Test the Spirits: Pointing to Rest in Christ

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The theme of this year’s Answers for Women conference is Discern: Engaging the Culture with Wisdom and Grace. As I explained in my earlier post on the conference, discernment is lacking in the church today. We have designed this conference to equip women to “speak the truth in love” and avoid being “tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14–15).

Joining our other speakers at this year’s conference will be Roger Patterson. Roger is an author (Evolution Exposed), editor, and curriculum writer (Answers Bible Curriculum) for Answers in Genesis. As a former Mormon, Roger brings much needed personal experience and expertise to the task of understanding and witnessing to people involved in false religions. This is what Roger had to say about his presentation at this year’s conference:

Through the living room window you see them coming. You feel that lump in your throat. You start thinking about what room you can be in when the doorbell rings so that you don’t “hear” it—or they don’t hear you. Whether they are wearing white shirts and black ties or carrying a bag of magazines, you want to avoid the confrontation.

But stop and consider their souls for a moment.

Those young men on bikes or that pair of women walking door to door with their magazines have much in common with you. They bear the image of God. They are sinners in need of a Savior. They need to know the rest that you have in Christ and all He has done for you. The very reason they are ringing the doorbell is that they believe they must earn their salvation—imagine how exhausting that must be.

One of the sources of that lump in your throat is likely insecurity about what you may not know about the Bible or what you don’t know about what Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses believe. If that is your fear, I have great news for you. They probably don’t understand their own theological systems as well as you might think, and you can learn your Bible more and more every day.

Let me tell you a secret—you don’t have to know every doctrinal position of every religion in order to be a good ambassador of Jesus Christ.

I hope that comes as a relief, but I can’t let you totally off the hook. To be a good ambassador, you must know the message of the one who has sent you. As Christ’s ambassador, you need to know His message—the message He calls you to proclaim and teach (Matthew 28:18–20). More important than knowing what the young Mormon elders believe, you need to be intimately familiar with the life-giving words that have been “God-breathed” onto the pages of the Bible. If you want to be able to deliver a message, you need to know that message.

If you are a Christian, you know that you follow the only true God—the triune God revealed in the Bible. The gods of all other religions are counterfeit gods. In order to spot these counterfeits, you must know the truth. When you hear a false statement, you can test it against the truth. As Paul and John admonish the church, we should test all truth claims to see if they are from God (1 Thessalonians 5:21; 1 John 4:1–3).

As you seek to share the gospel, knowing some of the basic beliefs of other faiths can be very helpful. What do they believe about, God? Who is man? How do they determine what is right and wrong? What or who do they look to as their authority? Knowing a little about someone’s beliefs can show them that you care enough about them to connect with them on that level. And if you don’t know something, a great way to learn is to just ask good questions. Try to understand their position, and then show them what the Bible has to say on the topic. Ask questions so that you can discern the errors and point them to Jesus—the way, the truth, and the life.

As you seek to engage your friends and neighbors from other faiths, reach out with love and compassion. Don’t be afraid of what you don’t know, but speak the truth in love and point them to the only one who can give rest to their weary souls—Jesus Christ.

Roger, along with Bodie Hodge of Answers in Genesis, are general editors for a new book series titled World Religions and Cults. These books will help Christians gain an in-depth understanding of the one common factor for all false religions—man’s fallible opinion. Roger’s active involvement in witnessing and evangelism and his teacher’s heart will result in a presentation that is sure to equip and give us confidence to speak the truth in love.

Register today to take advantage of the early bird price (hurry, because this special price ends February 1st) and remember, the price includes a two-day Creation Museum admission for attendee, husband, and children. On the event website, we’ve also added a poster, bulletin insert, and video promo that can be downloaded to advertise the conference at your church.

Keep fighting the good fight of the faith!

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