Tag Archives: eternal life

Top Ten Topics to Discuss With Jehovah’s Witnesses: #6, Assurance

safe-913452_1280

Here’s my next topic in my top ten: Assurance of Salvation. Have you ever wondered about this yourself? Can we be sure that we’re saved? Must we live in constant fear of losing our salvation, or wonder whether we ever had salvation to begin with? Without getting into the whole theological discourse on the arguments for and against eternal security, (aka Calvinism versus Arminianism), what does the Bible have to say about assurance, and what does the Watchtower teach Jehovah’s Witnesses about the subject?

The short answer is that Jehovah’s Witnesses (and members of other legalistic groups) have absolutely no assurance of salvation whatsoever. Here’s how my conversation usually goes:

Me: One of my favorite verses is First John 5:13, which says that “these things are written to you who believe in the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.” I love this! I have come to the place in my life where I know that I have eternal life. Have you?

JW: Yes, I have.

Me: Really! That’s awesome! So, you know for sure that you have eternal life, and that you’ll live forever?

JW: Well, no one can know that for sure.

Me: Why not? This verse says that we CAN know, doesn’t it?

JW: Well, the Bible says that “he that endures to the end will be saved.”

Me: Oh yes, faithfulness is very important. But meanwhile, we can have assurance that we have eternal life. When will you know for sure that you have eternal life? When you survive Armageddon?

JW: Um, maybe.

Me: I’ve been talking with my JW friends, and reading at JW.org, and so I want to see if I have this right. The Watchtower teaching is that you have to survive Armageddon, then another thousand years, and then there will be a final test. Do I have that correct, and is that when you will know for sure that you have eternal life?

JW: Yes, we will be gradually perfected during the thousand years. Jehovah will be working on us to bring us to perfection.

Me: Hmmm. That concerns me.

JW: Why?

Me: Adam and Eve were perfect, and they failed their test. So, what assurance do you have that you will pass the final test? Won’t there be some that don’t pass the test?

JW: Well, yes.

Me: And getting back to this verse, First John 5:13, it says that we can know now, for sure, that we have eternal life. What’s your take on this verse?

JW: Excuse me, I need to be going now.

Me: Okay, later on, read the whole chapter, First John 5, okay? It’s really great.

Then I pray that the Lord will bring the scripture back to their memory later.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Stakes Are So High With Jehovah’s Witnesses

dice-1209417_1280

Like the suspense in the best thriller movie you’ve seen.

Like the unresolved tension that keeps you turning pages in your favorite book.

Like betting your last dollar on the “longshot” horse.

Only the stakes are higher.

I’m talking about ministry to Jehovah’s Witnesses. As I talked with my friend “Mark” the other day on the phone, I was vividly reminded of this. Reminded like a backhand slap to my face.

I enjoy talking with Jehovah’s Witnesses. I enjoy getting them to think about things in a way they never have before. I enjoy seeing the light bulb in their minds come on. Okay, to be completely honest, I enjoy stumping them. Yay me.

But, this is not a game we’re playing.

At stake are a number of things: Their eternal souls (which they don’t believe in, by the way). Their spiritual, mental, emotional, and social well-being. Their enjoyment of life. Their freedom from bondage. Their participation in the blessings of the New Covenant. Their relationship with God.

The stakes are high. It’s excruciating to me at times. Why doesn’t Mark get set free, like right now? Right now! This waiting, the baby steps. The steps back before forward progress. Ugh! I can hardly stand it.

Maybe that’s how God wants me to be. Could that be part of the burden for the salvation of lost souls? Am I experiencing for the first time the heaviness of that burden that’s probably an everyday thing for genuine evangelists? Something must drive those dedicated missionaries, and those passionate street-corner preachers, and those ministers to the homeless and addicts and others that I think of as “difficult to work with.”

The problem with this gospel-sharing stuff is that I get attached to those with whom I’m sharing. Like stray kittens and puppies, only more intense. My friend Mark. My relatives. Their friends. My neighbors. Grocery store workers. I’m tearing up even now writing about them.

This is not a game, folks.

Lord, please draw these people to yourself. Because the stakes are so high. You know, because it cost you the life of your only Son.

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Talking Points

I have several talking points that have become my standard “go-to’s” when meeting a new Jehovah’s Witness for the first time. They are:

1. Here’s one of my favorite Bible verses: 1 John 5:13, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” I’m excited because I know that I have eternal life. Do you know for sure that you have eternal life?

2. If the 144,000 are in the New Covenant, what covenant are the great crowd in? The 4 possibilities are Old Covenant, New Covenant, Some other covenant (Abrahamic, Noahic, etc.), or no covenant at all. (Some JW’s try to say Abrahamic, but Watchtower’s recent article says that AbrahamicĀ is only for the annointed 144,000.) I love looking at Jeremiah 31:31ff with them.

3. Let’s look at Romans 8 together. Have you ever read it? Tell me, how much of this chapter is for Great Crowd Believers?

4. I think I just discovered a new one. Looking at Ephesians 2:19 and Philippians 3:20. Are Great Crowd believers citizens of Jehovah’s kingdom? If not, what status do they have? If they’re not citizens, are they “legal aliens”?

I’m looking forward to trying that new one the next time I meet a JW.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Believing in the Name

This last weekend I stopped to talk with two JW ladies that were offering literature in the park. After polite introductions, I asked them if they wanted to hear one of my favorite Bible verses. They agreed, and I shared with them First John 5:13, which reads: “These things are written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.” I told them of my excitement that I have come to KNOW for CERTAIN that I have eternal life.
One of the ladies asked if I knew what Name the verse was talking about. I quickly answered, “Yes, Jesus.” She looked confused and surprised. I explained that the verse said “to you who believe in the name of the Son of God.” That would be Jesus. She has been so programmed by the Watchtower that she instinctively assumes that any verse that mentions The Name is about Jehovah. She looked embarrassed as she agreed, “Oh yes, the Son of God is Jesus.”
Her gaffe gave me an opportunity to explain the biblical gospel; that is, putting your trust in what Jesus has done for us, rather than trusting in our own good works to earn favor with Jehovah. Then we can have assurrance of eternal life! The news didn’t seem to penetrate her JW shell, but it’s my job to be one among many faithful witnesses that she may need before her heart can accept the truth. Lord, keep working on her! Amen.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized