I’ve been talking a lot to a couple of Jehovah’s Witnesses the last few months (If you want to hear about that, please comment or use the contact page and I’ll let you guys know!). One thing that they brought up really shook me inside.
Have you ever had a Jehovah’s Witness or a Mormon come to your door? What happened? What my Jehovah’s Witness friends tell me doesn’t surprise me at all.
A lot of people just slam the door in their face.
I get it. You don’t want random people you don’t know just showing up at your house to try and convince you of something that you don’t believe. But what really hit me (also unsurprisingly) is that most Christians slam the door in their face as well. And worse, they often tell them (apparently loudly) that Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons are not Christians and are going to hell.
Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord
Whether I agree or disagree that Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons are or aren’t true Christians (could I get more vague?) has no bearing on what the Bible says about how we should treat these people. The verse above tells you exactly how you should behave around people you don’t agree with. Go read it again. Does it hurt a little? It probably should.
You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar, or so I’m told. Turns out, God thinks the same thing.
Pursue peace with all people. Not just the people you like. Not just the people you agree with. Not just the people who don’t knock on your door during dinner to tell you about God.
That first part of the verse tells us what to do. They second part tells us why.
Without which no one will see the Lord. This is pretty dramatic. This line isn’t just saying that the people you don’t have peace with won’t see the Lord, it says no one will see the Lord. No One.
If you found out that your pastor, who is nice to everyone at church, is a huge jerk to the workers at the grocery store, would you still respect him as much? Would you keep going to that church? This is the same situation. If one of your unsaved friends finds out that you slam the door and scream in someone’s face when they try and tell you about God, do you think they’ll want to listen when you say something about God? I wouldn’t.
This verse doesn’t just apply to how you deal with Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons, it applies to your whole life. It applies to how you treat your family. It applies to how you treat your coworkers. It applies to how you treat your friends. And it applies to how you treat people who you don’t like.
When you go through your life, this verse should haunt you. It’s starting to haunt me.