"...and I'll be in hell with Gandhi"

Discussion in 'Missions / Witnessing / eVangelism' started by psalm40.17, Nov 29, 2005.

  1. psalm40.17

    psalm40.17
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    Hi,

    I was talking to a friend a while back who is a Buddhist. I was doing my best to witness to him and unfortunately I was not having much effect. Indeed he went so far as to say that he probably would go to hell for his beliefs and be with people such as Gandhi.

    He said this half jokingly but it made me wonder how I can witness in a better way to people who do not see themselves as bad and in general are doing good works. This particular guy does charity work and shares basically Christian views yet cannot accept he needs Jesus Christ in his life.

    Any help will be appreciated

    Kind Regards,

    p4017
     
  2. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist
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    With all due respects, and in all sympathy for your efforts, you cannot bring a dead man back to life.
    You will have to pray to God to Himself speak to your friend, if it is His will for your friend.
    Only the Father can draw men to Christ.
    And only those whom God has chosen in Christ will He draw to His son.
     
  3. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
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  4. JamieinNH

    JamieinNH
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    pinoybaptist, you took the words right out of my mouth. I was going to say all you can do is Pray and let God lead your friend into the fold.

    I have a similar friend that is a Hindu, and we have talked about Religion, and seem to get no where.

    Jamie
     
  5. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson
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    First, don't think of your friend as some one out of the ordinary and that you are going about your witnessing in the wrong way. The bloke is in the same situation as those spoken of in Rom 2:1-2 (yes, I know these verses have the unsaved Jew in primary focus, but the principles can also be applied to the moral pagan). Second, remember a person has to get lost before he gets saved. (Again a simplistic sentiment, but we don't have time or space to express every nuance.)
     
  6. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    To say in a different way what others have been saying, the Holy Spirit must convict your friend of his sins before he can be saved.

    "7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged." (John 16:7-11 )

    I have seen this happen in the lives of many Buddhists here in Japan. Some have gone on to trust Christ as Savior, but many have then rejected the Holy Spirit's leading. You will probably be able to tell clearly when your friend is under conviction of sin. At that point you can give him an invitation to trust Christ as Savior, and the choice will be his.

    In the mean time, continue to witness as you have opportunity, being sure to use the Scriptures, which are powerful to convict. Also, pray that the Holy Spirit will bring him under conviction.

    God bless from Japan!
     
  7. Brother Ian

    Brother Ian
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    I love Ray Comfort and the Way of the Master, but you will have a very difficult time winning this person to Christ....but that is not your job. Using The Way of the Master is one method to share Christ.

    Plant the seed and pray the Holy Spirit will work in this man's heart. It will work.

    Blessings.
     
  8. Ulsterman

    Ulsterman
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    Hi psalm40:17,

    Was listening to BBC Radio 5 Live yesterday and heard this titbit. Buddhists believe that it is wrong to kill any living thing, but in Burma (Myanmar) the Buddhist people must fish to survive. So when they pull the fish out of the water, rather than confess to killing, they say they are "Saving the fish from drowning!"

    It made me realise that in all religions regardless of their laws men will always bend bend to their own ends. I think this illustration coupled with Squire's approach (using Romans 2) might be the best springboard to use in witnessing to your friend.

    You should also understand how Buddhists relate to Jesus. It is the goal of every Buddhist to achieve Buddhahood, to become Buddha himself, to achieve Nirvana. In Christianity a Christian can never become Christ nor would we ever try. It would be heresy to even begin down such a road. What the Buddhist does to Christ is strip him of his divinity, make him into a mere man, and transform him into a figure like Buddha. It is common, in Buddhist circles to regard Jesus as an emanation, a partial and inferior copy, a "truth body" [dharmakaya] they would say, of the Buddha.

    The Dalai Lama, says that Christ was either a fully enlightened being or achieved a very high spiritual realisation. So this is the Jesus Buddhism sees, an emanation of Buddha, a highly advanced spiritual being, but no more. So you may have to deal with who Jesus is. To do that you may have to sunstantiate that the Bible is the Word of God, and that through prophetic fufillment Jesus can be verified as the Son of God.

    I also agree with the brethren who encourage you to pray and give this friend over to God, but well done you for witnessing to your friend, and I hope Gid gives you fruit for your labour.
     
  9. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Psalm 40.17, what Ulsterman says is very true of Buddhists in general. In particular I think that his suggestion about using fulfilled prophecy to prove Who Jesus is may be effective. Beyond that, it will depend on what kind of Buddhist your friend is.

    The type of Buddhist who is a Western convert to Buddhism will probably be closest to what Ulsterman says. This type of person will likely be the most informed, so it might help you to ask lots of questions to understand more about what your friend believes.

    The type of Buddhist I meet here in Japan usually knows little about his religion. He is a Buddhist because he is a Japanese, so he might be called a cultural Buddhist. Chances are one of us missionaries will know far more about Buddhism than the typical Japanese Buddhist does.

    Further, it depends on which sect your friend belongs to. In my experience, Zen Buddhists and Sokagakkai Buddhists are the most zealous, and will be hardest to win. Buddhists from Thailand are also very zealous.

    Whatever kind of Buddhist your friend is, I urge patience and prayer.

    God bless.
     
  10. In His Grace

    In His Grace
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    Prayer,patience, all that stuff is needed.

    I think a person needs to have a good general knowledge of what other religions beleive and why they do, so you can point out the differences.

    I firmly beleive that our best weapon is the Gospel of Christ.
    Romans 1:16 "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the POWER of God onto salvation to everyone one that beleiveth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."

    The POWER of God is the gospel of Christ, that power can break down any walls you may be coming across.
    As you witness to people, don't let yourself get too side tracked on all kind of subjects, try to stay on track with the message of the gospel of Christ. Be polite, but repeat the gospel of Christ over and over, eventually the Holy Spirit will start to work on them.
     

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