah Witnesses.

How can a woman, who served the church faithfully since salvation at age 9, have all of her children abandon the Truth to follow a cult full of half-truths and heresy? It is a good thing that you are not judged on the actions/faith of others.

At the proper moment, people were encouraged to speak on behalf of the departed. All, without fail, spoke of her devotion to God, and to her children. Yet all of her family members told her that they would see her again on "the Paradise Earth".

Boy! Have they been deceived! The JW teaching says that only 144,000 people will be born again and reside in Heaven. The rest of them will have resurrected bodies and live on a resurrected earth. It is entirely too bad that they don't understand Scripture. The Bible says that Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us and that He will come and get us when it is all ready. (John 14:1-4) It doesn't say that some of us will be left behind on this earth. It says that those who believe in Him will abide with Him in Heaven.

As I stood there listening to the families ramble on about "Paradise Earth" over and over, I truly felt sorry for them. They missed it entirely. They have a hope, but it is a false hope. They don't know the true Jesus.

Sin is like that. It gives false hope. I would hope that the men who dreamed up Jehovah Witnesses didn't deceive intentionally, but it sure seems to be that way. Of course, the great deceiver got a hold of them in the first place. It comes from not knowing God and what God says.

11 comments:

Bro. Robin said...

Rick

The JH are strong around Wagner. I have a sister in law living in Wagner who is neck deep in it.

Robin

Bro. Robin said...

Oooops! I think that may be Wagoner.

Anonymous said...

"The JW teaching says that only 144,000 people will be born again and reside in Heaven."

Actually the Bible teaches that. (see Rev.14:1) They are resurrected there to rule over the earth, as chapter 5:9,10 shows, "with your blood you bought persons for God out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, 10 and you made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God, and they are to rule as kings over the earth.” Notice that they rule OVER THE EARTH. Therefore there must be SUBJECTS to rule over. We are not ALL invited go to heaven, even if faithful.

"The rest of them will have resurrected bodies and live on a resurrected earth."

There is nothing in the Bible or in the beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses to indicate that the earth will be "resurrected", as you say. The earth will reside forever. (Psalm 37:29) Perhaps you misunderstood.

"The Bible says that Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us and that He will come and get us when it is all ready. (John 14:1-4) It doesn't say that some of us will be left behind on this earth. It says that those who believe in Him will abide with Him in Heaven."

Actually Jesus was only speaking to his apostles at the time, so yes, they would go to heavens and would rule with him in his Kingdom, the one he taught us to pray for (Natthew 6:9,10).

"I truly felt sorry for them. They missed it entirely. They have a hope, but it is a false hope. They don't know the true Jesus."

It is kind of you to pay your respects to your friend and to show compassion and empathy for others. More should be like that. Most just seem to ridicule.

I hope that the explanations offered here will clarify that our beliefs in the "true Jesus" are well-founded in scripture. If you think about it, Adam and Eve had no expectation of going to heaven. God never indicated that at all. In fact, they would omly die if unfaithful. Otherwise they would have continiued to live in Paradise on earth forever. As the Lord's prayer indicates, his will is already done in heaven; we are to pray for it to "come, so that his will can be done on earth, AS IT IS in heaven". By means of that Kingdom, every injustice ever perpetrated upon mankind will be reversed, including death.

Shalom!

Rick said...

Robin,

Yes, it is really entrenched here. There is a spiritual darkness here in Wagoner that is really fascinating. This cult seems to be flourishing. There is a very weird new age sex cult that comes to this county every year for a meeting. Very strange indeed.

Rick said...

Anonymous,

I don't usually respond to anonymous commentors, but you seem nice enough.

Thank you for taking the time to respond to my post. I wish you had used your name. Why didn't you?

Your critique of my post is interesting, to say the least.

Rev 14:1 says "Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads." So, what you said about the Bible teaching that 144,000 will be born again and reside in Heaven, if based on this verse, seems to be stretching it quite a bit to make sense of Charles Russell's made up doctrine. To stretch Rev 5:9-10 into what you have does the same.

Psalm 37:29 says, "The righteous will inherit the land And dwell in it forever." I'd certainly be willing to admit that I may misunderstand the teachings of Russell, but the earth WILL BE destroyed by fire. (II Peter 3:10) You can hang around if you want, but it ain't gonna be no paradise...

Your critique of my interpretation of John 14:1-4 is skewed to allow for Russell's new doctrines. The inclusion of the Lord's Prayer regarding praying for God's will in Heaven and on Earth in order to make your point about the earth is amusing at best; heresy at worst. Again, Russell's new doctrines are blasphemous and heretical.

We have not touched on the most blasphemous teachings of Russell; that of Michael the Archangel being born as Jesus; that Jesus did not die on a cross, but a torture stake; that Jesus did not physically raise from the dead, only spiritually; and that there is no Trinity.

What an incredible imagination he must have had!

Friend, you have been deceived. Do not place your hope in this false Christ; damnation will be your end. Reject the teachings of the Watchtower Tract Society and embrace the true Jesus of the Bible; salvation and eternity in Heaven will be your end.

Monk-in-Training said...

I feel that the reason Mormonism and JW's are so successful is the woeful Biblical ignorance of most Christians.

Acts 17:11 remains one of my key verses!

Monk-in-Training said...

Rick,
I hope I did not seem rude in the last comment, but I have been impressed by a recent article, that I can email you seperately.

Two quotes from it seem very powerful to me.


Being against gay marriage and being rhetorically pro-life will not make up for the fact that massive majorities of Evangelicals can't articulate the Gospel with any coherence. We fell for the trap of believing in a cause more than a faith.


...young Christians who know next to nothing about their own faith except how they feel about it. Our young people have deep beliefs about the culture war, but do not know why they should obey scripture, the essentials of theology, or the experience of spiritual discipline and community. Coming generations of Christians are going to be monumentally ignorant and unprepared for culture-wide pressures.


Sound Biblical training is the only defense against the Heresies of Mormonism and the Jehovah Witnesses.

Bro. Robin said...

MiT

Excellent comments. The onus is on the church and her ignorance to be able to combat heresies contained in cults.

Rick said...

Monk,

No, you didn't sound rude at all. You sounded frustrated and determined! I completely agree with you. I am horrified at the prospect of Christians being more passionate about war, the economy, the environment, etc, than they are about the Gospel.

Quinn Hooks said...

Rick,
After reading Anonymous' comment, I was reminded of something I learned in seminary.

"A text taken out of context is a pretext."

Thank you for your thoughtful and biblical response.

Rick said...

Quinn,

I can't stand bad teaching about my Jesus! He has done too much for me for Him to be maligned.