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.:SECTION TWO: QUESTION EIGHT:
How realistic is the Watchtower plan of salvation? What does a person have to do in order to be assured of eternal life?1.
KAREN: Hello Cindy! I’ve been reading over our next lesson in the Watchtower brochure, What Does God Require of Us?, and I am fascinated by the prospect of eternal life forever in paradise. I can’t wait to learn more about how I can have this hope.
CINDY: That’s great, Karen! Do you know why the earth is not a paradise now?KAREN: Yes, Cindy, the brochure notes that “Adam and Eve sinned by deliberately breaking God’s law. So Jehovah put them out of the garden of Eden. Paradise was lost.” 2.
CINDY: That’s right, Karen, and “before this earth can become a paradise, wicked people must be removed.…This will happen at Armageddon, which is God’s war to end wickedness. Next, Satan will be imprisoned for 1,000 years. This means that no wicked ones will be left to spoil the earth. Only God’s people will survive.”3. Would you like to be one of those people who survive into this new system of things, Karen?
KAREN: Yes, I would, Cindy, but I don’t understand. What exactly do I need to do in order to be saved and have eternal life?
CINDY: Well the Bible says at John 17:3: “This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.” So you see, Karen, if “you would like to share in these future blessings…you need to keep learning about Jehovah and obeying his requirements.”4.
KAREN: O.K, Cindy, after I do that, then what do I need to do?
CINDY: What do you mean Karen?
KAREN: Well, do I need to join your religion?
CINDY: Yes! You want to be in the truth so that you won’t be destroyed with the wicked of false religion. So, yes, you do need to become one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
KAREN: If I do that, then am I saved?
CINDY: No, Karen, the Bible says you must endure to the “end” in order to be saved5.
KAREN: What do you mean by “end,” Cindy? Do you mean Armageddon?
KAREN: O.K. so if I endure through Armageddon, then am I saved?
KAREN: I’m in this perfect world but I’m not saved? Am I perfect?
CINDY: Not yet, Karen.
KAREN: Well, is anybody perfect?
CINDY: No, Karen. When Jesus Christ rules as “King over this earth… He will gradually take sin away from our minds and bodies.” Then “we will become perfect humans just as Adam and Eve were before they sinned.”6.
KAREN: So, how long do I have to go without sinning before I can be saved, Cindy?
CINDY: A thousand years Karen. “During Jesus’ Thousand Year Reign, faithful humans will work to turn the whole earth into a paradise.…If they do what God requires of them, they will continue to live on earth forever. If not, they will be destroyed forever.”7.
KAREN: Wait a minute! I’m not perfect and nobody else is perfect and I have to go a thousand years without making a major mistake?
CINDY: That’s right, Karen. This is why it is so important that we learn what Jehovah requires.
KAREN: But can you do that, Cindy? Can you go a thousand years without making a major mistake even though you are not perfect?
CINDY: I don’t know if I can, Karen. But I’m sure going to try!
KAREN: But what if I go 999 years without making a major mistake, but in the last year just before the test I mess up. Or what if under the pressure of Satan, I fail the final test?8. Does this mean I will be destroyed forever?
CINDY: Maybe, Karen. In the August 1, 1992 Watchtower, the Society said: “ ‘If anyone wants to come after me,’ said Jesus Christ to a gathering of disciples and others, ‘let him disown himself…and follow me continually.’ (Mark 8:34) When we accept this invitation, we must be prepared to do so ‘continually,’ not because there is some special merit in self-denial, but because one moment’s indiscretion, one lapse in good judgment, may undo all that has been built up, even jeopardizing our eternal welfare. Spiritual progress is usually made at a rather slow pace, but how quickly it can be nullified if we are not on guard constantly!”9.
KAREN: So is the Society saying that if I make even one major mistake, I will be destroyed forever?
CINDY: That is the chance you’ll take Karen.
KAREN: But how can anyone pass the test and not make a major mistake if he is not perfect?
