Was reading a post from RZIM today on Twitter, and it talked about having doubts about faith during stressful times, like the current COVID situation, and how it tells of how John the Baptist asked Jesus if He was the Messiah (when John was imprisoned), and comparing this to the thief on the Cross asking the same type question, but with a different motive. It caused me to remember when Jesus was informed that John had been beheaded, and how it seemed that this was news to Him, by His reaction to it. That made me wonder why He wouldn’t have already known this. I know there is a valid Biblical reason for it, but I am trying to be sure I can answer this same question if it were to come from a Mormon friend, who I am trying to lead to the correct identity of who Jesus is. They, of course, do not believe in the Trinity, but think the Godhead is three different entities. They asked me why Jesus would say “It is YOUR will and not MY will” in Gethsemane, if He is the same as God. I wasn’t sure how to answer that one, either, so anticipating this question about Jesus being “surprised” by the news of John’s death might also crop up, at some point. Thank you!
@LoveDrZacharias Given that your friend is Mormon, it may be helpful to draw a comparison between belief in God and belief in the deity of Jesus. There are valid questions that we don’t know the answers to when it comes to the existence of a good and loving God. (I’m assuming he would agree with this statement - if not, this will not work) Why is there suffering if God loves us? Wow, that’s a hard question. So why do we believe in God? Because we believe that, on the whole, the evidence points to God’s existence and we accept that we don’t know the answer to every question.
Similarly, Jesus did things only God can do - like forgive sins, resurrect the dead, live a sinless life, receive worship from the apostles… Yes, we do not understand everything about what it meant for God to become human in Jesus, but, on the whole, the evidence points in that direction.
Moreover, in the Old Testament God shows surprise as well (at least from our perspective). In Genesis 6, it says God regretted making mankind and was saddened by the evil on the earth. And multiple times God relents from sending a disaster on a wicked city / person in response to their actions. So, God interacts with us humans in a way we can understand. Jesus, being God, did the same.
Thank you for your response. I appreciate your thoughts. There is so much about the Mormon faith that is out of line with Christianity, I don’t know where to begin! The Trinity is hard to wrap your mind around, even as a staunch believer!
Could you please point me to any recorded resource in the RZIM library available that deals with ministering to Mormons? I have one on CD where Dr. Zacharias preached at the Mormon Tabernacle, but it doesn’t really go into doctrinal differences,
since he was trying to be respectful, talking to actual Mormons. Is there any resource where he aims the info to someone of Christian belief, trying to minister to Mormons, maybe? I would appreciate it greatly!
Thank you, again!
@LoveDrZacharias Dr. Zacharias endorsed Walter Martin’s book “Kingdom of the Cults”, which has an entire section on the differences between Mormonism and Christianity. You may also find the below video from Jeff Durbin helpful in reaching out to Mormons.
Again, thank you for your response!
I have the book, and I also gave a copy to my Mormon friend, hoping they (married couple with two older kids) would read the chapter on Mormonism themselves, but I guess that was naïve, on my part. They said they would read it, and I trusted
them, at their word. I never got the book back (so had to replace my own copy), and am not sure they did anything with it but throw it away. (The other tennis coach is Jehovah’s Witness, so I need the book for that reason, too.) It seems to me that Mormons
are brainwashed (for lack of a better word) by their church to shun anything against the Mormon belief system. I had a long conversation with the husband (my tennis coach) about it, originally. I had read the chapter about Mormons, and learned so much that
it actually overwhelmed me. I am not a teacher, and have zero experience in trying to do this type thing. I do not feel qualified to try to change their minds, but I feel compelled to TRY, because they are dear, sweet people and I care about what happens
to them. The wife is even high risk, since she is diabetic, so right now is a particularly scary time, with the COVID situation. My heart is just burdened to try to get something out there that might cause them to ‘question’ their belief system. There was
too much in the chapter of the book below for me to try to remember all of it, so I guess I chickened out, and hoped they would be open minded enough to read the chapter and see the logic behind how the differences were explained, and how some of what the
founder of the Mormon faith had done brought his credibility into question. I have no idea how to proceed, when all my “arguments” would come from the Bible, and they have been taught that the Bible is unreliable. Where do you go from there? :0(
I am just dismayed because I had no idea how many of my friends are of other faiths. I have the above folks, as well as Masons (I thought that just meant someone in their family was a bricklayer! Shows you what I know!), as well as agnostics,
as well as Jewish tennis friends. I have always just assumed when people act like Christians, and are from this country, that they likely follow the Christian faith. Now, I find out I have to worry about them all. I even have several acquaintances that are
gay/lesbian. It is a little overwhelming! I don’t know why the Lord has put so many unsaved people in my path, but I have to believe He wants me to TRY to show them the truth. For all I know, their salvation may be His purpose for my life. I don’t want
to NOT try…but I am not trained to do what needs to be done. I need resources. I know part of the answer is to show them Christianity by loving on them, and walking the walk, but I am not around these folks enough time to really be able to do that justice.
I know prayer is also needed, but I am not that good at praying, at least, not about important things.
@LoveDrZacharias I’m encouraged to hear your heart for those who are lost! May we all have sincere concern for those around us who do not know the Lord.
By way of encouragement, it is God who saves people; not us. So we do not need to take that burden on our shoulders - it’s not our job All that we can do is be faithful, learn about God daily, love others, pray, and leave the rest to God, who gives the increase!
1 Corinthians 3:7 - So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.
Wow! That is good news. I knew GOD did the saving, but I thought WE had to do the leading. It is just so hard to see them laying all their good works at the feet of the wrong God. Knowing what I now know about Mormonism, it is just
so hard NOT to try to change their minds.
I appreciate it!
@LoveDrZacharias Definitely - it is always God’s Spirit who changes the hearts of men; not anything we can do or say. We urge men to come to Christ, share the truth, love well - and leave the rest to our God who is mighty to save!
This is a very great question.
Let me share 2-3 thoughts you can think about.
1.) In the claims of Christianity on Jesus, He was God incarnated in human form, He is both 100% God and 100% man. When John the Baptist was beheaded, He already knows it like how He knew the motive behind the testing of the Pharisees to Him.
2.) Concerning Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane, “It is Your will not Mine.” The Biblical response to this boils down to the very nature of the Trinity.
Trinity is the doctrine of God which tells that the God of the Bible and Christianity is ONE, yet with three different personhood.
The member of the Trinity is; Father, Son, Holy Spirit.
All of them is GOD, but different in personhood and roles.
For example, the work of the Trinity in our salvation is this:
God the Father planned the salvation.
Jesus executed the plan of salvation.
Holy Spirit preserved the salvation to those who accepted Jesus.
They are all the same in BEING, but in DOING they have their own roles.
3.) Why Jesus prayed, it is Your will not Mine. This is means that God the Son has respect and reverence to God the Father. Jesus knows and sets an example of submission to the Father.
But it does not mean, that He is not God, He has the same being, but in they differ in roles.
We will never fully understand the nature of Trinity, God is one, yet in different personhood.
But here are two words for that, MAJESTY and MYSTERY.
If we read the Bible unbiased and unfold the nature of the Trinity, it is to see the MAJESTY of God, yet with MYSTERY which requires our faith to Him.
Thank you for reading this one.
I hope it helps.
After the incarnation, He is one of us. Jesus is fully man, and has set aside the attributes of God. He is not omniscient, so He can be surprised. He is not omnipotent, so sometimes He could not heal. He is not omnipresent so he must send 72 laborers to spread the Word. When He walked the Earth He was fully man, and He died as a man, apparently alone and forsaken. But then 3 days later . . .