John 8:31b-32 – If you abide in My Word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (NKJV)
Nearly twenty years ago my family (my parents and brother) began studying with the Jehovah's Witnesses. Because my parents were disillusioned with their own church, they were very open to the teachings that were being presented to them. It was not long before they became very enthused about the so-called "truth" that they were discovering, and soon afterwards all three were baptized into the organization (The Watchtower Society).
Their enthusiasm for this new-found "truth" overflowed into my life. They felt compelled to share this "truth" with my family and me so that we, too, could be a part of the organization. Although I had attended church regularly all of my life, I soon discovered that I did not really know my Bible very well. When people join the organization they are quickly trained how to witness to others door-to-door, and how to use the Bible to support their teachings. Their minds are very rapidly closed to anything other than what they are taught and within a very short time they are convinced that their organization is the only way and that all churches are of Satan. Thus followed many hours of discussion, sometimes heated, with my parents, and many sleepless nights as I pondered what indeed was the "truth".
Having been raised to respect my parents, it was very difficult for me to disagree with them or to stand up against them, especially my father, and, in fact, I became very unsure as to what I believed any more. I had always believed in God for as long as I could remember, attended Sunday School regularly as a child, and taught Sunday School when I was a teenager. Now my faith was being put to the test. Fear filled my days and nights, and I didn't know what to do. I wanted to do what was right. I wanted to do God's will. I started studying with my parents and soon became convinced that I must get out of the church. I quit singing in the choir and left my women's circle. All of this put a great strain on my marriage.
Not until my husband and I got down on our knees and gave the problem over to the Lord did things improve. Suddenly I knew what I had to do. Little things began to happen that left no doubt in my mind, like the Sunday morning that the responsive reading read: "Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me." (Psalm 27:10) God couldn't make it any clearer than that!
From that day on I was indeed free!
Today, when I look back on all of this, I thank the Lord for keeping me in His care. It is indeed sad that many Christians do not know their Bible well enough to be able to defend their faith and their beliefs. Many families have suffered a lot of heartache over the years when some family members have become involved, as mine did, with the Jehovah's Witnesses.
1 Timothy 2:4 – For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (NKJV)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for keeping us in Your care. Forgive our lack of knowledge of Your Word. May we find strength in the true gospel of Jesus Christ, the truth Who sets us free. Keep us from being deceived by false religions, by helping us to know what the Bible teaches. Open our eyes that we may see glimpses of truth; open our ears that we may hear voices of truth. In Jesus' name. Amen.