Article - Jehovah’s Witnesses & The Bible
If you have lived in your neighborhood very long, you have probably had a run in with the Jehovah’s Witnesses. If not, you can expect one before long. While it is true that these are some of the most evangelistic & zealous people in the world, the doctrine that they are trying to pawn upon people does much harm to the Bible and New Testament Christianity. Christians need to contend for the faith with these false teachers and show them the error of their way, so that they may be saved (Jude 3, 21-23). Here are three major errors Jehovah’s Witnesses hold.
First, Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe that Hell is a real place of eternal torment for the wicked. They believe that when “the life force stops sustaining the human body, man-the soul-dies” (Watch Tower Tract, pg. 82). Basically, they say that when a person dies he goes to the “common grave” until the second resurrection. You and I could restate this as “When he dies he is dead all over like Rover.” In fact, I recently spoke with a Jehovah Witness who said that after death (until the second resurrection) men cease to exist. However, Jesus told a story where a rich man went to Hades and remembered who he was, knew where he was and was in so much torment that he desired just one drop of water to ease his pain (Luke 16:19-31). Also, to say Hell is not a real place of eternal torment is in direct opposition to what the Bible says. In Matthew 25:46 Jesus said, “And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” When asked if they believe that Heaven is a real, eternal place, JW’s will affirm that it is. And, here is where they are trapped in a Biblical corner. To say that Heaven is eternal is to say that Hell is eternal according to Jesus in the verse previously quoted. The exact same Greek word is used to describe Heaven and Hell! The false doctrine of their being no Hell is a very destructive doctrine to our souls and humanity. If their really is no Hell and the worst punishment I could receive is to cease to exist, then what difference does it make how I live in this life. No wonder society is headed in the direction that it is.
Second, JW’s do not believe that the kingdom exists today in a physical form on the earth. They believe that the kingdom is a heavenly kingdom that is ruling over the events of earth right now. However, Jesus said to his disciples "Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.” If JW’s doctrine is right then either one of two things happened. Either Jesus planned to set up a kingdom during the time of the apostle’s life but was unable to do so, or there are some 2,000-year-old Apostles running around who are still waiting for that kingdom. In actuality, the kingdom is here with us today. As Jesus said, the kingdom would be present with power before the end of the first century. In Colossians 1:13 the Apostle Paul said to Christians, “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom...” For the Apostle Paul to have penned these words by inspiration, the kingdom had to be in existence in a physical form. The truth is that the kingdom does exist today in a physical form as the church of Christ. Jesus used the church and kingdom synonymously in Matthew 16:18-20.
Another erroneous teaching that JW’s propagate is that the earth will last forever and will be a “park like” place for the saved to live. For the life of me, I cannot see why a person who claims to believe the Bible would say something that is in direct contradiction to Jesus and His disciples’ teaching. Notice how clearly Jesus refuted this doctrine by saying, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Matthew 24:35). In fact, the root word for pass away in the Greek language (paraluo) means to destroy, or loose. The Apostle Peter clearly said, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10-13).
When a man gets to the point that he has to make his own translation of the Bible and change every verse that disproves his own doctrine, he needs to re-examine his heart to see if he is really trying to please the Lord or himself. Again, we do not desire to be mean-spirited or unloving to JW’s, but we must “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them” (Ephesians 5:11). Hopefully these things will help us all be prepared to answer these people in a loving way when they do come to our doors (Ephesians 4:15).
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