A Request for Forgiveness
A VISITING MINISTER speaking at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Kalamazoo, Michigan, was quite surprised at a comment made during his Bible lecture. As was his custom, he posed certain questions for the audience to answer.
One man raised his hand, and the speaker called on him, not knowing that this was the first time that the man had attended a meeting at the Kingdom Hall. Instead of directly answering the question propounded, the man stood and said that he wanted to apologize for having mistreated the Witnesses over the years. He hoped that God would forgive him. What led up to this comment?
The man making the comment had been born and raised in Germany and had joined the Nazi party in the late 1920’s. Later he moved to Canada but was imprisoned there during World War II because of his outspokenness on political and racial matters, such as his conviction that Germans were a superior race. After the war, he was released and finally settled in the United States of America. Though he did not abandon his Nazi ideas on politics and race, he outwardly became an extremely patriotic American.
When Jehovah’s witnesses from time to time stopped at his home, he was very abusive, chasing them off his property and expressing disdain for anyone who would not perform certain patriotic acts toward the flag. This went on for some fifteen years.
In the spring of 1970 two young Witnesses called at his door but, as he later acknowledged, he did not have the heart to treat two young ladies harshly. Their conversation touched on the matter of the human soul. With his Baptist background he firmly believed that man has an immortal soul. However, they showed him from the Bible that man is a soul.
He carefully went through the Bible study aid they left with him and, before long, asked Jehovah’s witnesses to conduct a regular Bible study with him. The next month he appeared at the Kingdom Hall.
The minister giving the discourse assured him that Jehovah can and will forgive persons who have acted in opposition to true worship. Now this man is a minister of Jehovah’s witnesses and is sharing with others the truth about the forgiving God, Jehovah.