What Jesus Would Say to a Mormon Heb 1:1-2

1. As we come to the final sermon in this series, some of you might wonder why we’re looking at a group that seems to be up close to us. Most of us understand why we would preach about Muslims, Wiccans and Atheists, but isn’t Mormonism a Christian religion?

2. Others of you might be a bit fuzzy about what it is that Mormons believe. It’s my hope that by putting on the lens of Scripture our own faith will come into greater focus.
3. The Holy Spirit according to Paul explicitly said that in later times some will fall away. Now if the Holy Spirit explicitly says something you best pay attention to it. This particular prophesy has never been more fulfilled than in the Mormon church. Paul said that in the later times or you can translate that in the latter times or in the latter days many will fall away from the faith. It is interesting to note that the Mormons known as the church of the “latter day” saints like what

*** Harry Ironside said when he was talking to a Mormon once. The Mormon said, “Excuse me sir I am a member of the church of the latter day saints. What are you and he said “I am a member of the church of the former day saints.” what he was saying was I am a member of the church of the saints who go back strictly and only to the New Testament.

4. We are going to find that Mormonism is one of the most vicious and pernicious and perverted aberrations of Christian truth that you can find. Now there are some people who get upset when you talk about the faith of other religions. But I want you to know that Jesus would be upset if we didn’t. For Jesus said that anyone other than orthodox Christians who profess to be Christians are indeed wolves in sheep’s clothing.

5. I will say again that your average Mormon is an industrious, clean-living, moral, upright, forthright citizen. But we are not dealing with their deportment. We are dealing with their doctrine. We will find out that the cornerstone of their religion is a man just like the cornerstone of our religion is a man. But the cornerstone of our religion is Jesus while the cornerstone of their religion is Joseph Smith.

6. We need to be reminded once again of what John said in his second epistle vs 9 “Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ does not have God. The one who abides in the teaching he has both the father and the son.” So I say at the outset to the Mormon and about the Mormon if you are wrong about Jesus it doesn’t matter what you believe about Joseph Smith.

I. The Positives of Mormonism

1. Let me say up front that this sermon is not meant to be an attack on any individual and will not be presented in a spirit of arrogance or anger. I want to echo what the Apostle Paul said in 1 Tim 1:5: “But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” Here at MBC we want to love people just like Jesus does. There are many positive things about Mormons.

2. Here are some that come to mind. Granted, these are generalizations, but I think they’re true for the most part.
• They are very kind.
• They love to serve. They work tirelessly to help with the flood cleanup in this community.
• They care about what they put in their bodies. No alcohol, illegal drugs, coffee or tea are allowed.
• They are not afraid to stand up for moral matters. They worked very hard in California in 2008 to support Prop 8 which banned same-sex marriage.
• They care about our country. Glenn Beck, Mitt Romney, Harry Reid and Orrin Hatch are practicing Mormons.
• They are very family-oriented.
• They have outstanding music from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
• They believe in education. Brigham Young University is world-renowned.

A. Mormon History
1. I don’t want to bore you with too much history, but it is important to understand a few things, especially as it relates to Joseph Smith, who was the first prophet and founder of Mormonism. You see, the entire Mormon Church rests upon the foundation of its history in America and it originates solely from the visions of Joseph Smith. The 10th Mormon President and Prophet, Joseph Fielding Smith, put it this way: “Mormonism must stand or fall on the story of Joseph Smith.”
2. It’s important to understand that Mormonism is only 190 years old. In 1820, at the age of 14, Smith claimed to have a vision when he was seeking God’s direction about which church he should join. He was told to join none of them because all of them were “wrong…that all their creeds were an abomination… [And] that those professors [of those churches] were all corrupt.”
3. Three years later, he allegedly had another vision and this time a person (or angel) named Moroni told him about some hidden golden tablets. He had four other appearances and eventually translated these tablets from “Reformed Egyptian” into the Book of Mormon in 1830. Smith that after he translated the golden tablets, he was ordered to destroy them, and that while translating them, if anyone else looked upon them they would die.
4. Smith also claimed that John the Baptist appeared to him and Oliver Cowdery and anointed them with the Aaronic Priesthood. They then baptized each other for the remission of sins. Several months later, Peter, James and John reportedly appeared physically to them and conferred the Melchizedek Priesthood upon them.
5. After moving around because of persecution over their practice of polygamy, Smith was arrested and later killed by the militia in Carthage, Illinois in 1844. A struggle for leadership ensued, with Brigham Young becoming the next president and prophet. He led them westward where they founded Salt Lake City.
6. According to their own statistics as published in their official magazine called, “Ensign,” as of 2009, there were 14 million Mormons meeting in about twenty-five thousand congregations. In addition, they have around 52,000 full-time missionaries and 130 Temples. With a presence in over 140 nations, some have said that if Mormonism continues to grow at its present rapid rate, there will be five hundred million Mormons by the year 2040.
7. I should say that the official name for Mormonism is “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.” Instead of using this longer title, I’m going to be using the names “Mormon” and “Mormonism.”

B. Mormon Beliefs
***There is so much material as it relates to Mormon beliefs that I’m going to have to just pick a few areas and summarize. I think it will become readily apparent that Mormon doctrine differs greatly from biblical Christianity. I’m drawing this material from their primary sources, from a book called, “Searching for the Truth” from Group Publishing, from a book called, “Mormonism Explained” by Andrew Jackson and from “Reasoning From the Scriptures with Mormons” by Ron Rhodes. If you’d like to do some more study on Mormonism, see Utah Lighthouse Ministry and Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.
1. Authority. Mormons consider the Bible to be very important, though they use only the KJV, and then only if it’s their “corrected version.” They also follow the “Book of Mormon,” “The Doctrine and Covenants” and “The Pearl of Great Price” which are revelations for the Americas. Let me quote from the beginning of the Book of Mormon to show the place they give to their sacred writings: “The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible.” This is what Joseph Smith said a few paragraphs later, “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”
We could say that Mormons put on the lens of the Book of Mormon when reading and interpreting the Bible. This book even refers to Christians as fools for only believing in the Bible. Listen to this quote from 2 Nephi 29:6 – “Thou fool, that shall say: ‘A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible…’”
*** A pastor who lives in Salt Lake City stated how difficult it is to appeal to the Bible because Mormons follow other writings and the “Living Prophet,” which is the President of the Church. He speaks infallibly and authoritatively when addressing doctrinal and church matters because they believe God is giving continual revelation to him and through him to the church. An example of this is what happened in 1978 when the head prophet declared a new “revelation” that allowed African American men to be ordained to the priesthood, reversing a doctrine that had been in place for 140 years.
*** Ezra Taft Benson, the 13th President of the Mormon Church, said this in 1980: “The living prophet is more vital to us than the standard works.” That would be not only the Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price, but also the Bible.

*** Joseph Smith said this “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the book of Mormon to be the word of God,’ now at first glance you think that they are simply putting the book of Mormon on the same level as he Bible which is bad enough in and of itself to listen again to what Joseph Smith says, “I told I the brethren that the book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth and the keystone of our religion. And a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts than by any other book.

*** As a matter of fact Joseph Smith felt that the Bible was incorrect in many of its translations and therefore he went about correcting some errors in the Bible and formulating his own translation which has become known as the” inspired version of the Bible.” Now he had to do this for the obvious reason that to leave the Bible as it is directly contradicts some precious Mormon doctrine. For example in Joseph Smith’s version we are told in Gen. 3 that Satan rebelled against God because he first offered to come as man s redeemer and God turned his offer down. We are told in Gen. 6 that Adam was baptized by immersion. Then there is a prophesy that Joseph Smith inserts in the 50th chapter of the book of Genesis which establishes him as a greater authority than the Lord Jesus Christ. “And that seer will I bless and his name hall be called Joseph and it shall be after the name of his father for the thing which the Lord shall bring forth by his hand shall bring my people unto salvation. In other words Jesus is not good enough to bring salvation. Only Joseph Smith can do that. And so God’s final and ultimate revelation has been not through the Lord Jesus Christ but through Joseph Smith. We might note that that directly contradicts the word of God for we are told in Hebrews 1:1-2 “God after he spoke long ago to the fathers and the prophets in many portions and in many ways in these last days has spoken to us in his son.” That is, Jesus Christ is God’s full and final revelation, to this world.

