Improve your sermon prep with our brand new study tools! Learn all about them here.
Text Illustrations
Charles Smith was a Jehovah’s Witness, working his way up in the organization for 37 years. Outside one of their meetings, he noticed someone with a sign that simply said, “1 John 5:13.” He decided he would read it later.


“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” (KJV)


The verse was shocking to him. He tried reading it again to be sure he had not misread it the first time. “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know... that ye may know... that ye may know that ye have eternal life...”


Watchtower theology does not allow them to know they have eternal life. Charles Smith was shocked and confused. After 37 years of working his way up in the organization, he did not know he had eternal life. He did not even know he could know. He took the rather unusual step (unusual for Jehovah’s Witnesses) of reading the verse in context. Much of 1 John 5 was contrary to his JW teachings. When he asked questions about it, what did his superiors tell him? “Don’t worry about it.”


Charles could not stop worrying about it. He struggled with this chapter for a year before deciding he had to know or go mad. He finally knew he had to accept the real Jesus, not the Jesus of the Watchtower, as his savior.


The last time I talked with Charles, he had not met the person holding the sign outside of one of their meetings. The person holding the sign does not know what happened to Charles. I pray that the person has not become frustrated and given up trying to witness. Only God knows all the results of all our efforts.

Related Text Illustrations

Related Sermons