CINDY: I don’t know, Karen. It seems impossible, but this is what Jehovah requires.
CINDY: Yes, Karen?
KAREN: Did Jesus pay for all of our sins when He died two thousand years ago, or did He just pay for some of them?
CINDY: Oh, he paid for all of them, Karen.
KAREN: So, if Jesus paid for all of our sins, exactly what sin can I commit that He did not pay for and which would cause me to lose my eternal life?
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They are all there for me!
“I had Jehovah’s Witnesses visiting for six years. … The sad thing is now I have their beliefs in my head. So I put myself into God’s hands and asked for direction. …Well, the feeling of freedom is amazing. I am like a child, learning again for the first time. The reason I had to write to you was the Karen and Cindy conversations. Instead of me asking for help, one question at a time, they are all there for me!! It seems as if ‘Karen’ could read my mind.It’s so lovely for things to fall into place, mainly that ‘What happens when we die?’ This was a very big issue for me. I was scared while I did not understand even the tiny bit I do now. It’s such a joy. Instead of feeling unworthy(were all sinners I know) and feeling I would never be saved or go to Heaven. So, please thank God and Jesus with me for such help.”
I have to tell you how your website saved my life.
“I have been a baptized Witness since 1995, and I have to tell you how you have saved my life. Every couple of years I get this gnawing sense that this is not quite right, that I am not 100% vested in what the Watchtower Society says. …Lately, I have stopped attending meetings and my daughter, 13, has begged me not to make her go back. So I have been praying and chatting with friends outside the organization……I can’t tell you my sense of relief when I stumbled upon your site and started to read the articles. I want to cry, but I’m at work. I can’t wait to get home because I am so excited I can barely stand it! Please, please, how can I meet others who feel this way? I sure could use the fellowship. Again, thanks for the work you do.”
God bless you for the difference you are making.
“My brother and I were raised by a Jehovah's Witness mother. I am 52 years old now and still haven't been able to shake the stigma of the experience. My brother wasn't as lucky as me and ended up taking his own life at 17. I have been through everything ... I can't express how much I appreciate what you are doing... God bless for the difference you are making.”
I do not feel so alone!
“Thank you for creating this website. After reading stories of former Jehovah's Witnesses, I do not feel so alone. My resolve to stay out of that religion has also strengthened. I have also come to realize that my depression, anxiety, and many other emotional scars inflicted by the organization and those in the ‘truth’ will take time to heal. But your website has also come to help me ... Thank you.”
Just as I was about to enter the Jehovah’s Witnesses again, God led me to your website.
“Hi…I am an Ex-Jehovah’s Witness from South Africa. ...I left the Jehovah’s Witnesses not because I did not agree with their beliefs, but because my wife could not handle it with me being a Jehovah’s Witness and she not. I became an anti-religious person. Then, just as I was about to enter the Jehovah’s Witnesses again, God led me to your website… Today, I prayed to Jesus for salvation after I read your article on your website…”
I’m so glad that I have run across this site.
“After reading the article that David Reed wrote on your site, I’ve looked at things in ‘a new light’ so-to-speak. ...I’m so glad that I have run across this site. I’m sure that it was the Holy Spirit that directed me to all of you!”
Your website is a great source for truth
“Your website is a great source for those seriously seeking the truth.… The Jehovah’s Witness elders shun me. I’ve known these guys for 30 years... Well, when I walk into the Hall they turn their backs to me. I have not seen my Jehovah’s Witness ex-wife, or daughter for two years. ...They hide my family from me. When I go to their homes, they smile with arms folded and say nothing.
The stories I read at your website were loud and clear - conditional love by the ‘brothers’! I have learned more in the Christian Church about unconditional love than 30 years as a Witness. When I accepted Christ, who He really is, the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to see both sides clearly. ...Without the Holy Spirit it is impossible to know the real TRUTH! Keep up your good work.”