***Then there are other sacred works that they consider to be on a par with the Bible. The first is doctrines and covenant; these are new revelations that were given to Joseph Smith concerning baptism for the dead, celestial marriage and polygamy. It is interesting to note that the book of Mormon is silent about the first two things and it denounces polygamy. Then there is the book, the pearl of great price. These are their articles of faith. These are additional revelations that were given to Joseph Smith beyond the doctrines and covenants. So the first thing we need to notice here is that not only is the word of God looked upon as inferior and in need of correction. It is indeed placed beneath the other 3 works by Joseph Smith as the authority of the Mormon church.

2. God the Father. Joseph Smith said this in his “King Follet” sermon, “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man.” He is married to a physical wife and has “progressed” to godhood as one of many gods. Joseph Smith said it like this in his own words: “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s…” (“Doctrine and Covenants,” 130:22).

*** God according to Mormon theology is not a spirit. Rather he is a body. He has material substance for his being. He is flesh and blood. You can feel God, touch God, see God and in fact you could taste God if you could bite him. God in other words is simply an exalted man. Joseph Smith said and I quote, “God himself was as we are now and is an exalted man.” Now where do they get this belief? Well, they quote verses such as “God’s ears are not dull that he cannot hear, and his arm is not so short that he cannot save. And they say, you see God has arms and God has ears. He has eyes just like we do. But they fail simply to understand that the Bible uses what we call anthropomorphic language. That is we use figuratively language attributing to God human qualities to help us conceptualize God.

***The Bible says in John 4:24, “God is a spirit. Those that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. But it is interesting when’ you read the inspired version or the Mormon version of that verse they translate it this way: “God has a spirit.

***But it gets worse. Not only do they teach that God is a body and not a spirit, they believe in polytheism. That is they worship many Gods. They distinctly deny the trinity. They believe that the Gods are simply exalted men and that men are in the process of becoming Gods. Joseph Smith says how many Gods there are I do not know but there never was a time when there were not Gods and worlds and when men were not passing through the same ordeals that we are now passing through. That course has been from all eternity and it is and will be to all eternity.” In other words the world we live in is not the only world there is but there have been a great number of worlds and also a great number of Gods. Spencer Kimble, the leader of the Mormon church said this, “What man is God has been and what God is man is becoming.” In other words what the Mormons have done is to humanize God and to deify man and in the process have not only denied the trinity but they have established themselves as a polytheistic religion. Joseph Smith aid this, I have always declared God to be a distinct personage. Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the father and that the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a spirit, and these 3 constitute 3 distinct personages and 3 Gods,” he said elsewhere, “the doctrine of a ‘plurality of Gods (that is many Gods) is as prominent in the Bible as any other doctrine. It is all over the face of the Bible. It stands beyond the power of controversy. You see the best of Mormon men and women are going to become Gods themselves.

*** When you ask the question then how did the one we referred to as God with a capital g become our God? Here is the answer. “The heads of the Gods appointed one God for us.” That is in eternity’ past there was a council of Gods and these Gods appointed our God to be the God of this earth the: he goes on to say, “And when you take that view of the subject it sets one free to see all the beautiness, holiness and perfection of the God” of course our answer to that is we don t worship 3 Gods but we worship one God in 3 persons. We do not worship 3 Gods nor many Gods. There is only one God. The Bible says in Isa. 44:6, “Thus says the Lord, the king of Israel, I am the first and I am the last and there is no God besides Me.” Here we agree with our Jewish friends who quote the Shema, Deut.6:4 which says, “The Lord our God is one Lord. So understand that not only do the Mormons deny the spiritual essence of God, they not only deny his sovereignty, they not only deny his preeminence, they not only deny his Trinitarian nature, they deny the concept of a monotheistic God. They worship a plurality of many Gods.

