QUESTION #7: According to the Watchtower Organization, Feb. 15, 1983, p. 12, there are four requirements for salvation as taught by the Watchtower Magazine.  The second is relevant here:  “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, 4.”  Question:  Must the Jehovah’s Witnesses obey God’s laws in order to have his sins forgiven, so he can go to paradise earth?

 Taken from Questions for Jehovah’s Witnesses



ANSWER: The implication of this question is that it is not necessary for Christians to obey God in order to receive salvation. It’s astonishing that anyone who considers themselves a Christian would even pose a question such as this. The answer is an unconditional “Yes,” of course. No one can please God if they do not obey him and do his will.

This question springs from that shallow well of fundamentalist philosophy, from which comes the notion that once a person has been “saved” they are always saved and can do nothing to nullify their salvation. Such a teaching is antithetical to Christianity.

If Jehovah’s Witnesses are ever confronted with this question in their ministry, as is posed here, it may be well to look up the Scriptures cited. Matt Slick posted a hyperlink to the two scriptures referenced in the Watchtower article. Why not have the householder look up I Corinthians 6:9-10 in their Bible, and then pose the question to them: Do you believe it is possible to have God’s full forgiveness if we are practicing adulterers, idolators or homosexuals? What do you think is the significance of the fact that Paul specifically warned the Corinthian believers not to be deceived?

When Jesus was on the earth he once prevented an adulterous woman from being stoned to death by the Jews. In effect, he extended God’s forgiveness to her, but with the caveat: “Go, and sin no more.” Jesus said the same thing on other occasions, indicating that although God graciously extends his forgiveness to practicing sinners, it is conditional, predicated upon the sinner’s continued repentance.

To emphasis that point, in his sermon on the Mount Jesus said that if we do not forgive others their sins then neither would God forgive ours. Again, this is another example of how God’s forgiveness is conditional, based upon our continued efforts to do God’s will – obeying his law, if you prefer. In this instance, Jesus made it clear that God requires persons who profess to reverence him to be forgiving of others. In other words, that is a law we must obey if we want to continue to enjoy God’s forgiveness.  

Jesus said many other things in his famous sermon. For instance, he said that if a man keeps looking at a woman so as to have a passion for her, he has already committed adultery in his heart. Jesus advised us that if we have those tendencies it would be better if we plucked out our offending eye or chopped off an offending appendage, as it would be better to enter into life half-blind or maimed than to be plunged into the  unquenchable fires of Gehenna. So, again, according to Jesus there are certain requirements for us to attain to salvation and life. 

In that same sermon Jesus said that the road to destruction is broad and spacious and many are those traveling upon it. Whereas, narrow is the road leading off to life and cramped is the way, and only a comparative few are on that road. 

So, we ought to consider the broader implications of the notion that there are no requirements for Christians to attain to forgiveness and salvation and the underlying suggestion that it is not even necessary to obey God or Christ in order to be saved. Does this sort of easy, effortless, plan of salvation conform to what Jesus said about the way to life being difficult, or is it not more reflective of the thinking of those on the broad road leading to destruction? 

Consider again the words of Jesus at John 3:36. The American Standard Version renders that verse this way: “He that believeth on the Son hath eternal life; but he that obeyeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

With the above verse in mind Jehovah’s Witnesses ought to ask their fundamentalist friends the following question: Based upon the teachings of Jesus, is it possible for us to attain to life if we do not obey Christ as Lord? 

Make sure that you impress upon them that any reply other than an unequivocal “yes” is a repudiation of Christianity itself.

Related Posts