Hi sorry about not responding sooner. I usually don't post because it takes me so long sometimes to get my thoughts into words. We just recently moved and my time and energy has been filled with organizing cleaning and painting. A small house, but none the less a huge task! everything needs painting, inside and out!
I spent a year talking to a witness, and I understand the frustration.
here are some things I learned along the way-
Maybe you know this already-then it can't help to be reminded and encouraged
Maybe these will be new points and might also help you!
First and formost start and precede everything in prayer!
without it we could talk till we are blue in the face and make very good points, but without God working through us and in the witnesses hearts-nothing will happen!
Pray, pray, and pray!!!
And then trust that God is working in their hearts. Ask him to help you plant the seeds in their hearts and that he will allow those seeds to grow! I read that even though a witness may be thinking about what you said, They won't show it on the outside.
I think this is a case of walking by faith and not by sight. Trusting God with the results.
Take a long term veiw point. You may not see immediate results of your conversations.
Plant the seeds and realize it may take years for the seeds to grow.
God sometimes works and changes people overnight, and sometimes it is a process where God is working and changing them little by little-it may take months or years. But if we are praying, we can be assured that God is working!!!!!!
To your original question: God's purpose.
It seems to me that the book asks the wrong question.
It asks: what is God's purpose for the earth?
Instead it should be " why did God create us? what is man's purpose? what does God want from us? Is it simply to fill the earth and live happy lives? Does he simply want us to obey all his rules and regulations?
no. He wants our hearts and our minds. what does this mean?
Relationship! He wants a loving relationship with us.
an intimate loving relationship.
Think how it must have been for Adam and Eve to know God intimatly.
That's what God wants! He created us for a relationship.
God is Love. what is Love without relationship?
It doesn't matter whether I am on earth or in heaven, what is important to me is having a relationship with God. Isn't that our ultimate purpose. All though the Bible that is God's Goal for mankind.
Don't get sidetrack on issues-like heaven/earth, will Adam be forgiven or not. listen as they bring different things up, maybe even talk about them, plant seeds, instead of winning arguements or debates.
Go back to your main pt.- which in this case would be a relationship! Realizing that living on paradise earth or not isn't the issue! It is being in God presence and having an intimate loving relationship w/ Him.
what separates us from that relationship - sin!
This is another seed to plant and a whole different conversation or for another time.
adamic sin/ personal sin
there is a disconnect in the book. you could bring that up. The book emphasizes adamic sin -
but it misses the point of the issue of personal sin.
learn how they think about Jesus's ransom-
I have been studying the issue of forgivness of sin/justification. how I see it and how they see it. My main question for them is how are the other sheep's sins forgiven? The Bible teaches how the 144000 sins are justifies/forgiven.
I was told that the sin was paid for when they died.
I am slill working on finding a way for them to understand the concept of personal sin.
by studing thier litiature and studying how it really is.
Remember pray and plant seeds!
I am listening to an excellent sermon series on prayer. The web site is http://www.tellingthetruth.org/
click on the earphones and then to the archives, go read through till you come to the ones on prayer. This is a great ministry. the Briscoes are on target with thier teaching!
listen, enjoy, and deepen your walk with God!
Love in Christ,