3. Jesus. The Mormons teach that Jesus Christ was actually produced by a sexual relationship between a resurrected Adam God and Mary. Brigham Young said, “Jesus our elder brother was begotten in the flesh by the same character that was in the Garden of Eden and who is our father in heaven.” A prominent Mormon professor said this, “Jesus was the offspring of a mortal mother and of an immortal or resurrected and glorified father.”

In addition to this they teach that Jesus Christ was married. For as we will see in just a moment the only way to salvation in Mormon thought is through marriage. They teach that the wedding in Canaan was the wedding of Jesus of himself. At this wedding Jesus not only took a bride. He took brides, he married Mary, Martha, and Mary Magdalene. In short Jesus was no more divine than you or I can become or like many others have become. He was just the first born among many Gods, Jesus is not Lord. Jesus is not the savior. The atonement of Jesus did not secure our salvation. The death of Jesus was meaningless in terms of our going to heaven. That in a nutshell is the teaching of the person and work of Jesus Christ

4. Sin. Mormons believe that Adam’s sin was actually a good thing because it fulfilled God’s purpose of populating the earth. They don’t talk much about sin, preferring words like bad habits, mistakes, and poor judgments. According to their doctrine, Jesus’ sacrifice was not able to cleanse us from all our sins (“Journal of Discourses,” Vol. 3, p. 247, 1856).

This is indeed one of their most amazing doctrines. They teach that the fall in the Garden of Eden was a necessity so that Adam and eve could have children. You see they teach that there are many spirits who need bodies to exist on earth. Therefore it is the duty of Mormons to have children so these spirits can inhabit earthly bodies, that’s why it was necessary for Adam and Eve to sin and thus become mortal so that they could have children so it is not a terrible thing. It is a wonderful thing. Joseph Smith put it this way, ‘the fall of Adam and eve was a necessary change in order to provide mortal parroting for the spirit children of God who were ready and waiting for the experience of earth life. In other words before Adam and eve could reproduce children that could be inhabited by preexistent spirits they first had to sin. That of course directly contradicts the word of God because before Adam and eve fell God distinctly commanded that they reproduce and multiply and replenish the earth.

But it was directly because of this teaching that the concept of polygamy became popular at least for awhile in Mormon thought, you see the [Mormons felt that since there were all of these eternal spirits waiting to get into an earthly body then the more children one had the better. In fact as you study the teaching on polygamy by the Mormon church it is amazing to watch how through the years they flip flopped from one end of the issue to the other.

*** For example; In the book of Mormon Joseph Smith expressly forbids the practice of polygamy. I quote ‘here shall not any man among you have save but one wife and concubines he shall have none. In other words one man and one wife for one life. But a few years later Joseph Smith got another special revelation from God which expressly told him to take unto him many wives. And so Joseph Smith was married to almost 50 women. And Brigham Young, Smith’s successor, married 27 women and fathered 56 children. That was the official teaching of the church up until almost the 20th century when Utah applied for statehood and realized the only way they would become a state would be to forbid polygamy and so in 1890 Mormon president Wilford Woodruff issued an official declaration discontinuing the practice of polygamy. However there are many who still believe that Mormons do practice polygamy. The reason for this is that the Mormons believe in celestial marriage. That is they believe there are still spirit beings in heaven who are reproducing spirit children. Therefore there is still more and more need of human bodies for those spirit children to enter into so they can marry and obtain salvation and then go back to their celestial kingdom and they themselves reproduce more children, William Rogers former assistant to the attorney general in the state of Utah states “Today in Utah there are more polygamous; marriages than in the days of Brigham Young.”

