The Witnesses believe there are three groups of people. One, the unbelievers, who will be destroyed and cease to exist. (no lake of fire or eternal hell) Two, the “great crowd” who will live on “Paradise” on Earth after the destruction of the unbelievers. Three, the “little flock” who will enter heaven. The “little flock” consists of only 144,000 people (Rev. 14) and only they are truly “born again.” Their definition of salvation is being saved from destruction. So both the great crowd and the little flock groups are saved, but only the little flock is born again. Also, they believe salvation requires both faith and works, and it is possible to lose your salvation. According to Witnesses, here are the requirements for salvation:
“Jesus Christ identified a first requirement when he said in prayer to his Father: This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ. (John 17:3) Knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ knowledge of God’s purposes regarding the earth and of Christ’s role as earth’s new King. Will you take in such knowledge by studying the Bible?
“Many have found the second requirement more difficult. It is to obey God’s laws, yes, to conform one’s life to the moral requirements set out in the Bible. This includes refraining from a debauched, immoral way of life. 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10; 1 Peter 4:3, 3.
“A third requirement is that we be associated with God’s channel, his organization. God has always used an organization. For example, only those in the ark in Noah’s day survived the Flood, and only those associated with the Christian congregation in the first century had God’s favor. (Acts 4:12) Similarly, Jehovah is using only one organization today to accomplish his will. To receive everlasting life in the earthly Paradise we must identify that organization and serve God as part of it.
“The fourth requirement is connected with loyalty. God requires that prospective subjects of his Kingdom support his government by loyally advocating his Kingdom rule to others. Jesus Christ explained: “This good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth.” (Matthew 24:14) Will you meet this requirement by telling others about God’s Kingdom?”
- The Watchtower, Feb. 15, 1983, p. 12 (all four requirements)
In summary, the Witnesses say that in order to be saved you must (1) become knowledgeable about the Father, (2) obey God’s laws, (3) be associated with the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and (4) by loyal in spreading the kingdom news of God. The Christian view is that none of these four are required to be saved. We see this in Romans:
Romans 3:26-28 – for the shewing forth of His righteousness in the present time, for His being righteous, and declaring him righteous who [is] of the faith of Jesus. Where then [is] the boasting? it was excluded; by what law? of works? no, but by a law of faith: therefore do we reckon a man to be declared righteous by faith, apart from works of law. (YLT)
Romans 10:9-10 – that if thou mayest confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and mayest believe in thy heart that God did raise him out of the dead, thou shalt be saved, for with the heart doth [one] believe to righteousness, and with the mouth is confession made to salvation (YLT)
From Romans, we know that faith alone grants us salvation, not knowledge, being in an organization, or spreading the gospel. However, part of salvation is that we will have the intention and desire to obey God and do good works for Him. We will also gain knowledge over time by studying His word. I discussed in detail what it really takes to be saved in my article on Salvation. As a refresher, the following are required for true salvation under Christ:
1. Understanding that salvation is based on God’s grace, and was never a free choice
2. Having faith that Jesus Christ is God, a God that loves you unconditionally, and admitting you have sin which is a problem, and you want God to help you take it away
3. Having the desire and intention to love and obey God 100%
Page 3 of 5
Next Page of Jehovah's Witness >