post #81 of 93
12/16/08 at 12:53pm
|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.
I don't think she was preaching, I think she was simply trying to answer some questions. Let's not be too harsh with her; she's a newcomer, let's welcome her as we would anyone else. She may have differing beliefs than a lot of us (I'm a born again Christian, so definitely different than me as well) but I think she has a lot to contribute to the discussion. Also, it's nice to hear from an active JW.
|However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t ever lose God’s favor. Even devoted Christians need to be careful not to be overconfident, and as Smokering says, “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.” The Bible teaches that even a strong Christian can lose favor with God. I challenge anyone who disagrees to share their own interpretation of these scriptures:|
|Unfortunately, the Bible doesn’t teach “once saved, always saved.” We have to maintain a relationship with God, taking care to preserve our good standing:|
|DISFELLOWSHIPPING AND SALVATION - Those who are disfellowshipped are those who have unrepentantly and deliberately committed one or more of the very serious sins listed in the Bible as offenses deserving of expulsion (1Corinthians 5:11,12; Titus 3:10, 11; 1Timothy 1:19, 20; Hebrews 12:15, 16). I emphasize “unrepentantly” because you don’t get disfellowshipped if you’re truly sorry. We all commit many sins; we’re human.|
|Interestingly enough, one main purpose of disfellowshipping is to help a person regain the promise of salvation they may have lost. Disfellowshipping forces people to strengthen their relationship with God alone, not relying on their family members or organization for their faith. This is a big problem for some Witnesses; they focus on obeying and fearing man and not God…which is wrong, according to the Bible and the organization. Then, they resent the congregation for their own mistaken approach to the faith. Disfellowshipping is meant to help individuals whose willful sinning and brazen attitude reflect a loss of love for the truth. All hope they will mend their relationship with God.|
|Although I’m not in any way forbidden by the Bible or the Watchtower Society to engage in message boards, I do prefer email for practical reasons.|
|Forums are all over the place – people often attack each other, change the subject, and talk about too many things in too little depth.|
|I'm interested in the Bible, in the truth, not any given organization.|
2. SALVATION - Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that as Christians we’re assured of salvation. We also believe that it is by God’s grace alone that we’re saved. No matter how hard we work, we can’t bring about our own salvation. That’s why we need Jesus' sacrifice. Faith in it is the only thing that makes salvation possible. We can do works to show our love, but they don't save us.
However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t ever lose God’s favor. Even devoted Christians need to be careful not to be overconfident, and as Smokering says, “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.” The Bible teaches that even a strong Christian can lose favor with God. I challenge anyone who disagrees to share their own interpretation of these scriptures:
Hebrews 6:4-8 - “It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.” (NIV)
Hebrews 10:26-27 – “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.” (NIV)
2 Peter 2:20 – “If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.” (NIV)
Unfortunately, the Bible doesn’t teach “once saved, always saved.” We have to maintain a relationship with God, taking care to preserve our good standing:
Hebrews 3:12-13 – “See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.” (NIV)