*** Incidentally, I agree with Mark Twain on the issue of polygamy. A Mormon once approached Mark Twain and said, ‘can you show me any verse in the Bible that would speak against polygamy?” Mark Twain said, “I certainly can.’ and he said, “No man can serve 2 masters.

5. Salvation. Exaltation is attained by good works, not by grace alone: “We know it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do” (2 Nephi 25:23). And this is from Joseph Smith’s “King Follet” sermon: “This then, is eternal life—to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be gods yourselves.”

There Are 2 Keys To Being Saved In Mormon Thought.

The first key and the greatest key is marriage. In the Mormon temple every day there are performed what are known as celestial marriages. These are marriages that are sealed for all eternity now this is very important because people who go to heaven single will never become Gods. They will always remain as angels. For you can only progress to becoming a God if you are married in heaven and are also producing spiritual children. So a marriage for time that is one that is not performed in a Mormon temple will be dissolved by death. And people so married will be single in the life to come and will live as angels and not as Gods. But those couples who are married in a Mormon temple otherwise known as a celestial marriage will be sealed to each other for eternity, their union will last forever and they can forever produce spiritual children and thus progress to becoming Gods themselves . His is so important to them that the Mormon church teaches this, ‘the most important single thing any member of the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints can ever do in this world is to marry the right person, by the right authority in the right place.” Now the only comment I will make here is to remind you of the words of Jesus who said in (Luke 20:34) “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage.”

The second key to salvation in Mormon thought is baptism. They believe in baptismal regeneration. That is that one must be baptized by immersion in order to be saved, from this belief comes one of their most infamous doctrines, the doctrine of baptism for the dead. Thousands of people are baptized every year in the Mormon church for their ancestors who have died before them without being baptized. For they believe that a person can be baptized for a dead relative and secure that dead relative s salvation. They base that belief on 1 Cor. 15:29. The baptistry in the Mormon church is built beneath the ground. That is to simulate the graves of the dead. These baptisms must be performed in a temple. They must be very carefully recorded and there should be 3 witnesses at every baptism.

You see this is one of the reasons why the Mormons are so interested in their ancestry and why the Mormon church has one of the greatest ancestry file; in all of the world. Each Mormon is expected to trace his lineage and ancestry as far back as he can and to be baptized for every person who did not experience the baptism of the Mormon church. How very quickly what Paul simply meant here in 1 Cor. 15:29.was that if there is no resurrection from the dead (remember the context here is resurrection) than baptism is meaningless. Because baptism is to picture the death and the burial and the resurrection of Jesus and it is also to picture the death and burial to sin of the person being baptized and his being raised to a new life in Christ. It is also to picture his future resurrection at the second coming of the Lord. But if there is no resurrection then why be baptized? In other words all Paul is saying here is that baptism without a resurrection is meaningless. You see what they are trying to teach is that you can actual be a savior for someone else. Friend, I don’t need a sinner to be baptized for my sin. I need a savior to be crucified for my sin.
6. Afterlife. People either go to spirit prison or to paradise after they die. Faithful Mormon men will be exalted and some will become gods, ruling and populating their own earths. Women can be exalted only if sealed in marriage to a Mormon man. If a man and woman are “sealed” in the Mormon Temple then when they die they will be with each other in the afterlife, and once they become gods, they will have spirit children and populate their own planet: “We were first begotten as spirit babies in heaven and then born naturally on earth” (“Journal of Discourse,” Vol. 4, p. 218).
7. The true Church. From the very beginning, Joseph Smith believed that all churches were apostate, an abomination and corrupt and that his church was the only one true church. Here’s how it’s worded in Doctrine and Covenants 1:30 – “And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased…” While Mormons previously separated themselves from other churches there now seems to be an effort to publicly soften this stance. But the fact of the matter is that, according to them, only those who are baptized in the Mormon Church are true believers. They also practice “baptism for the dead” and have secret temple rituals available only to members in good standing.
If I had to distill their doctrine down to one sentence, it would be something like this: They lower God and lift up man. I would put them squarely outside the biblical frame of Christianity and classify them as a cult. I know that sounds strong but I say that for three reasons.
• They have an exalted and unquestionable leader.
• They have special writings which are equal to or above the Bible.
• They claim to be the only group that has the truth.

