Originally Posted by Tookery
I'm one of Jehovah's Witnesses and I've enjoyed reading your forum. I wanted to answer some questions that have gone unanswered; I hope people are still reading.
I first want to assure you that Jehovah's Witnesses DO NOT recognize other writings as inspired than the Protestants do. We do not accept the gnostic writings or the apocraphyl books. We believe in the exact same canon as Protestants. Like someone said at the very beginning of the discussion, be sure someone is actually a JW before trusting anything they say about JWs!
As far as salvation goes, Jackie75, the truth is, I have no idea whether or not you will be saved, although I certainly hope you will be. Being part of the JW organization does not guarantee individual salvation. There could very well be sick, evil people who are JWs and wonderful, faithful people who are not. Only Jehovah and Jesus know who will be saved. Anyone who tells you any different doesn't know what JWs really believe.
If we do our utmost to follow the Bible and live according to God's commandments, we show love for him and can have confidence in our salvation. But no one knows anyone well enough to say "you'll be saved." "You won't." It's playing judge, and God's word doesn't give us that right.
Jehovah's Witnesses accept everything the Bible says about salvation, including Jesus' words at Matthew 24:13: "But the one who endures to the end will be saved." (ESV, Protestant approved translation). Simply professing a belief in Christ does not guarantee salvation, as Jesus clearly explains at Matthew 7:21-23. Furthermore, as James states, "faith without works is dead" (James 2:26). Therefore, eventhough it's only through faith in Jesus sacrifice that we can be saved, that faith must be accompanied by works and must encompass a person's whole mind, spirit, heart, and strength (Mark 12:29).
We also believe in what Paul describes as the "resurrection of the righteous and the unrighteous" (Acts 24:15) which means we believe individuals who never got to know Christ might be given the opportunity to do so. On the other hand, most Protestants believe that anyone who doesn't personally know Jesus is damned to hell...which I think is not only unscriptural, but it paints God in a very unjust light. How could he eternally punish a farmer who lived in China in 200 B.C. who never knew anything about Jesus?
Oh yeah, and you don't HAVE to preach. To be considered an "active" Witness, you do, (much like you can't be divorced to be considered an "active" Catholic) but you are certainly not disfellowshipped for not preaching. Sharing God's word must be motivated by love for him and others, not fear of man. We report our time and efforts in the ministry to encourage one another and to follow the example set by Jesus and his disciples in the first century.
I hope this clears up some of the misunderstandings you may have about us. I'd be happy to answer any questions you have, anytime!
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
and I live in the Pittsburgh area.
Take care and I love that you ask questions. I will never think you're rude. Trust me, compared to most people I meet in the ministry, you're quite the opposite. Plus, I haven't always been a JW, so I get how offensive we all can seem!
This begs the question though. Do you believe in the Bible, or the NWT...the Bible that JW's has made? There are very distinct differences between the two.
As for salvation, is it not a process for JW's? As Christians, we are assured of our salvation. From the beginning. It is our faith, not works. Abraham believed in God, & it was counted unto him as righteousness. Before he even circumcised the baby!!
What if your are disfellow shipped from the organization? Can you be saved outside of it, now?....
You know what though...to truly answer that question we have to dig deep into JW's eschatology. It gives me a headache.
According to your beliefs...the perfect earth will still have questioning individuals, & you have a lot of time to educate them with the JW doctrine.
Cripe. Isn't that what the Bible is for? To educate us? Those in Christendom may have differing views of the exact timeline of when Christ comes back, but the point is...we DON"T GET A SECOND CHANCE LIKE THE JW"S PREACH.
Lets face it. This group, like many others, is isolationists, thinking they have the only truth.
With basic Christianity....we all agree with the important things. This group is the only that has the truth. Just like the Mormons. Or United Pentecostals, or pick your denomination that makes such claims.
I'm a born again Christian. I hold to no group. Some denominations are a bit out their on their teaching....but we all hold the same basics. Little things don't matter...it's the biggies...who God is, who Jesus is (yes, he is GOD according to the Bible, if I have to I will post a reply on that whole subject) & the Holy spirit is a PERSON, not a FORCE.
We have to step outside of that & ask why? Why does my church, group, whatever teach this? SEARCH. Don't blindly follow....I mean search outside the box.
Personally, I love my NIV study Bible. It is so straight to the point it hurts!! The notes are from Christians from ALL denominations who differ on certain views. But, it makes me search more.....I used to be in the majority, a premillennialist dispensationalist, but I am more of a partial preterist now.....really searching what history has taught us, & the correlation with Matthew 24. It's awesome to be challenged!! Our God is AWESOME! The Bible is alive!!
I'm probably misquoting here, but I love this saying...."The biggest theological heresy begins with the misconception of the nature of God".
As I had said so many times....the Bible says who He is, who Jesus is, & who the Holy spirit is. If we trust the Bible....again, not a Bible that is written for a certain group...then shouldn't we trust what it says who God is? Who he saves?
I'm saved. I have that peace. God shows me everyday. Not with condemnation, but with love, & freedom.
My Christmas tree looks beautiful too......but I'm not worshipping it.