I was having a Bible teaching series in Vancouver, BC, and was staying at Scott and Ruth Banford’s home. One morning, I was out enjoying their beautiful gardens. They had an old Japanese gardener who kept the place picture-perfect, including a greenhouse filled with exotic orchids. Just then, I saw two men approaching. I guessed they were Mormons.
As we engaged in conversation, I felt led to ask the older of the two, who was carrying the bulk of the discussion, if he could definitely say that he loved the Lord Jesus. “I don’t know what you mean,” he replied. “Do you mean, do I admire him?”
“No,” I insisted, “do you love Him?”
“I’m sorry, I don’t understand what you mean,” he repeated.
“Are you married?” I asked.
“Yes, I am.”
“And do you love your wife?”
“Yes, I do,” he said with a smile.
“Ah, so you do know what I mean! Let me ask you again, Do you love the Lord Jesus?”
“No, I can’t say that I do,” he replied honestly.
I then turned to those solemn words: “If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed” (1 Cor. 16:22). I explained to him his options by turning to Galatians 3 and reading from verses 10 and 13, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” But, I continued, the good news is that “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’).”
“That’s why,” I concluded, “if you won’t love Him, you are rejecting His curse-bearing work for you at the cross, so you must bear it yourself forever. But if you don’t love Him, if you haven’t loved Him up till now, then do love Him! And you will love Him if you, as a poor sinner, meet Him as your Savior at the cross.”
When they left, I had some hope that a little ray of light had broken through the darkness into their hearts.
By the way, on another occasion I used the same approach, and the so-called Jehovah’s Witness I was speaking to said he did love the Lord Jesus! That set me back for a second, but then I continued, “So the obvious next question is: Where did you meet Him? You can’t love someone you haven’t met.”
He didn’t know what to say, of course, because JWs don’t believe in the bodily resurrection of Christ. But I tried to explain the simple words of promise, “the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out” (Jn. 6:37). Yes, Jesus is alive, and is still seeking and saving those who are lost.
On another occasion, I was working in my study at our first home in St. Catharines, ON, studying for an upcoming conference on how to reach the cults for Christ. Just then the doorbell rang and my wife said, “I think it’s Jehovah’s Witnesses.”
I had no time right then, and thought we just wouldn’t answer the door. Stay out of sight and they’ll go away. After all, they aren’t interested in the gospel anyway.
HEY, WAIT A MINUTE! I’m preparing a message on reaching the cults, and two of them are at my door, and…
So I went and answered it. And who was there? The brother of a lady in our local fellowship, Leona Denisko. I found out later that she was praying frantically that some Christian somewhere would reach out to her brother with the gospel. And I almost missed my opportunity.
Remember, we’re the contact point between earth and heaven, between earth’s desperate need and heaven’s unlimited supply. And it’s not just Christians praying that someone will speak to their loved ones. The rich man in hell, as Jesus told the story in Luke 16:27-28, also wanted the same thing!