III. Three Questions

Some of you may be unsettled by what I have said. Perhaps it seems like the preaching has been too strong. After all, there are nice people practicing other religions. How can we say that they’re wrong? In light of the exclusive claims of Jesus Christ, you and I may be asked at least three questions by pluralistic people.

1. The Question of Sincerity. Who can question the sincerity of a Muslim bowing to pray five times a day or the good things that Wiccans are trying to do for the environment, or the strong family values of Mormons? The assumption here is that because people are sincere they can’t be wrong. But sincerity, or the lack of it, has nothing to do with determining truth. In other words, we can be sincere and right or be sincere and wrong.

2. The Question of Tolerance. This question goes something like this: “Even if you believe Christianity is true for you, does that mean it has to be true for the rest of the world? Isn’t that condescending and unloving?” Because Christianity does have a narrow nature to it, it has been attacked as being intolerant of what others believe.
The underlying assumption is that anything this narrow has to be wrong but a position can be narrow and wrong, or it can be narrow and right. For instance, truth is always intolerant of error. The fact that one plus one always equals two is very narrow, but it’s also right. When I fly with Scott Peterson in an airplane (which I’ve only done once and don’t plan to again), I want him to land on the runway, not the highway. I want my pilot to be narrow-minded when he’s flying the plane I’m on.
Since Jesus says in John 14:6: “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,” then that’s true for me and it’s true for you, whether we believe it or not. We can argue all day about whether this claim has an intolerant spirit about it. Is it backed up by evidence? Are there reasons to believe what Jesus said? If so, then we must allow for a certain amount of intolerance because truth is always intolerant of error.

3. The Question of Truth. If Christianity is true, then the issues of sincerity and tolerance take a back seat to truth. It doesn’t matter how sincere someone is if they don’t acknowledge the truth of what Christ teaches. Obviously, not everyone accepts the exclusivity of Christianity—or any other religion for that matter. A Mormon and a Muslim believe entirely different things that are contradictory. They both can’t be right.
Here’s another way to say it. How can all religions be true if they contradict each other? The Law of Non-contradiction states that if two statements about one particular issue contradict each other, then there are only two possible answers: (1) only one of them is true, or (2) they’re both false. They cannot both be true in the same sense and at the same time. Since Muslims, Wiccans, Atheists and Mormons all view Jesus differently, they simply cannot, logically speaking, all be correct. If Christianity is true, then those religions that contradict it cannot also be true.
*** It is important it is to develop a relationship with them, pointing out that according to one study it takes seven years on average for a Mormon to move from doubting his faith to becoming a full-fledged follower of Jesus Christ through the new birth. He’s also discovered that while the beliefs of Mormonism are very clear, we really don’t know what an individual Mormon believes unless we ask him or her.
***What would Jesus say to a Mormon, he quickly said, “Jesus would ask them this question: ‘Who do you say that I am?’” This comes directly from Matt 16:15: “But what about you? Who do you say that I am?” It all comes down to Christ, doesn’t it? It must be Jesus plus nothing. We can’t start with Him and then add our own good works or rituals or practices.
*** This is from another pastor who ministers among Mormons: “Most rank-and-file Mormons today are utterly convinced they are Christians, and that is in large part due to the surface similarity of language that clouds the different facts and referents behind the language. As far as what Jesus would say to a Mormon…there is a long-term Free Church pastor out here who has taught the church he pastors to see Mormons as Samaritans. We have common religious history—up to a point. We have common language…which has deviated, but which still leaves them closer to the Truth than other religious traditions. And what Jesus does with the woman at the well is the tactical approach: avoid debating history and talk about life for your dry, thirsty soul found in Jesus. Jesus would say to a Mormon: ‘You’re thirsty and hungry and—though you don’t think it—guilty—and you seek Messiah—misconceived in your own mind perhaps—but you seek Messiah as the answer—that’s me. Come to me and find grace.’ Which incidentally is the same thing he’d say to all the people in your pews this Sunday. So if I were you, I’d…feed their souls, and remove the judgmentalism that is in us in regards to Mormons.”

