“Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God.” 2 John 10:9
Don’t you love getting packages delivered to your door? It’s sort of like Christmas, isn’t it? I don’t know about you, but I get a little happy flutter in my tummy when I’m expecting a box and I hear a knock on the door. All the anticipation and excitement finally comes to an end and I think “It’s here!”
That’s exactly what happened when I heard a knock on our door this week. My son’s birthday was coming up and I had ordered something amazing for him so, of course, I rush to the door super excited that his gift had finally arrived. But when I opened the door, it wasn’t the UPS guy. It was the other guy who likes to knock on doors- a Jehovah’s Witness.
As a follower of Christ, I found myself in a tough spot. Should I close the door on him? Should I let him have his say and then politely dismiss him? Or should I try to teach him the real truth of the Gospel?
Just like so many others things that happen in our lives, the Bible has something to say about these door-knockers, and it gives us the secret to dealing with them.
False Teachers and Jehovah’s Witnesses
In the second book of John, we learn how to handle folks like this.
As well-intentioned as they may be, the Bible calls Jehovah’s Witnesses and other groups like them false teachers.
“For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.” 2 John 10:7
An antichrist? Really? Yep! Anyone who does not confess that Jesus is Lord and that He died on the cross for our sins is an antichrist. Sounds harsh when we think of people we love who are not saved, doesn’t it? Yet, anyone is an antichrist who does not believe in the full truth of Jesus Christ. This applies not just to average unsaved people or atheists, it means false teachers like Jehovah’s Witnesses too.
In the first book of John (1 John), John instructs the church in Ephesus about the commandments of love and hospitality. By the second book, John warns us about being too hospitable, especially to false teachers. Though we are supposed to show kindness (note: not hostility! No matter how annoying or interrupting they be), we still must be careful and discerning to not go too far.
When a Jehovah’s Witness knocks on the door, Christians are called to share love. The catch is that we do it only within the confines of sharing truth.
We behave politely, but our hospitality and kindness (i.e. inviting someone into your home) should be solely directed toward others who hold tight to complete Biblical truth. In other words, we don’t have to listen to whatever a Jehovah’s Witness is preaching.
Now, Jehovah’s Witnesses will claim that they truly know the Bible and what it says. And, for the most part, they’re right. They indeed know more about the Bible than many Christians, which is sad. But keep in mind that the Bible they use is a screwed-up version (pardon me) that conveniently changes certain verses to suit how they want to believe. It’s not the actual truth of the Lord.
Preventing the Spread of Evil Work
So, what do we do when false teachers knock on our door? The Bible (the real one) tells us in 2 John 10:9–11,
“Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him, for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.”
Yep, you read that right. If you engage with false teachers like a Jehovah’s Witness you are helping him spread evil work. When I read that, I about fell off my chair!
We might actually be helping the Jehovah’s Witnesses (or Mormons or Muslims and many others) destroy the basic truths of Christianity if we invite them into our homes for a serious conversation about God. I don’t know about you, but that disturbs me.
I want to emphasize again that we are still called to be nice to these folks. Jesus Himself was polite and respectful to the Pharisees. But, if we’re going to engage in an honest discussion about the Lord and what the Bible says, we need to direct those conversations to other Christians who are serious about seeking the Lord, not toward strangers knocking on our door at odd hours.
We must be on guard against helping others spread false teachings and lies about the Lord, so don’t invite them into your home.
I Gotta Confess
I’ll make a confession right here…I didn’t invite him inside but I did engage with the guy at my door. And, with the Holy Spirit’s help, I think I somewhat opened his eyes to what the book of Revelation and 2 Peter says about what happens to the earth after Jesus returns (it gets destroyed, by the way, so God can eradicate sin and evil and make way for a new Jerusalem). It felt good to teach him the truth, and he seemed impressed with my knowledge, but it wasn’t me speaking. It was the Lord the whole time. Plus, I believe He was protecting me.
Nevertheless, I did engage with a Jehovah’s Witness. I can be thankful that God’s truth was revealed, but I shouldn’t have done that. Not in that way, anyway. I didn’t yet know the commandment given in 2 John 10:9–11. Now I do. I repented and I won’t do it again.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line here is the next time a Jehovah’s Witness knocks the best response is to not give one. Don’t open the door! But, if by mistake you do like I did, be polite and respectful as you let them know you are not interested in listening to them.
You can try to explain why, but it will very likely encourage them more knowing you’re a Christian. Beware that we’re their favorite target. Say as little as possible to them. Just a sort of “thanks but no thanks” kind of response is fine, wish them a good day, and close the door.
Though we are all called to share the Good News and make disciples of all nations, handling it while standing at your front door isn’t the way. Direct your hospitality to others who share your beliefs in the Truth and nip the spread of evil work before you ever turn the door knob.