III. What Would Jesus Say

At the risk of sounding presumptuous because I certainly don’t want to put words in Jesus’ mouth, I can with confidence communicate what Jesus has said in the Scriptures. I’m going to go back over the seven points of doctrine and quote what it is that Jesus is saying to Mormons today. Let’s put on the lenses of the Lord right now…
1. Authority. “First of all, when it comes to what you can ultimately trust, do what I did when I quoted Scripture when tempted by Satan in the wilderness and I said these words: ‘It is written…’ (Luke 4:1-12). ‘Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished’ (Matthew 5:17-18). Later on I made this statement: ‘Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away’ (Matt 24:35).”
2. God the Father. “‘God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth.’ (John 4:24).”
3. Jesus. “‘I and the Father are one’ (John 10:30).” I can’t help but quote from Heb. 1:1-2 at this point: ‘In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.’”
4. Sin. “This is what I said in John 8:34: ‘I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.’”
5. Salvation. “‘I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.’ ‘I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life’ (John 3:3; 5:24).”
6. Afterlife. “I don’t think I can make it much clearer than what I said in John 3:36: ‘Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.’”
7. Church. “While some churches have lost their way, there has never been a total apostasy. In fact, I have been and will continue to build my church ‘and the gates of Hades will not overcome it’ (Matt 16:18).”

IV. What the Bible Says

The Apostle Paul really got worked up when he heard that some were bailing on their belief in the gospel of grace and turning to something that was filled with rules and regulations in Gal 1:6-8: “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!”
He continues in 2 Cor 11:3-4: “But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.”
John, who allegedly appeared to Joseph Smith, along with Peter and James, gave these cautionary words in 1 John 4:1: “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
And in 2 John 8-11 we’re warned about not welcoming someone who is trying to deceive us: “Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him. Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work.” This warning is especially applicable to those who don’t know what the Bible teaches and are unsure of their own doctrine. It might not be the wisest to have long discussions with Mormons until you have figured out your own faith so that you not only know what you believe, but why you believe it.
The Bible says that those who don’t know Christ are actually blind. Listen to 2 Cor 4:4: “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” Friends, Jesus came to restore our sight so that we can see again. Check out John 8:12: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
And for those of us who are believers already, 2 Peter 1:9 warns us about keeping our sight strong and to make sure that we’re growing in grace. The person who doesn’t “is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.”

V. Witnessing to Mormons

We’ve probably all had the experience of having a couple Mormon missionaries ring our doorbells. How should we handle this? On the one hand, we need to be careful about inviting them in and getting swept away by what they’re saying. On the other hand, we need to see ourselves as missionaries of the true gospel.
I’m greatly challenged by the words found in 2 Tim 2:24-26 when it comes to reaching out to those who need to be saved: “And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.”
And so, don’t quarrel. Be kind. Gently instruct. And then trust God to lead people to repentance. I also like these four suggestions made by ChristianAnswers.net.
1. Be prayerful.
2. Be prepared.
3. Be patient.
4. Be persistent.

Here are some other pointers that I’ve picked up.
• Love them.
• Use the King James Version of the Bible.
• Ask questions. Don’t tell them what they believe; instead ask for their thoughts.
• Keep the initiative. Don’t let them drive the conversation or get sidetracked.
• Remember the goal is not to win an argument but to win the person.
• Focus on how to have a relationship with Jesus. Stay away from religious church-talk.
• Share your testimony. You might not feel adequate to debate every point of doctrine but you can respond like the man who was born blind and was healed in John 9:25: “One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”
• Follow the Holy Spirit.

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